I took the month of July off from school things. I've been doing no concrete work, and whenever I've thought about my classes, I've tried to think about something else. The idea behind that is this: For many summers in the past, I've woken up most days, all summer long, thinking, "Okay, I'm going to do school work today." And then I don't, and I'm disappointed with myself. Well, this year, for a variety of reasons, I did school work through the entirety of June. When July came, I told myself that I could use some down time.
So I guess it's not really taking time off, so much as it is recognizing reality: I'm not doing any school work. It's been great for me, anyway. I've done a lot of things I've been trying to do for a long time. I grew basil and made pesto. I painted something without adult supervision. I used a binder clip to hook a battery to an LED and make a sort of flashlight out of PVC pipe fittings. I've been exercising, and I've gone to the dojo once a week for two months. I finished taking Stanford's iTunes U course on computer program design principles, and have started re-taking the iPod/iPad programming course, now that I know a little something about writing programs. (It's still well below what the professor on the videos expects from his real students, but he'll never know.)
But August starts on Wednesday, and I'm going to be kicking it in to gear. I've still been learning about how to learn and how to teach, I've just been avoiding thinking about practical applications. As a result, I have a back log of really exciting possibilities that I want to get to work on; I think I'm going to come out of my corner swinging with both fists. Stay tuned for a goal list and some plans of action. In the meantime, here's something that my friend Jamie sent me to chew on:
What are you most looking forward to doing when you get back to school? What changes do you hope to see, and what changes do you hope to make? What do you hope hasn't changed at all?