Well, summer's over. Your calendar (and mine) may say otherwise, but in the world of academia, the first day of the fall semester dictates the seasons more than any equinox could ever think of doing.
And I have to say it's been a great one! A lot of the things that have gone on have been chronicled in these pages over the past few months, and there have been plenty of other things that were too mundane to mention but were still really fun.
Because of the seasonal nature of my business, I never make a whole bunch of money over the summer, so that puts a cramp in most big travel plans; but, considering the hours I put in during the year, it's great just to have some time to recharge the batteries. I certainly did lots of that this summer--plenty of naps, plenty of sleeping late. I know you can't "stock up" on sleep or anything, but at least I feel quite rested and energized as the 12-hour workdays are about to come a-knocking.
So besides the obvious highlights (Vermont, jazz camp and my whirlwind trip to D.C.), and the things that come with the territory (the joy of the learning process as my students make tons of improvement during the long break from school) the best times have just been hanging with my friends. That's one thing I've noticed recently--there's just something about this particular group of friends; all I can say is that I'm happier than I've been in a long time. And I'm so aware that this is a bonus: God never guarantees that we'll be happy down here, so I consider this to be the icing on what's already a very good cake.
Sure, I'm still looking for "Ms. Right" to co-rule with me over this not-so-castle (or maybe go in with me on a bigger one), but as a cynical-but-tenacious friend who's wise beyond his years told me recently, it's hard to be happy in a relationship until you're happy with yourself, and I do believe I'm there. Not to say that supermodels are gonna come knocking at the door now, but when the right situation arrives, I'll be more ready than I've ever been (and I can afford a date again--yay!).
So I bid a fond farewell to the summer of '03. It'll live on in my memory, and the pages of this blog. A new chapter starts in the morning...