I was walking from lunch in Squires to my office in Shanks Hall today when I chanced to overhear two individuals carefully planning their spring break.
They were feverishly debating about which beach to visit in Florida. One seemed especially concerned about overcrowding in Daytona, so they began exhaustively considering other vacation destinations.
What a horrifying quandary, I thought to myself, as I happened to be similarly engaged in my own internal debate. I was deliberating whether it would be less problematic to pay my rent or electrical bill late, given that my limited fiscal resources only allowed me to cover one or the other.
Overhearing that conversation, however, really helped me put my situation in perspective. At least I don’t have to figure out which dreadfully overcrowded Florida beaches to avoid.
But that’s not to say my spring break doesn’t likewise involve a great deal of painstaking organization and forethought. I generally begin my critical planning processes about a week or so before my vacation officially begins. So I already have a very solid plan.
I should note that I write “officially” because many seem to be under the perfidious impression that vacation begins at some hazily defined date around the Wednesday or Thursday prior to break. As it turns out — much to my chagrin — I am in fact required to teach a class the Friday before break starts. And students, I think, are generally expected to attend such things.
At any rate, the week before break actually begins, I consider all of the important projects, assignments and grading that I need to finish using a fairly straightforward methodology. I then begin a highly sophisticated procedure I refer to as “putting it all off.”
Next, I go downtown and revel in all the free evenings I have thanks to my assured future productivity. This part of the process generally involves a fair amount of cocktails from Hokie House.
After all, during spring break, I’ll have a whole 11 days devoid of classes to take and teach, right? No meetings, no lectures, no mandatory workshops — just 11 glorious days during which I will undoubtedly be productive. So why worry about all that stuff now? I can just push it into some dusty corner of my mind and leave a little Post-it note that reads “Spring Break to-do list” on my desk.
Once break finally starts, the next step in my well-indexed procedure is to take said to-do list and immediately begin to ignore it entirely. Because, I mean, it’s spring break, right? I’m on vacation.
As I mentioned, beach destinations seem more or less out of the question, but I can afford a fifth of cheap rum and a few cans of pineapple juice. If I drink them while listening to a recording of ocean waves — while sitting in front of my fan and wearing my favorite floral-printed Hawaiian shirt, maybe with a bit of zinc oxide on my nose — it’s more or less the same thing. You’d be surprised.
In addition, my exciting scheduled activities for the week include sleeping late, going running, playing Halo or conceivably Skyrim, and frequenting cheap bars if I am feeling sufficiently spirited. Or — I should perhaps more accurately say — if I find myself lacking in the spirits department. Is that fifth of rum gone already?
But suddenly, break ends.
Now, the final step in my patent-pending plan: a mad dash to complete everything I had set aside for spring break on the Sunday before classes resume. Perhaps the most important step, this stress ensures that my heart grows damaged in correct proportion to my rum-and-pineapple-juice-soaked liver. I’ve been told it’s important to exercise every part of your body evenly.
So, there you have it. If you, like me, cannot for one reason or another venture to some exotic spring break locale, feel free to borrow whatever elements of my plan you find serviceable. Just be sure to cite your source.
You can send my royalty checks to the CT.