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?