This middle-aged co-ed needs time off. A week without any responsibilities sounds like grilled cheese and tomato soup on a blustery spring day. No waking up at 5 a.m. melts in my imagination, a dark chocolate MoonstruckTM truffle. Forget going to work and dealing with petulant middle school students who suffer from spring fever.
Sadly, this dream has no chance of coming true. Sure, I’ll get one week off from my job, and I’m grateful for that small reprieve (two weeks would be even better). Traditional college students enjoy a week (or more) away from their classes. Not me.
I’ll still have to log in and go to class at least three days, wade through myriad posts about journalism or English (my classes for this term) and read too many chapters in my textbooks. In fact, my assignments for the week include facilitating the discussion in my English class and interviewing suspects for my final story in journalism. Hurray! What’s a little extra work? It’s not like I have to go to my day job or anything.
Spring Break Traditions
Since 2006, our family of four has headed off on various jaunts during this last week of March. During that first spring break, we headed off with our camp trailer and some friends who had a motor home to the Oregon Caves and California Redwood National Forest. It rained most of the time, but we still managed to bond and make memories. Trips to Washington D. C., Seaside, Oregon, Disney World in Orlando, FL, and Long Beach, Washington followed. Until last year, these times centered on family first and everyone had a say in the venue and agenda.
Last year, I took my laptop computer along and my textbooks. I managed to squeeze my schoolwork in around hikes, walks on the beach, jaunts to various lighthouses and riding go-carts. After all, my kids take an Xbox 360 with them everywhere. I even managed to read a novel for “fun.” I say this because I read The Time Traveler’s Wife and spent the last 75 pages of the book bawling my eyes out. None of my men understand why I choose to finish reading books which drain every ounce of emotion from my body.
This year, we will spend one night at a motel in Seaside. The box office beckons with The Hunger Games. Both of the boys have to visit the dentist for semi-annual cleanings. Yard work and spring cleaning vie for equal attention.
Since it would be a shame to dip into those 40+ days of sick leave I’ve accrued, I took the liberty of booking some important appointments during this “week off.” I have a meeting with my academic advisor, a facial, a doctor’s appointment and a pedicure planned. My sons will head off to be fitted for tuxedos as they’re scheduled to be groomsmen at a wedding in June.
I’m grateful my 21-year-old and 18-year-old deign to devote their downtime to a family cause. Maybe they’re as attached to those old traditions as I am. Maybe they want to hang onto “family time” for another year.
Even if my time won’t be 100% free from scholastic endeavors, I’m looking forward to spending a few precious moments with the three most important people in my life. Sleeping in, not reporting for work and getting pretty toes are just nice side benefits.