Monday, January 5, 2015


Photo by me
Teaching is a taxing profession. Yes, I know I'm preaching to the choir - we all know that. Despite knowing that, there were some times I really struggled last semester. Though the end of first semester went much better, I was still pretty drained come the third week of December.

I was really lucky over break: I got to spend the last couple weeks with friends and family. Somewhat unintentionally, I used this time to really recharge. Yeah, I don't have a ton of responsibilities in life. But I was able to take advantage of doing a few easy things and wipe the slate clean in my brain and therefore indirectly get ready for second semester.

  • I sent zero emails over break that I didn't need to. Occasionally, I had to respond to an email, like helping an advisee who missed all of final exams set up a schedule to take her exams. But I'd look at email about once a day. I clicked Archive a lot. It felt good. 
  • I stayed off Twitter. I responded to tweets that tagged me. Occasionally, when I had a moment, I poked around on Twitter. But I essentially ignored it. Which felt good. The most time I spent on Twitter was checking the setlists for Phish's New Year's run. 
  • I did no lesson planning. Well, I did no lesson planning until I was at the airport on Sunday afternoon and decided I should probably try to throw together some sort of a unit plan for imperialism (the next unit we're covering).
  • I spent time doing nothing. Just reading. Not looking at my phone. (Though I used my phone to take a lot of pictures.) Not watching a football game. Just sitting on a beach and reading. I don't do that enough.
As I floated 35,000 over the Pacific Ocean yesterday, I realized I'm fully ready to go back to school. Yeah, I've got a teacher workday today to get ready. But I'm excited to see my kids Tuesday. The content I cover in the second semester of freshmen year is fun.

It's going to be a great semester.

Sunrise on Haleakala on Maui. A good use of a phone on vacation!