As I write this, I have two summer classes under my belt and a third starting soon. Our summer schedule is a bit intense, but I’ve been able to sneak in a bit of vacation (even if that means simply escaping to Bridgeport for the day to explore). I always feel a little blue in the summertime. Most of my family lives in Ohio, and I often wish I was near them when holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July roll around. I love food straight off my Dad’s grill, backyard games (Bocce Ball, anyone?), and hanging out near the lake. These are things you can’t really replicate without family nearby. Luckily, I’ve had two very lovely visits with family this summer.
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The first was a family vacation with my husband’s family in Nags Head, North Carolina. This was in the midst of my first summer class, Education of the Exceptional Child. Although I brought my homework with me, I have to be honest and say that I ended up just enjoying time with my incredibly lovely in-laws. I even made some Minnesota-style Hot-Dish that was very well received. I had to leave the trip early to get back to class, but as I left, I felt a strong sense of school/life balance that was much needed.[flickr id=”7490298104″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
The second was a brief visit from my family to Chicago. They came the weekend my first class had ended and just before my second class began. I was excited to see them without any homework haunting my backpack. We did some traditional downtown sightseeing, but of course I took pains to point out 33 E. Congress (the building that houses the education department). My husband, father, and I all participated in the 2012 Proud to Run 5k along Lake Michigan. As my husband and I power-walked behind my lightening fast father, we were cheered on by volunteers on the side lines. I felt excited to walk for something that means a lot to me (equality) and then couldn’t help imagining myself as an open and supportive teacher in my future classroom.[flickr id=”7490298256″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
Missing family in the summer is never fun, but to top it off, I’ve recently had some very hard goodbyes. A few of my closest friends have wished Chicago farewell to move onto bigger and better things. I’m proud and excited for all of them, but I’m sad to not have them around to enjoy this beautiful weather. Thankfully, I’ve got a lively cohort to explore the city with this summer. And now I can imagine all the new lovely places where I know people that I can visit when I have my future summers off from teaching.[flickr id=”7490298470″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]