the year

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve measured the year in terms of the academic year. Fall begins when school does (and I also have a knee-jerk urge to go shop for clothes, paper, pencils and binders). Winter starts just before Christmas. Spring starts in January. Summer starts in May. Now sometimes the months shift slightly, but I am an academic and am still on this particular schedule. I realize that for others, winter lasts quite a bit longer, and in all actually, Montana winters last 9 months. Maybe I cling to the academic calendar so as to efface the knowledge that winter is much longer than I’d like it to be.

So it’s the middle of July and I’m beginning already to feel like summer is ending, with all the writing time. And I’m already beginning to feel the urge to go school shopping (now that I have kids, that urge is only reinforced). But adding into the weirdness of my own personal calendar, are deadlines. These have no season, though I have to consider when they fall around my teaching schedule. So I don’t end up smothered under dozens of papers and class prep while trying to be creative and, oh, awake.

So is it just me? Do you subscribe to any weird calendar urges? Do you have an urge to go shopping as September approaches?

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  1. 1. domynoe

    Actually, despite being on year round in California for so long, I’ve always been a September to June person for the school year.

    So imagine how confusing it got for me here in Georgia where it’s August to May?

    I think the only thing I do odd at all is my weekly schedule: I use my day planner to determine that and it starts on Monday. Otherwise, January is still winter, and summer is defined by hurricane season. lol

  2. 2. Mike Brotherton

    As a fellow academic, I’m feeling the same things. How come the summer always flies by?!

  3. 3. Karen Wester Newton

    When I came out of college, I taught in the public school system for two years. When I decided to quit teaching and got a “regular job,” the day after Thanksgiving was a shock. But what I really missed most from teaching was the phone call when it snowed– “No school today!”

    Then for years I worried about the school calendar because of my kids. I have one left in college now, and no longer have to worry whether the public school are open or not. This has taken some getting used to! It’s almost an instinct, like birds migrating.

  4. 4. Steve Buchheit

    I always get the urge to buy composition books and new pens and paper around this time of year. Is there anything more exciting than a fresh new composition book? So full of wonder, they are. So full of possibility it seems like sacrilege to write the first sentence. Then the spell breaks, and it’s into the throws of composition in neat, orderly rows. I’m full of squee just thinking about it.

Author Information

Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis has written the fantasy novel trilogy that includes Path of Fate, Path of Honor and Path of Blood. Path of Fate was nominated for the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Recently released was The Turning Tide, third in her Crosspointe Chronicles series (look also for The Cipher and The Black Ship). In October 2009, look for Bitter Night, a contemporary fantasy. Diana teaches in the English Department at the University of Montana Western, and is an avid lover of all things chocolate. Visit site.

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