20 December 2013

XXX: Last Xmas Break

Today starts my final Winter Vacation or Christmas Break. After June 7th, 2014, I'll make no distinction between work days and holidays. I suppose the notion of vacation will lose a bit of its luster, but I've no doubt we'll still take them. After all, life will not be without work. There will be chores and shopping and yard work and that sort of thing, and hopping in the camper and heading for the coast will certainly be a break from that. Writing is work, and I'll be doing much more of that, so I'll still want down time and goof-off time, but I'll just have to make my own vacation rules. I've always worked for someone else or something else and had to rely on them or it to decide my holidays. School systems, I reckon, are better described as "its" or "things" even though they have real people as bosses. After all, the school calendar is set by custom and tradition (Summer Vacation, Spring/Easter Break, etc.) and not by any particular person. I think one thing I'm looking forward to more than any other is the ability to take a trip any time of the year. Teachers get a lot of holidays, but they are always at the same times of the year. A vernal and/or autumnal adventure sounds quite exciting to someone who is used to July journeys. Noircon 2014 is in Philadelphia at the end of October and that sounds like something we ought to do, don't you think?

People keep asking me how I feel about my impending retirement and I tell them it hasn't quite sunk in yet. Oh, I've been planning this date for the last 15 years, don't get me wrong, and the anticipation has played hell with my équilibre, but the reality of the thing is still off in the misty distance. When January rolls around and I'm back in the classroom shoving algebra and chemistry down the throats of reluctant adolescents, I'll start the countdown. It will be 98 work days at that point, out of 150 total. Not that many if you put it like that, eh? I hope I can keep it all together and not lose my cookies before then. Be a shame to blow it when I'm so close! Wish me luck--every little bit helps.