May always passes in a flash: one minute we’re on the verge of spring, and the next we’re ripening into summer. I submitted the last batch of spring semester grades two weeks ago, then I faced the annual onslaught of Other Stuff: all the obligations that fall by the wayside during a busy semester, like dentist appointments and vet visits.
This past weekend was the BRAWN Summer Institute, which for me signals the unofficial start of summer. Now that the dust has settled from another busy academic year, it’s time to stop, talk shop, and figure out what I want to do differently next year. Teaching is always a work-in-progress, but when you’re mired in the process of teaching, it’s difficult to find time to reflect and re-assess. The BRAWN Summer Institute always plants some interesting ideas in my head, and now I have a couple of months to cultivate those seeds.
In the meantime, summer is a chance to leave my mind alone, letting my brain lie fallow for a while. These past few weeks, J and I have spent a lot of time walking around our neighborhood, reclaiming sidewalks that were impassable for much of the winter. It’s relief to inhabit our own neighborhood again.