Monday, August 29, 2011

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Do you remember this classic first assignment of the school year?  I certainly do.  And I also remember not having anything remotely "cool" to put on my list (well, I actually did do lots of fun things, but I didn't appreciate it until I was an adult).  While my classmates would read aloud their essays about going to Disney World, road trips to the Grand Canyon, and other classic adventures, I would slowly sink lower and lower into my chair as I dreaded my turn.  My last name started with "T", and since teachers always employed the tried and true method of alphabetical order, I never had to worry about being first.  In fact, I am sure that some of my tendency towards procrastination comes from having a last name that begins with a letter towards the end of the alphabet.  I have very vivid memories of knowing that I wouldn't have to "go" on the first, or sometimes even the second day of presentations.  So I got a whole extra day or two to work on my projects.  Sorry, Adams and Andersons.  That was how I rolled.

As of today, I am a Teacher once again.  What this means:
  • I am guaranteed to be exhausted at approximately 3:30 on every weekday in September (and possibly October)
  • I may not have time to post to my blog as much
  • My fifteen-day supply of educator-appropriate cardigans will be put to good use:
Seriously.  I've got 15 cardigans + 2 wintry sweater-cardigans.

For the sake of brevity, and to keep it simple (which is kind of the same thing), I've devolved what would normally be a well composed, grammatically correct, turn-in-able essay into a simple outline of what occurred during my summer break.  Read and enjoy (if you wish):

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

By: Elizabeth

Things I Accomplished:

  • Witnessed the final launch of the space shuttle program
  • Read the Hunger Games trilogy
  • Confirmed that everything does indeed taste better with butter
  • Spent lots of time developing my blog (though I'm still not satisfied - does that ever happen?)
  • Spent quality time with my cats
  • Researched the life of Julia Child
  • Sewed two new aprons for my classroom
  • Found lots of new foodies' blogs to follow
  • Hosted an awesome Back-to-School theme party
  • Bonded with my cute nephews and furthered the bond with the Sous Chef's family
  • Spent some quality time with my mom whilst painting pottery
  • Made my very first batch of cream-filled cupcakes
  • Took detailed notes on every food item featured on "Friends"
  • Learned how to make the perfect chocolate milk martini
  • Organized several classroom items that desperately needed organizing
  • Bought my first item from QVC
  • Was quoted in Clean Eating Magazine
  • Joined FoodBuzz and became a Featured Publisher on their site
  • Stumbled upon food-themed fiction (and yes, the foodie murder mystery, of which there are seemingly THOUSANDS of titles)
  • On the same note, discovered how fun it is to read a food-themed book and then come up with a dish inspired by it
  • Allowed myself to sleep in as much as I wanted to, which turned out to be only about half an hour later than I sleep during the school year - go figure
  • Survived an earthquake and a hurricane, both in the same week
Things I'll Miss:
  • The little routines the cats and I fell into, like our daily petting time while I was on the computer, or playing fetch with a de-cottoned Q-tip right after breakfast
  • Making an (occasional) cocktail at two in the afternoon with no one around to tell me it's inappropriate
  • All the extra time I had to write my blog and read what others wrote on theirs
  • Actually being around to get my packages from the UPS man, so he didn't have to leave a note on my door and delay the delivery of my item
  • The freedom of not being mandated to apply myself in a constructive way
Things I'm Looking Forward To This Year:
  • The routine of having to leave the house every day and apply myself in a constructive way
  • Seeing my students again
  • Being at the same school again for the second year in a row - a first for me!  No more learning everyone's name, getting used to everyone's personality - been there, done that!
  • Doling out enormous quantities of unconditional love to my students
  • Getting a steady paycheck again!
  • Meeting my new niece or nephew
  • Once school starts, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to my favorite time of year: The Holidays
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a tendency to focus on the negative; worry about the things I didn't get to, or the things I didn't do right.  Before I wrote this post, that's exactly what was going through my head: I didn't finish the TurboFire program (due to aching joints), I didn't link up all of my blog posts, I didn't make the FoodBuzz Top 9.  Didn't didn't didn't.

But now that I look back at all the things I did accomplish, it's easy for me to say that I really did get a lot done this summer.  I applied myself in ways I never had before, and I'm proud of what I've created both in the kitchen and out of it.

When you're a teacher, your mental calendar tends to start in September and end in June.  If you're not careful, the entire summer can go by in a blurry instant.  I'm glad I took the time to reflect on some of the great things that happened this summer, and I hope all of you can find a few moments to do the same.

What are some of your accomplishments from this summer?  What are you most proud of?


  1. Wow what a fun summer!

  2. Oh my gosh I got really excited when I read about you getting a niece or nephew. And then I realized what that meant and got even more excited. Yay for being a fabulous aunt! :)

  3. What a GREAT list! ...and it WAS an awesome back-to-school party!

  4. Hi Elizabeth, You've certainly had a lovely summer. I wish I could have seen the last launch, would of loved that. I hope your school year again is great.

    Thank you for your recent post on my blog.