Friday, June 7, 2013

Summertime Blues

I think Eddie Cochran said it right in his song, "Summertime Blues."
                   "Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do,
                    But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues."

As a teacher, I really, really look forward to summer vacation. I love the freedom, the family reunions, the lounging around in the sun, reading books and not having to follow a schedule. For those very same reasons I dread summer. I love a schedule, I remember why I only see some family members once a year, I'm bored at home away from people and the bustle of a job, and I NEED a schedule!

When I brought up the "summer schedule" idea to my son, J, he stubbornly put his foot down. (Wonder where he got that from?) He told me having a schedule this summer would smother him. I replied that NOT having a schedule this summer was going to kill me! It was a battle of wills in the 4 Runner on the way home from school.

Who won?

Both of us.

I gave in (a little) and told him that just a morning schedule would help me get things done so that we could have fun the afternoons. The schedule would be as follows---from 8:30-10:30 am the boys would be engaged in practicing their piano, working on merit badges for Boy Scouts, getting their chores done, and writing.

J was horrified by the writing option. He has decided at the mature age of 13 that he DETESTS writing and English classes in general. His handwriting is atrocious. He doesn't care. He labors to write essays. They are a form of medieval torture. He can't believe that I love to read and write stories and essays, much less teach those things. To him people like me are crazy. He is a math, science, and music whiz.

What he doesn't know is that while he excels in math, science, and music, he's actually a very good reader and writer. But writing takes time and energy. It's a craft that must be practiced and practiced. It's his patience that he can't stand right now. His interests are not in writing anything. Taking the time to use his giant, man-like hands to hold a slender pencil and put words to paper is a frustration. As an English teacher, I am horrified at the thought of one of my boys NOT enjoying writing! It's like a band teacher having children who hate music! Thus the idea of writing time was born in the Terry home. My hope is that with a lot of practice, he will at least grow more comfortable with it.

I gave the boys several choices: write a poem, song, short story or essay on a subject of your choice each day. (I never said how long they had to be. Let's see how many days it takes them to ask.) We will go to the library for books or use our computers at home to research ideas. The boys can hand write or type their work. (I hoped this would encourage J a little.) If they choose not to write, they must work on a merit badge. Little do they know, most merit badges take a fair amount of writing. J thought the merit badge idea was awesome. Ha ha! 

In the meantime, I have my schedule, sort of, and the boys have some freedom, sort of. I'm just hoping to bypass my summertime blues quickly. It usually takes me a couple of days to relax. Then after my daily scheduled time of running errands and writing, I'll find a hammock, a good book, and try to enjoy my summer!

Corrina L. Terry Copyright 2013
Photo credit:
Song quote: Eddie Cochran & Jerry Capehart, "Summertime Blues," 1958.


  1. Good luck! My oldest loves to do research. He thinks up all kinds of adventures. But writing them down is too tedious. And they all love music, but won't practice. I think we could all agree on a hammock and a good book, though!