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May 1, 2021Liked by David Thomson

Another timely and resonating post, David. I have been wondering just how to do this for the past week (the first lull in my schedule since that fateful day last March when we left the building and built a workplace at home). I have been asking colleagues and others how to do this and not getting great answers because we have shifted into a higher gear and the clutch is not letting us downshift (sorry for the older driving reference for anyone who has never driven a manual transmission car). To help, I started thinking about the summer in the way I approached a leave.

Take some time off - just enough to decompress a bit from the start, but prior to that I need to do two things (besides grading). One is to not just tie up the courses taught this past year, but to set them up for the next time taught. Organize your materials so that you do not have to organize them later. Do not just write notes on what worked and what did not, or suggestions for what to change. Draft the next syllabus and incorporate the changes. Highlight in yellow where you made the changes so that your Fall self knows what you meant to do at that point.

The second is to make a list of what you want to do (and no judging if the list does not get done). As you note, I want to read. I am making a pile of books to read and using the "leave" approach which is that if I start a book and it does not click, then I put it down and pick up the next one. No judging and with curiosity. Once warm enough, I plan to start my days with breakfast on the back patio and a book. What days cannot be refreshing if they start like that?

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