The major part of my vacation ends tomorrow morning, way too early. I tried to force myself to get up at eight today, just so the 6:00 alarm in the morning won't be too much of a shock to the system, but that didn't work at all. I finally ended up rolling out of bed around 10:45. Now the big trick will be forcing myself to go to bed before midnight tonight.
I guess it could be said that this break was somewhat productive; I got a bit done in the "office stuff" area that always seems to pile up when I don't have any desk time during the teaching day. I watched a bunch of movies and TV episodes on DVD (as well as more than a little football), and I actually got a bit of cleaning done around the house (it seems I work best in binges like that). And if the true purpose of down time like this is to recharge the proverbial batteries for the semester ahead, these few weeks have definitely been a success.
As it is, the spring semester always seems a little easier than the fall semester. Maybe it's because the bulk of the Dreaded Teaching Schedule is already put together and only necessitates a few tweaks to be ready for spring. Maybe it's because there are more holidays: TMEA in February, followed by spring break a month later, a long weekend at Easter time (yes, it's my blog, so I can call it that), and so on. At any rate, I rarely feel as worn out after the spring semester as I did a few weeks ago at fall's end.
At least tomorrow will not be full-strength; in fact, the first two weeks will be lighter than usual, since the college doesn't start until the 18th. There's usually at least a week's lag time every semester, and for that I'm truly thankful, for it means the beginning of the semester only hits me like a small lead balloon.
Of course, this means that most computer access is out during the school day. I envision a time when I'll be carrying a laptop around, having all my attendance/payment data, all my Aebersolds and solo-literature recordings (on mp3's, of course) and maybe even some sheet-music pdf's all in one neat little place...but that's not anytime soon. (In the ultimate fantasy version of this, the practice rooms would have wi-fi and I could surf and blog whenever a student was absent.) I'll still try to post at least every few days, assuming no other pressing business hits me when I get home.
Jumpin' for java joy (home version): Speaking of "the grind," I'm happy to report that I've successfully been making coffee here at home instead of going to On the Run for it every morning. I've had a coffeemaker for a while, but it's never really been used, thanks to a combination of not always having time and mock-trepidation about burning the house down (my lack of culinary skills is somewhat legendary). I haven't quite gotten it to taste the exact same way as what I'm used to, but there's still some experimentation between brands of coffee, exact amounts, etc. We'll see how long this lasts when school starts (i.e. how late I wake up and how much the morning ritual has to be time-compressed), but at least it's now a viable option on weekends, holidays, etc.
Blowing out the belated candles: Happy birthday to my cousin Matt in Indiana (yesterday) and my old college buddy Ben (two days ago), who's now a successful pianist and educator in Boston.