Keep Your Summer Oasis From Turning into a Mirage

Nearly everyone in higher education — whether faculty or staff — loves the summer.  The buzz of campus quiets a little and everyone has the chance to catch up on leftover work from the academic year.  Summer also provides an opportunity to get away and rejuvenate before the dog days of August arrive.  The summer presents a critical time for rest and productivity.  However, it is important to take some time now to plan for summer break to maximize your opportunity.

Photo credit: Flickr Loren Sztajer

The summer presents a critical time for rest and productivity.  However, it is important to take some time now to plan for summer break to maximize the opportunity.

I have not always used my summers effectively. My summers didn’t prepare me for long-term success or help me recover before the start of a new academic year.  Early in my career, I worked all summer long with a list of projects a mile long.  I would spin my wheels and get frustrated at the lack of progress.  My summer plans would include finishing multiple articles, sending off proposals for new projects, and preparing for all my fall classes.  Not only would I burn out, but my fall semester would start off on the wrong foot.

One of the joys of higher education is the routine of the academic calendar.  I’m not sure how I’d organize my life otherwise.  The summer always looms as an oasis of opportunity.  What I have learned is that taking a little time in May to plan for summer break can keep the summer from becoming a mirage. 

Taking Graduation for Granted

As the calendar now reads May, all of us in higher education begin that ritual march that closes down the end of the academic year.  There are finals to be graded.  Residence halls to be emptied and prepared for the wave of summer campers to arrive.  The culmination of these activities is commencement when we welcome our graduates and their families to campus.

Photo credit: U.S. Army

Is there a better tradition than the Hat Toss at West Point?  I have always loved the pomp and ceremony of commencement.  But I once took graduation for granted.  I’ve vowed to never do so again.

Welcome and join the conversation!

Welcome to my blog! I hope you will find the content here interesting and thought provoking. I also want to hear from you! One of the great aspects of technology is the ability for us all to engage with one another around our mutual interests in higher education.

I commit to posting twice a week on Mondays and Thursday. These posts will follow two strands. First, I will address current issues, trends and debates within higher education. Second, my posts will discuss productivity tips and ideas that will help you grapple with all of the competing demands on faculty and staff.

Photo credit: Flickr Ramesh NG

Flickr Ramesh NG

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