July 13 – Open house, cooking, and course selection

Today was another super productive day for me – here are a few of the things I got done:

  1. J and I went to an open house in a neighborhood that we don’t know all that well, but that would be more convenient for both of our commutes. The house was amazing – very big for the price, recently remodeled, with lots of light and open space. But unfortunately, the neighborhood isn’t quite what we’re looking for right now.
  2. I made dinner by modifying this recipe for Grilled Sweet Potato Salad. I added chickpeas to make it a little heartier, substituted dried thyme for fresh, and added a little extra feta and vinaigrette to balance out the chickpeas. And since we don’t have a grill, I cubed the sweet potatoes, tossed them with vinaigrette, and roasted them at 400° for about 25 minutes, stirring them halfway through. We haven’t eaten it quite yet, but the couple of sweet potato cubes I sampled were delicious.
  3. I looked through the University of Phoenix’s summer course catalog for teachers. I’m thinking about taking Reading Diagnosis and Remediation, which I think would be really helpful for my efforts to reach some of the struggling readers at my school. We’ll see – I’m still mulling it over, and I may not take anything at all, but I’m reaching the part of my summer where I feel like I should probably be doing more with my time than just sitting on my couch with my computer.

July 1 – 1: Not getting sunburned (Also, the beach!)

I am one of those people who gets sunburned if I even think about going out in the sun. When I was growing up, it was just kind of a given – if our family was going to spend a day outside (or even a couple of hours), I was going to wind up at least a little bit sunburned. No matter how much sunscreen I put on, I always either missed a spot, or didn’t reapply soon enough, or forgot about the part in my hair, or something.

So I take it as a personal triumph any time I do an outdoor activity – like going to the beach – and manage to come out without a sunburn. Which I totally did this weekend. As an adult, I’m finally learning how to manage my skin in the sun. I put sunscreen on vigilantly, before going to the beach/park/field/wherever. I wear a shirt with sleeves that cover my shoulders. I sit/walk/whatever in the shade as much as possible between 10 am and 2 pm. And the last two times I’ve gone to the beach, I’ve managed to come through unscathed.

I also enjoyed my time at the beach – I did some reading, got to know some of J’s friends better, dozed a little bit, and dipped my toes in the water before deciding it was a bit too cold for me to want to go all the way in. But the lack of sunburn was pretty exciting.

June 27 – Working, returning, and shopping

Things I’ve accomplished today:

  1. I went in to school for the last day until August! Woo!
  2. I finally returned a dress I bought from a Loft Outlet months ago.
  3. I bought two pairs of new shoes. They are both Crocs. I have had some anti-Croc sentiments in the past, but these shoes are seriously comfortable. And in black, they don’t look that much like Crocs – at least at a glance. They look like real, normal shoes, and they will be great for walking the dog this summer.

June 21 – 1: Sleeping in

One of the best things about having summers off is that you get to sleep in. The trade-off, at least for most of us working in secondary schools, is that during the school year, you have to be at work very early. I get to work at about 7:15 most days, which means I get up between 5 and 5:45 most mornings during the school year. Today, though, I slept until about 8:30, which is perfect.

I like the way that sleeping in has shifted for me since becoming a teacher (or possibly just becoming a real adult – I’m unclear, since the two overlapped for me). It used to mean sleeping until noonish, but the problem with that is that if you don’t get up until noon, then by the time you do get up and going, a huge chunk of your day is already gone. I much prefer my current version of sleeping in, because I get to feel like I’m well-rested and to wake up naturally, without an alarm, but I still have most of my day ahead of me.

June 19 – 2: Free time during normal business hours

One of the things I love about the summer is how easy it is to get little chores done that have to happen during normal business hours. Today, I called and made appointments to take the dog to the vet, get my teeth cleaned, and get the oil changed in the car. All of which are hard to do outside of school hours. Normally, these kinds of tasks are easier for teachers, but because my school is about 40 minutes drive from my house, and my service providers are all near my house, it’s hard to get to them before they close.

I even have a hard time calling to make appointments during school.During the school day I’m constantly busy teaching, planning, and helping students. Then, once students leave, I’m wrapped up in trying to get things doen that I didn’t have time for during the day – writing e-mails, planning for the next day, making copies. Calling to make an appointment usually slips my mind until I’m on my way out the door, and then I’m usually rushing to try to beat the worst of the traffic. So it’s really great to have so much unstructured time during the summer to get these kinds of things done.