Friday, March 13, 2009

What College Professors Do on Spring Break

“I remember my father saying that early in his teaching career he would ask himself at the beginning of each term, ‘Have I read enough to be a good teacher?’ And he would have to answer, ‘No, not yet.’”
--Kim Stafford, The Muses Among Us

The week of spring break, for the professor, is punctuated with very little of the merriment that their students associate with it. We still enjoy the time away from classes and students and, if we’re lucky, the campus. But it’s still filled with work; the luxury is that you get to pick the time and place to do it. This is more of a treat than it sounds.

I spent several Sbux hours grading midterms...many, many midterms. The freedom to work several straight hours on so single minded a task is not often afforded during the active parts of the semester. Strangely, I enjoyed the freedom I dedicated towards my slavish workload. I still have about 15 lit papers to grade, though.

But I didn’t just work. I visited an art gallery. I went to a bar/club (Don’t ask. Even I’m not sure why I went). I read Kim Stafford’s excellent letter/poem/essay/book on writing and creativity, "The Muses Among Us." I spent a day at the hospital supporting my father while he received a pacemaker. I wrote in my notebook. I accidentally ran over a kitten. I went to dinner w/ friends. I watched Bill Maher’s entertaining and thought provoking (yet rhetorically flawed) documentary "Religulous." I basked in one of my childhood pastimes by watching my favorite 90s action star’s latest movie: "JCVD." I participated in some beer brewing at a friend’s cookout. I ran. I watched a sextuple overtime college basketball game until 12:30 am w/ my dad. I recommended several books. I loaned a book. I went book shopping. I borrowed a book. And I answered emails from students who spent more of their Spring Break in the library than on the beach.

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