By SUSAN DROMEY HEETER, Joyful Musings
There are moments of joy so pure they should be gift wrapped, bronzed, tweeted, placed in a time capsule. And mercifully, every year for decades, I have this one moment of joy so pure, I pause and not only muse joyfully, I exhale, I feel as though I am an eight year old, I literally jump for happiness so glorious I weep. And that, dear Joyful Musers, is the first day of summer vacation.
I’ve been teaching for a very long time, celebrating years of scholarship so wonderful – or so horrendous – it’s always amazing to reach the end. But, do let me be clear, it is a misnomer, an entire misunderstanding educators get “paid” over the summer. They generally have their paychecks distributed equally over a twelve month period.
We do not have the summer “off”, rather, we may choose to work, we may choose to take courses, engage in professional development, teach summer school. We may choose to simply decompress. And after a few years of in person/remote/masks on/masks off/hi, I have Covid can you send me work to do at home/I have Covid my lessons are on Google Classroom, it’s been a lot. We may simply want some time away from listening to New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Education, Frank Edelblut, demean and destroy public schools. He is to education what Trump is to the electoral college.
I’ll sip another tea and muse joyfully on the summer ahead, on the possibilities of rejuvenating and swimming and walking and working on my 1000 hours outside. I will travel and spend a month in Ipswich – only an hour from Dover but a locale in which I suspect I will delight in clams, swim and surf and celebrate days with no worries of a gunman coming in to murder my students with his AK47, a weapon he can get easier than I can get Sudafed.
It’s been a few years, dear musers, and if you are an educator or if you live with one, do muse joyfully on those that continue to believe in the power of learning, of educating, of bringing young minds to question, to believe, to learn, to prepare. Enjoy your summer, I muse joyfully you will.
Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.