Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Go on Vacation Every Day

By Tamara Girardi

The theme of summer vacation is incredibly attractive to me, mostly because I’m being held prisoner by books that could hold open the heaviest of doors.
I won’t lie. The Composition and TESOL (Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages) PhD program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is a great program. I’ve enjoyed all of my classes, and the professors are well-read, provoke great discussion, and support students in a big way. At least, that has been my experience.

Yet as I write this, I hear someone listening to music outside the window. That gifted person might be lying on the lawn, soaking up the sun, and dare I say it – drinking a cool, alcoholic beverage. (I can’t say margarita. My heart can't handle that pain!). I’m in front of my computer, aforementioned door-stopping books beside me, and when I finish writing this, I’m off to read Aristotle. Since I’m the kind of girl who likes to look on the bright side, though, I want to see this as sort of a vacation.

What is a vacation? It’s an experience where you vacate your life temporarily to experience something new, right? In honoring that definition, I’m on vacation! I’ve vacated my life of a stay-at-home mother of one adorable black Labrador, writer and teacher by day, house-wife by evening.

Yes. That’s the only way to look at it. I’m on vacation.

Destination: Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Activities: Reading, writing, reading, writing, reading, writing, theorizing, discussing, eating, reading, writing. Sleep? Occasionally.

Cost: Well, we won’t get into that.

So, what’s the point, long-winded-PhD-student? I challenge you all to see vacation as more than the opportunity to dig your feet into hot sand, swim in salty water, hike steep trails, and so on. I have to stop, or my theory on a PhD program as a vacation will go up in smoke.

And the belief that I’m on vacation right now is way too powerful to let that happen.

So, are you on vacation?

8 comments:

PatRemick said...

I like this theory, but I won't go into how I've temporarily vacated my life because it isn't much fun. And I'm tempted to take a "vacation" from my WIP ... but that would NOT be a good thing.
Nonetheless, I am trying to find some "summer" by doing at least one "summery" thing each week. Today it's meeting a friend for lunch at the "decks" by the river. Maybe I'l even wear sandals to work!

Joyce said...

I could buy into this theory. I could pretend I'm staying in someone's vacation home. Nice fantasy!

And Pat, no vacation from the WIP! You can join my GTDTFC (Get The Damn Thing Finished Club). I just started it now. I'm off to GTDTF. Right now. As soon as I check a few more blogs, Twitter, the SinC list...

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I am so far from any type of vacation, it's depressing. Maybe when college starts up in the fall and the house empties out...

Jennie Bentley said...

I was on vacation last week. Sun, sand, palm trees, all that jazz. This week I'm in front of the computer trying to finish DIY-5. Roughly 4K to go at the moment, before I start cutting back. Real vacation is over for this summer.
Take Aristotle outside, Tamara. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a margarita along with your philosophy.

Gina said...

On vacation . . .
Now that I'm semi-retired and have to go to the office only two days a week, I feel like I'm on vacation a lot of the time. [Yes, I spend a large portion of my off time writing but, since I'm so unsuccessful at it, we can call it a hobby rather than real work. I guess that makes it a vacation.]

Laurissa said...

What you said, Gina. The only difference between our "vacation status," is that I'm wholly retired.

Annette said...

Due to financial restraints, there is no such thing as a vacation in the Dashofy family this year. Oh, we go camping, but I spend the day writing, and I still have to cook and wash dishes. For me, a REAL vacation does not include those two things.

I guess I'll have to savor the memories of my spring trip to the Pennwriters Conference and that luxury suite with the incredible shower. What do you think, Joyce?

Joyce said...

That shower will soon be mine, bwa-ha-ha-ha!