The One Before Exam Week

The end of the semester is nigh, dear ones. Just try and pull the silly grin off of my face – rainy day or not, I’ve survived another semester and I can practically taste the freedom. Of course, that will come after grading a couple hundred tests over the course of the next three weeks. But the end is in sight, and breathing comes a lot more freely.

I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but this spring felt harder than the fall. My course load was only a tiny bit heavier, but actually the fall had me driving more and teaching more evenings (which is the painful part). I think I started running out of brain space a lot quicker this time around, and ran out of relational energy maybe only a couple of months into the semester. I wouldn’t use the term “burned-out”, but I would use an adjacent term for that, whatever it may be.

In other news, we’re buckling down and planning our trip to England and Scotland. I’ve found the loveliest place to stay in Edinburgh, and during our drive through the Highlands we’ll be staying at a bed and breakfast that doubles as a working cattle farm on Loch Ness. My excitement is off the charts for this one – I can scarcely believe it’s happening! Joe and I have been saving for this trip for years – labeled the funds as “Europe Trip” and tucked away dollars here and there since we were newlyweds. We daydreamed itineraries for a long time – Greece and Italy? Denmark and Norway? France and Italy and Denmark? It wasn’t until our friend Joseph signed on for two years of graduate study at Cambridge University that we considered the United Kingdom, and once I read the Outlander series, I was sold on Scotland. We checked calendars last summer, set a timeline, ramped up savings, purchased airfare last month, and have booked lodgings in the last few weeks.

My test writing time is peppered with maps of London transportation and Scottish landmarks, and I’m already thinking about what to pack. If you see me staring blankly, it’s because I’m trying to figure out which stops to make on the way from the Isle of Skye or which London museums I’ll drag Joe along to. Feel free to nudge me out of my day dream, or provide additional recommendations to fret over.

In the meantime, I’ll be daydreaming about this…






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