The Last Times Begin


On Monday I woke up and officially began the last week of my summer vacation. More shockingly, I began the final week of my last ever summer vacation! Next time this year, my 39-year teaching career will most likely be over. And if you don’t have work, you don’t have vacation, right?  Weird thought.

Of course, I should add here that I am notoriously bad at making predictions, so when I say that I am beginning the last year of my teaching career, you could be forgiven for a tiny bit of skepticism. I am, after all, the person who spent the better part of 2016 telling everyone “there is no Math” that would get Twump to an election victory. I also wrote in early July this year that I had an expanse of lethargic nothingness ahead of me, but now, in retrospect, the summer was full, and it sped by. I had my last week of my cure in Salzburg, followed by an even better cure week at my aunt and uncle’s in Tyrol, followed by a week of golf lessons (the  muscle aches from which I am still feeling!) followed by a week of relaxing and hiking in Carinthia. Here is a random sampling of impressions from those days:

Other activities during my final summer vacation included a lot of home projects (most of which came down to “putting shit away”). I did a six-hour braiding session with younger daughter and attended a performance or two of the older one. I supervised the building of blacksmith shop in my yard. I befriended a barking rat (my name for Chihuahuas). I ate two family-sized bags of Cheetos and then briefly considered immigrating to Australia when I read that the Dominos there is giving out free pizzas to women named “Karen”. I monitored the DNC and the RNP (“P” stands for “Pukefest”). I read two and half books and made two and half new friends. I requested my absentee ballot. I did lots of laundry and no ironing. My dog and I together lost 8 pounds.


It’s now Friday, which means I am officially into my last summer vacation weekend before work starts up again on Monday. From here on in, it’s going to be a long string of last times: My last preparation week, getting my last work schedule, my last first day of school, going on my last team-building excursion with the kids, making my last attendance/homework lists and year plans for my four English groups, attending my last “Start Weekend” with all the parents, designing my last chores wheel for my class . . . . And that is all in the coming two weeks. Assuming I resist getting talked into extending my stint, by the end of the year, this list of last times is going to be really long.

And then I will be done. For good.

I predict.


4 thoughts on “The Last Times Begin

  1. Well, good luck with that. Your summer sounds wonderful. We are in lock down here with very little open and what’s open is complicated to enjoy. Not complaining! We’ve been healthy through this but I need a do-over. I’m hoping this is my last pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps all of your school activities will be more special for being the “last” time you will do them. At least you have the benefit of knowing these are “lasts.” I did not know the Father’s Day letter I wrote to my dad would be the last letter I’d ever send him. I didn’t know the haircut I got before Christmas would be my last one for a while, etc. Love the sampling of pics from your adventures. Nice job on the braids! I’ve requested my mail-in ballot, too. Even if USPS takes a month to deliver, I should have it in plenty of time. On her days off work, my sister sleeps in late, enjoys a cup of coffee and the newspaper, then texts me to ask if that’s what retirement will be like. Yes, I tell her, it’s exactly like that. Except you don’t ever have to go back to work. It takes some getting used to, but within a week or two, you’ll adjust. Enjoy your final school year, 227. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow! First I am relieved, that this barking rat is not your next own dog, just a friend (this sort of creature is called Fußhupe here). Second: what a blacksmith shop – this is a full-blown house. But, in case it gets out of use some day, as most hobbies tend to do, it will make a fine additional car port . In case, hubby runs out of ideas of what to hammer out in this building: I always appreciate a wellmade spade and hoe 🙂
    But now to the very interesting bit – golf lessons? That came as a surprise. Sounds like mother-in-law has a plan to keep you busy once retired. Which is another idea I find hard to accept. I can’t see you there, yet. And if, the farthest away image that comes to mind, would be you doing your rounds on the golf course regularely. I am able to fathom that you leave your current school. But done working? Don’t think so. I already see loads of translation projects and courses and other projects ahead…
    By chance (more by Lilly, who woke me up a lot during nights, lately), I watched a lot of the DNC and RNC, too… I think, POTUS45 using the WH as a backdrop for his show was an insult. Hope, US citizens will see it the same way, come November….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A Stint should never be extended, as it may become part of your Heart Function that fails the Grade to succeed….


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