Monday, October 16, 2006

Taking a Break

At my university, we have a 16-week semester (not including finals week). This is a long haul. It is an especially long haul when one considers that the institution at which I received my PhD had a semester that was about 12 weeks long with a huge number of holidays. But so yes, this semester length has taken some getting used to. It is a marathon, for sure.

The fall semester seems especially long compared with the spring - maybe because there is no spring break? Maybe because the weather is getting crappier rather than getting nicer? Who knows.

But one thing that makes it possible to make the long march from beginning to end is that we have a fall break. Now, the fall break is just two days long - two days that are acquired by having the university stay open on Columbus Day and Veterans Day. Two days, back-to-back, right around midterm. The equivalent of having two weekends in a row.

I never have gone away for my fall break. I suppose I could plan some sort of weekend trip or something, but the fact of the matter is that I'm too exhausted at this point to imagine doing so, so I never end up making such plans. Instead, I always plan to "catch up" over the fall break - whether on research, or housework, or reading for my courses, or whatever. But you know what I end up doing every year?

I end up lying around. Sleeping. Thinking about making to-do lists and yet not making them, for if there is no list then there is nothing to do, right?

I spend quality time with the Man-Kitty, who misses me during the semester when I'm away from home far too much. (That said, the Man-Kitty gets annoyed with me in the summers because I'm home far too much. You can't win with that cat.)

I'd feel guilty, but I'm far too relaxed right now for guilt. I've accomplished four things this weekend: I finished grading a stack of midterms, I mailed off my job applications, I went to dinner and the movies with my BFF here, and I posted midterm grades for my freshmen. Other than that, I've taken naps, slept for more than 5 hours in a row, which means that I've actually had dreams, watched TV, talked on the phone, eaten non-diet food, and avoided working out. Tomorrow I'll get back on the wagon. I'll get back into the groove of things. But for now? I'm just reveling in having gotten a break from the grind.


MommyProf said...

We just get one day of "break." We have gone away twice since we have had it and it was worth it both times. It is amazing how refreshing a short break can be when you know it is all you have.

timna said...

I want a fall break.
We manage to take a day off as a department before a 3 day weekend, but we spend it at a retreat talking about departmental stuff. So our students have a break and we don't.