The Unofficial Things to Do at the Beginning of Summer Vacation Guide (Completely Random)

Let me just say, I am really happy for the summer break. I now know why teachers get the summer off. It’s a sanity check from all the insanity that happens the rest of the year. At the end, I was forgetting students’ names and really having severe cases of absentmindedness or mild amnesia (“Where was I going, why and for what?”) even after stating my course five seconds earlier. My mental gas tank was burning on fumes. I am out now and it is just been great to think beyond creating, tweaking lesson plans and completing an infinite list of school to-dos. I didn’t even know I was thinking this way until that very last day when I let the 30 pound door slam behind me . . . Actually it was Sunday when I realized I did not have to formulate 100 hundred plan B lessons or varying ways to cover diversity or bang my head against the wall to remember what papers to grade, parents to email, paperwork to fill out. In that moment, I felt like I had discovered the correct way to make a light bulb after 2,000 attempts. Top edifying moments of the year (I hope everyone has one this year). Now this is where the list kicks in. There is a lot of summer lists out there, but mine is probably the most unofficial, random list out there. Let’s begin.
1. Watch Edge of Tomorrow. It doesn’t matter how you see it; theater, two dollar theater, DVD, streaming. There was a lot of good movies that came out at the end of May (X-Men, Maleficent, Fault in Our Stars). It was either go broke or CHOOSE like your life really depends on it. I chose this movie mostly because I didn’t know anything about it. I chose well. It’s an action movie with developed characters, a rare quality of an action movie, cool CGI aliens, and very intense fighting scenes. If anything watch it just to get a kick out of Emily Blunt’s character saying “Let’s reset” and finding various ways to “reset” Tom Cruise’s character.
2. Volunteer for a week or two. Somewhere. Anywhere. Try a different strain of volunteering you have never done before. I volunteered my services at an all sport camp for a week. I commanded six and seven year olds, which is a huge leap for me after 6th graders. Six and seven year olds are so cute, but I think I will stick with pre-teens. Independence is sometimes a virtue.
3. Take a writing class or any class to exercise that cranium. I said writing class because that is what I am taking in the hopes it will bring me the juice I need to write a book, but you choose what will fit your set of uniqueness whether that be the chess club or the robot club.
4. Find a new way to exercise. If you live in a state that reaches boiling hot temperatures and has a geographic that is virtually flat and mostly landlocked, it is very hard to stay motivated. Even the thought of stepping foot in an oven like atmosphere, makes you want to crawl back into your bed with the AC going. I decided to try out boxing/kickboxing for the first time with this $20 two week deal I found on Groupon. Who knew punching a bag could be so exhausting? It is so rewarding and I feel like I could have lost some weight if I hadn’t packed in the pizza. Check out Groupon for deals on different fitness memberships or you can try that really awesome at home program called Insanity (wink). Or if it is nice outside, take advantage of the niceness and take advantage of your local area’s outdoor resources (hiking trails, beach, mountains, etc).
5. Read a book from a genre you don’t usually read. I have been cramming my brain with a lot of dystopia/science fiction and physiological suspense lately. It’s time I branch out though. Right now I am eyeing  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. My inspiration is the memoir writing class I am taking. I figured if I am going to write it, I need to read it. So far that is the only book on the list. So far I have completed reading the first chapter. Promising, but obviously this is going to be a challenge, especially since I had the Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison lined up next.
6. Surprise a friend or family member by doing something unexpectedly nice for them. This weekend is Father’s Day which I basically saw as find a card to sign and give to my dad. Five minute solution. Then I thought “Why not do better? I’ll fix him some little treats using Pininterest.” My dad likes all things grain filled, so why not treat him to some new dishes, new flavors? Think of someone you can do the unexpected kindness for. The pleasant unexpected is always the best.
I can keep hashing this list out, but six is a good number. If you’re bored or have time to spare between vacations to exotic locations, weddings, work, meetings, friend hangouts, and TV binges, I say, Be bold, Be Brave, and Try Something New. That’s the motto of this unofficial list. I had planned to gear this list specifically, but this list is for anyone—old, young, smart, crazy . . . whatever you claimed to be, it is covered (mostly).

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