From the summer before high school until the summer in-between my first and second years of grad school, I was in—well—school.  Summer school.  I did it in high school so that I could quickly plow through classes I hated (gym—uuugh).  And in college, I did it so that I could get through my undergraduate work in four years and grad school in two years…or bust.  (Long story short, it involved my funds for tuition.  It was imperative to get out in that time period.)  

I’d been at summer school so long that I didn’t think anything of it the summer after my junior year in college, when I went whole hog and took ten hours of coursework. That’s one class shy of a full load during a regular semester.  One lit class, one ed class, bio, and—well—gym.  Again.  Aerobics, actually—yep, it was the ‘90s.  

And while that sounds like a lot of work—and it was—I also remember having some fantastic and very “summery” times throughout all those years, even though I was also in school.  I remember starting up a conversation with a fellow classmate, only to have that conversation turn into my first long-term relationship.  I remember many quiet evenings on the front porch of a house a friend of mine rented near the campus.  Going to hear a new band play at a club downtown and meeting the bassist, who is still a friend to this day.  

The workaholic who has no time for a personal life is, I think, an unfair cliché.  I love a challenge.  I always say there’s actually something kind of thrilling about getting through an inordinate amount of work in a short period of time.  I can’t stand to be unproductive…I think I’m actually at my best with a full plate, because I’m more satisfied.  I’m happier with myself.  So—yes, I work a lot.  But I’m pretty darn good at making sure I connect with the people who are important in my life, too.  I sometimes think that this balance is actually the greatest lesson I ever learned in all those years of summer school…

This summer, I’m juggling my own writing, doing some early promo work for a forthcoming release, helping my brother with his own antiques business, making time for Skype with long-distance friends, and still carving out time to sit outside and watch a sunset or two…


  1. I can definitely relate to this post. Even though I'm working a lot this summer, it's a little easier for me to find time to do things that I like to do than it is during the school year. So I'm making time to go to summer festivals and read books without any footnotes in them. It feels really good.

  2. Books without footnotes! (Also, reading a book without a pen in hand to take notes is a COMPLETELY different experience...)


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