Most educators, and/or their significant others, will agree: teachers have split personalities: School Year Self and Summer Self. It is a topic much discussed at our kitchen table, most often during the rainy months of February and March, when the Summer Self seems to be an inaccessible entity and School Year Self has become a gnarly hunch-backed beast with an insatiable hunger for freedom and starchy foods.
I will forgive, then, when my sweetheart declares his eager anticipation of my “return to normal” this summer. How can I take offense when I know he merely speaks the truth?
The METAMORPHOSIS into Summer Self is a three-stage process:
Stage One: Larva (Caterpillar)
This stage actually occurs during the last few weeks of the school year. Teachers begin to prepare themselves, mentally and physically, for the transition into Summer Self. It is actually an exhausting time and large quantities of wine are usually consumed to assist in the process. The educator larva must expend a great deal of energy as she finalizes semester grades, attends countless committee and department meetings, fends off groveling students, and de-clutters the 30x30 cavern of chaos she calls her classroom.
Stage Two: Pupa (Chrysalis)
This stage can last from one to two weeks at the beginning of the vacation and is also known as “the resting period.” The teacher can most often be found in a cocoon of squishy pillows and other appropriately soothing bedding, wearing only the comfiest of lounge wear, for undisclosed amounts of time. She sleeps, and sleeps, and sleeps. The restorative slumber of the chrysalis stage is essential for effective transition into the next, and final, stage.
Stage Three: Adult (Butterfly)
Sometime near the third week of summer vacation, the Summer Self will fully emerge. Unlike the butterfly, there is a plethora of growth during this stage; however, the end result is much the same: a beautiful flying adult. The full-fledged Summer Self will begin to rediscover former hobbies and areas of interest, as well as journeying forth to seek new ones. For the next several weeks she will stretch her proverbial wings and remember who she was prior to her mad (but rewarding) voyage into public education.
________________________________________________________________It’s early yet for me. I’m still snugly ensconced in stage two. It never serves to rush the metamorphosis, you know. After twelve years, I am aware that I must give myself over to time and let each stage play out as needed. But I’m looking forward to seeing just where my Summer Self will lead me this season. Will she paint toenails, pottery, or watercolor flowers? Will she wax poetic or just her eyebrows? Will she dance at midsummer’s eve or sing the body electric?
We are, indeed, “winging” it in every sense of the word.Smiles,
- homemade guacamole
- the thrill of grilling
- easy Sunday morning
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