From where I sit in my quiet office, I can just about get a glimpse of the near edge of Summer. At the moment it's a big blank amorphous hot-air balloon threatening to drift off into the stratosphere, so let's tie it firmly to the solid earth with some meaningful goals.
I'm not going to Louisville to grade AP essays this summer and I have very few solid commitments on the schedule, which is a good things since I need to be available at a moment's notice to rush to Akron to welcome the impending grandbaby into this world or to rush to Florida to ease my mother's journey to the next. Aside from those important tasks, how will I spend my summer?
Fitness goal: walking at least 12 miles per week. I've done more in the past but not since my bad hip starting acting up. Will I ever get back to the 15-20 miles per week I used to walk? Maybe summer's heat will ease the pain.
Research/writing goals: Finish revising last summer's conference paper and submit it to a journal; write the article that takes the next step in the project; make enough progress on the project so that it will look fundable next time I submit a proposal for a summer research grant.
Teaching goals: Revise three old syllabi and create one brand-new one from scratch. Meet with learning community partners to develop meaningful activities aimed at integrative learning.
Professional development goals: Prepare a faculty workshop on the changes to MLA citation format--and change all of my handouts to reflect the new style. (I'm afraid I'll have to look at every handout from every class I teach, starting with the four I'm teaching this fall.)
Personal goals: Plan an overnight canoe trip with my chief oarsman. Visit Fallingwater. Spend a reasonable amount of time gardening without letting the garden take over my whole entire life. Watch birds. Write about it all.
That looks like enough rope to keep the balloon from drifting out of control. Now all I need to do is climb into the basket and begin the ascent.