All of my exams and papers are graded and final grades have been turned in.
It must be summer vacation!
Let the list-making commence!
Truth be told, I start making summer lists long before the last paper is graded. Last Saturday, I sat down with the various incarnations of notes to myself that I've been tucking into notebooks and calendars and began organizing them.
- My Big 3 for Saturday. (Okay, it was more of a Big 5 because I couldn't decide).
- My list for the weekend/week ahead, to be broken into smaller pieces as the week wears on.
- My summer lists: overall goals, books to read, movies to watch. Projects.
These lists hold a different kind of promise than my standard to-do lists. Biased more toward what I want to do than what I have to to, they're the scaffolding for not only my summer, but the second half of my year. As such, they provide a flexible structure suited to the season, but still leave room for opportunity. A day (or weekend) trip. An evening out. Some fun event that I don't even know about yet.
So, why make lists at all?
Because they hold a combination of promises made, things I've been longing to do and opportunities to explore -- all the things I don't get the chance to do during the year while I am teaching and life is busy and scheduled. As such, they are the counterbalance to the school year, the other side of the coin, the "what I want to be when I grow up" activities.
Just writing them down is both useful and enticing. For me, making lists sets things in motion; once I've written something down, it lingers in the back of my mind, keeping me alert for opportunities that are relevant to the things I want to accomplish.
This week, there will be a lot of loose ends to tie up -- tasks that got put off, awaiting unscheduled days. I'll start chipping away at the housekeeping items on the list, trimming away the short-term to-dos and revealing the items that can't be checked off with less than an hour's work. From there, my lists will diverge, sending me into my semi-annual goals review, otherwise known as an excuse to blow the dust off my leather-bound planner.
But that's another post.
How about you? What do your summer lists look like?