Vacation Ripe – (MYoM – Part 34)


My Years of Montessori – Part 34


(Monday evening)


There’s a great phrase in German – “Urlaubsreif”. It means “in desperate need of a vacation” (or ripe for a break).  It’s a feeling that intensifies as the holidays approach, peaking on the evening right before the last day of work before a nice long break.

That’s where I am at the moment. Despite coming home all energized from a fun day at school.

The 2nd graders absolutely loved “Green Eggs and Ham”. I read the book dramatically with lots of gestures and pointing, but using no German at all. From their comments and side discussions I could tell that they understood it – including the point. (Which is more than one can say about a certain senator from . . . let’s say . . . Texas.) From there it was on to the American history lesson with the 7th graders which included a lot of laughter as well. It started with a discussion about just how many States there are today. Ann said 50, Jerry said 51, and Kay said 52.  Each one was absolutely sure they were right and for the same reason: “I googled it!!” Later I heard that the American colonies declared their independence from King George Bush the Third and that the USA purchased Louisiana from some guy named Franz. (The same Franz who later gave us the Statue of Liberty. Generous man!) Still later, when I asked about the two sides of the Civil War, one student guessed that it was between McDonald’s and Burger King. (The German term for civil war is “Bürgerkrieg”.) At this point, I decided to end the lesson for the day. I’d figure out during the coming vacation how to undo the damage.

Once home, I immediately set out to get my prep work for tomorrow done, but then quickly reverted to my usual habits. I procrastinated with dog-walking, podcasts, making dinner, surfing, a load of laundry, blogging, light house cleaning,  and napping,  while continually re-revising my ambitious lesson planning ideas down to just one level above phoning it in.

So tomorrow, I will arrive at school and go into the 4th grade class with a folder-full of Halloween materials that I haven’t really familiarized myself with yet and I will improvise. And then I will monitor independent group work in our Austria project for two hours and I will improvise. Then I will have a parent/teacher conference to talk about a student I have barely noticed, so I will improvise. And then I will have a team meeting, during which I will look at the clock a lot. And then I will come home around 5 pm after a 10 hour day.

And then . . .


(Tuesday evening)

. . . nothing.

7 thoughts on “Vacation Ripe – (MYoM – Part 34)

  1. I used to suffer “Urlaubsreif” frequently. So frequently, in fact, that it would flare up the minute I got back from a vacation and grow steadily worse until the next one. I tried to improvise, but I could not shake it. Eventually, I discovered it was not Urlaubsreif aafter all, but a severe case of Burnout (however you say that in German). As the gamblers say, you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The German term for burnout is “Burnout” and I personally know a few people who are on official (and protected) sick leave and being treated for it. Seems to me to be another word for depression, but one that people are more willing to admit to and get help for – “coaching”, mind you – not “therapy”.
      In my case, it is not burnout – just my mind getting into vacation mode a few days in advance of the actual calendar date.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Are there any Ferien around?
    I love the Bürgerkrieg argument a lot.Actually, one could make it into a childrens story, explaining the civil war. For German native speakers, that is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – Herbstferien is a new thing – a combination of national holidays and “schulautonome (freie) Tage”.
      As for the McDonald’s/Burger King civil war analogy – it won’t work because both sides would have slaves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, same as here, but folks get two full weeks of herbstferien, whereas the summer break is somewhat shorter. They usually use their free free days in May to fill a gap between a bank holiday and weekend.
        With the slaves, you’re right, as per usual…


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