I spent this past week at a house on Sea Island, GA. The seventy degree weather and sunshine and sand were a much-needed break from the never-ending Northeast Winter of Doom. I had started to have an overall feeling of malaise caused, I’m sure, by a deficiency in Vitamin D and a lack of physical activity, and a I had a cough I couldn’t kick. In super-southern coastal Georgia, there were no polar vortexes, no mounds of filthy snow, and no coats or boots; there weren’t even any socks.
I’m not trying to rub this lack of arctic chill in anyone’s face. I have never gone away in February before; I’ve seen friends go to warmers places over the years, but I’ve never myself escaped. For one whole week, I did not do any work — actually, I did spend a few hours working on curriculum one day, but I’m not counting that. The papers I brought to grade came back home with me untouched. Instead, there were lazy breakfasts, multiple walks on the beach, bike rides, and Dairy Queen. I collected shells, shot a gun for the first time (at clay targets), and read.
I felt renewed upon my return. Sure, my cough is still lingering, but it doesn’t seem so bad. Can I tackle the next five weeks of test prep with my students? I think I can. Will those papers ever get graded? Sure. Will I take another February vacation in the future? Definitely.