This blogpost’s title can refer to either a tune by an 80s pop star, or one by a 90s Disney heroine. You choose.
Late August – like the Sunday night of summer for most teachers, this one included. In June, the summer stretches out wide – weeks of sleeping in, of no packing lunches, of unstructured loveliness. And then, it’s over. Or nearly.
Every summer I set a goal or two for myself. Sometimes it resembles a to-do list, and other times it’s actually something kinda meaningful…..at least to me.
Because last year’s Summer of Shirley has stretched into the YearS of Shirley, and because my friend roster has grown markedly with the addition of Shirley pals, I did a little visiting this summer. The visiting was not the goal….but the DRIVING was.
HATE driving. Always have. I’m a good driver – no accidents to speak of – but I simply don’t enjoy it. And since the part of my brain that takes care of directions was left empty at birth (now filled in with Shirley stuff), I HATE driving to parts unknown. But I planned to visit some Shirley friends this summer, and with the help of Google maps (I’m a little late to the GPS game….remember, I hate driving), I did it. ALONE. Maryland, Philadelphia, Long Island….check, check, check. Put a gold star next to goal one.
While the above fell into the category of “moving out of your comfort zone,” the next one was more like, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” For a couple of years now, painting a few rooms has been on the family to-do list. My role – make the list and see to it that Mr. T gets it done, either by painting it himself or hiring “the guy.” Neither one of us is a DIYer, so when painting involved wallpaper removal, it looked like “the guy” was the way to go. But then there’s the matter of $$$, and the other matter of impatience – mine. Because now the painting had another purpose – I needed those rooms done so that I can build the Shirley Shrine. So guess who removed the wallpaper border? And patched the walls? And sanded and primed? Me. I even painted trim. Leaving only the actual painting of the walls for Mr. T. And while I was at it, I refinished some ugly bookcases – more sanding, priming, painting and hammering. Even more surprising than actually DOING the work – I kinda enjoyed it!! Who knew?
Replace the mud with paint and you’ll get an idea of how I looked while working. Neat I’m not.
Now I’m enjoying both the SHrine and the annex…as well as a sense of accomplishment. So while I may be mourning the passing of summer, I’m also celebrating some goals accomplished. And that’s important, because once the school year begins, there will be lots of goal-setting, for both me and the students.
So long, summer of ’16.