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Spring break, in a sense, begins today. Technically, I’m not enjoying any extra time off yet; we get Friday nights and the whole weekend off, just like every other school, and only on Monday do we begin enjoying time in which we would otherwise be working. Unofficially, however, people pad out the break with normal weekends. Also unofficially, we enjoy a real bonus to free time right now: I don’t have to spend any time this weekend preparing lesson plans, grading papers, contacting parents—all the work that happens when teachers aren’t officially working, but in reality are.


Eileene keeps asking what I plan to do. Do? I’m going to relax. To her mind, vacation must be elaborately staged. Taking advantage of that free time to do something fun makes sense, up to a point—we’re going to take a day trip to Boston. But filling vacation time can easily be taken too far. Travel, and travel planning, is stressful. Keeping a schedule is what I do for work. You’ve heard people complain of returning from vacation not feeling refreshed, perhaps even more stressed out than when they departed? It’s because they’ve lost the art of quiet. So has Eileene, if she ever had it in the first place.

We have a seder to attend and a road trip to Boston. I’ve got job interviews, immeasurably more stressful (for me, at least) than merely teaching a class. That’s plenty. I’m going to spend a large block of free time not doing much of anything. Monday is reserved strictly for playing video games and otherwise goofing off, until we must attend the seder. Later in the week, with the cooperation of the weather, I’m just going to sit in the sun. Maybe I’ll read a bit, but a book is strictly optional
for solar therapy. I will rehearse my material for interviews, but I will also take large blocks of time on either side of the interview not thinking about jobs, because I can. I also won’t think about extended polynomials. Maybe I’ll try to pack in not thinking about factorial arithmetic at the same time, because I can multitask like that. It’s spring break. And I intend to take it as a holiday, not a vacation.

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