Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer stock

On NPR this afternoon, while driving home from a day in Maumelle, I heard a piece about summer jobs. I didn't have as many experiences in summer work as some people; other than time spent answering phones, typing, and organizing invoices in my dad's business, and one terrific summer making sample books in my uncle's carpet factory, I spent my summers doing everything but working for a living.

These days my job continues throughout the summer -- like most adults, but unlike most of my fellow faculty members. The professoriate is a nine-months-a-year occupation. In fact, my university offers a scheme whereby one quarter of your salary is withheld during the year and then paid to you during your summer off so you don't have to go without a paycheck.

In four decades, I've never had a summer that proceeded without significant change from the seasons before and after. I've either been a student or a teacher all that time, and that means that summers constituted their own separate reality on the academic calendar. It's like the summer job experience that most people leave behind after their college years became my default; I do one thing for nine months, then something different from three, year after year.

What's your summer job memory? And do you still feel like you have a summer job -- or would you like to?

1 comment:

Eric Grubbs said...

I started working in the summer of 1997. Since then, I have not really had a summer or really a summer vacation, given my college schedule and work schedule. So this upcoming Arkansas vacation will be most welcome.