We shed what was left of our summer skin.

Back in May, I posted a to-do list for my summer. I expected my summer to unofficially end on August 31, the day classes started back at Converse. Instead, on August 18, I found out I’d be teaching developmental writing at NGU, and every bit of  free time I’ve had since then has been spent preparing for class or grading papers.

Nonetheless, September is here. School is back in session at both NGU and Converse, and it even feels like fall outside (at least in the mornings), although summer doesn’t officially end for three more weeks. It thus seems appropriate to wrap up my summer to-do list.

My goals:

1. Survive summer school. Done! History of the English Language was an incredible learning experience for me. I had to be more disciplined and focused than usual because I couldn’t rely on catching up in the classroom. I also learned a lot of material about the history of England (and the language, of course), and I learned about why we pronounce or spell words certain ways. It was really great. And I did well in the class, too. 🙂

2. Get my face rocked off. Most definitely. I’ve seen Civil Twilight three times (yay!) and the Winter Sounds twice. Of course, there was The Fray in June in Charlotte, which was phenomenal, and I met Jon Foreman after the Fiction Family show in Asheville. There’s still more to come, too: Muse’s new album is released in less than two weeks; Switchfoot’s new album comes out in November; Civil Twilight is playing Fall for Greenville (and we’re considering a road trip the next day to see them play in Nashville); and the Muse/U2 show is 29 days away!

3. Read voraciously. Of the four books I’d intended to read, I manged three of them: V for Vendetta, The Scarlett Letter, and the fourth volume of the Buffy comic books. Underworld, with its 800+ pages, which I attempted to start during summer school, proved to be too much of a challenge, however. Perhaps later. I read plenty of other smaller books, though.

4. Watch TV. We did indeed finish Angel early in the summer. And while I haven’t managed any of Lost yet, I did introduce Harvin to M*A*S*H, and I watched all of season 7 of The Golden Girls.

5. Play outside. Looking back, I don’t think I did enough of this. Sure, I caught fireflies with the Leisters at Look-Up one night, and I spent a few lunch breaks sitting in the grass with a book, and we finally played on a swingset in Salem, MA, but I could have played outside more. Autumn is almost here, though, and it’s my favorite outside-time-of-the-year. I can at least enjoy some fresh air when I drive with my window down.

6. Have a great birthday. Of course! My brother came to visit me for the first time, and he spent the night. Chris also came up for a few days. On my birthday, Berry, Chris, Harvin, and I went to P.F. Chang’s for dinner and then to a frozen yogurt place downtown called Blueberry Frog. Fun! Delightful! Then, the day after my birthday, I met Jon Foreman after the Fiction Family concert. Just in case I haven’t mentioned that enough yet. 🙂

7. Be consistently on time to work. Yep. I think I was only late one day, and it was only by about three minutes (thank you, slow drivers on 101). It’s continued into the semester, too, even though I have to be here earlier (8:00 on MWF, and earlier than that since I’m teaching an 8:00 class on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Go me for being punctual.

8. See the ocean again. Done. I went to Myrtle Beach for the state firefighters’ convention in July, and our hotel was right on the beach. Then, in Massachusetts, we saw the harbor in both Boston and Salem. That’s the North Atlantic, you know. It seems so much cooler than what we have in SC.

9. Write letters. Well, okay, I sent some postcards from Boston–to my parents, my brother, my grandmother, and Naomi. I could have done more, but it’s a start.

10. TRAVEL! Have I mentioned Boston yet? The most incredible, epic road trip ever? Yeah, I did that. 🙂

So there we are. It was a great summer–productive, enlightening, adventuresome. All that any girl could ask for. Now, autumn is quickly approaching, and I’m completely wrapped up in the world of academia. I’m teaching, dealing with students in the library, and taking my own classes. And I’m enjoying just about every minute of it. It’s gonna be a crazy semester!

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