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Monday, August 25, 2014

School schedules still set the rhythm of our lives


     Today another school year starts and the pace of life resumes normal activity levels after a summer slow down. I remember how complicated our lives were when the school calendar ruled our lives.  Summer vacations had to be planned between camp schedules, work schedules and fall sport practice schedules.  As our children aged this frequently meant that one or more of our children would be leaving our planned beach week to return to Columbia at different times during the week for the fore mentioned commitments.  I dreamed of the day when we would be free from the confines that the calendar with its arbitrary time schedules.  I also looked at the reduced price of beach houses in September and October and thought how much I could save by renting one of those weeks or the beach house I could afford if I could wait till those months.
    The past few years after our kids moved out we now longer were ruled by the school schedule.  Those beautiful October weeks at the beach became a wonderful luxury for our family.  We could rent those nice ocean block homes that were out of our price range in August.  The beaches were less crowded, especially during the week days.  Restaurants that had hour long waits in July and August were available with no waits.   The water was often warmer than in August.  The summer thunder storms that ended many of our summer days were infrequent in October.  The cooler air in the evenings meant beautiful walks along the beach with a light jacket.
     I am sad to say that this is the last of our October beach weeks.  Our grandchildren are now starting school and we find ourselves looking at a return to those August beach weeks next year.  The only advantage now is that we will be sharing the cost of those August prices with multiple families.  But somehow I will miss the more leisurely pace of October beach weeks as we once again return to the hot, sticky, crowded August times.  Once again the school schedule will rule our vacation calendar.

     I used to think that the school schedule impact only affected persons with children in school.  I now know that because someone will always have school age children we will never be free of its restrictions.  Ever try to schedule a meeting in July or August?  Work productivity during those months has to be greatly reduced.  Workers spend lots more time checking personal emails and checking Facebook.  To say nothing about returning workers spending their first day back recounting their wonderful vacations to their co-workers.

P.S. 1
    Remember when schools started after Labor Day?  Remember when Summer break was 3 months long? Now some schools start in the middle of August and Summer break is 8 or 9 weeks long.  Extra holiday breaks and teacher days seem to have added days to the school calendar.  If this continues in this direction maybe we will eventually get to that year around school that has been talked about for years.


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