How I Spent My Summer Vacation

As a grad student, I’ve made some famously bad decisions in my time. First and foremost would probably be applying to grad school… but more recently, I’ve come to realize that I have this little problem of creating expectations for myself. See, expectations beget hopes and dreams which, in turn, lead to effort and that just turns into an utter disaster. What do I mean by utter disaster? Well, it’s like this, I started the program in the Fall. Since then, I’ve had a little under a month off of school: two weeks for Christmas, one week for Spring break, and highly successful my five days of Summer just came to a close last night as the reality of Summer school crushes me today. Yup, that’s right. I actually opted for Summer school. Crazy, right?

But even more daunting than the actual classes themselves was the fact that I was effectively limiting myself to less than a week of down time before returning to the ivory tower of academia. Do you realize how much I planned to get done this Summer? Forget work on my thesis. I’m talkin’ legit stuff. I was gonna learn how to cook… without the help of a microwave. I was gonna read a book for pleasure, something I haven’t had the luxury of doing in years. Well, let’s not get crazy, it was probably gonna be a book that had pictures, more like a comic book than anything else, but still, I was totally gonna do it! I was actually gonna put together that living room table that’s been lingering in the back of my closet since I moved in here 6 months ago… or I was at least gonna think about doing it. But how was I gonna do that? I was setting myself up for failure. There was no way I was going to be able to accomplish all that, especially when one of my Summer goals was to be lazy and take it easy.

So, I broke it down. I ditched all the unrealistic stuff (sorry table, but I’ve been doin’ just fine without you, no need to get fancy now) and decided I was gonna do everything that I could fit into my 5 days of Summer before I had to go back to school.

Wednesday- Well, Wednesday might be what you call a “classic Calhoun failure.” I spent the better part of the day nursing a hangover, talking to the Serbian lady who runs the laundromat while I waited for my clothes to dry, and waiting for the UPS guy to deliver the Tomb Raider trilogy that I ordered for PS3 the other day. I called that my “get it done” day of Summer. I was productive, but between you and me, total waste of a Summer day.

Thursday- Thursday is when Summer started to get real. I slept in all the way till 8:30 AM. Trust me, it’s a small victory, but I take ’em where I can get ’em. I wasted a whole other day bein’ a bum, playing some Tomb Raider and watching Piranha for the third time in as many weeks. Jealous? Yeah, ya are. The night was filled with more movies, specifically X-Men: First Class and Bridesmaids. All in all, I’m callin’ it a definite success.

Friday- I hung out with a guy during the day, before heading over to a friend’s for the beginning of what we call Drinking Critics. Imagine Ebert and Roep-er if they were pretty sauced. Before getting too deep into our debut feature, Gamer and after hearing such classic lines as “Stop menstruating…” we decided to turn this one off, but keep the drinks flowing. What followed was a drunken singalong to the Buffy musical episode “Once More with Feeling”, a failed attempt to get into the show Gossip Girl and a dangerous combination of tequila and whiskey. End of the day? Definite success.

Saturday- Ribfest. Day drinking. Smoked meats. A gentleman preaching the virtues of bacon over a megaphone. What do you think? Yeah, chalkin’ that one up as a W for the Ron Swanson impersonator/bacon guy alone.

Sunday- In an effort to cram some semblance of culture into my week of Summer, I did the film school kid thing and saw Tree of Life. Don’t bother asking what I thought, because I’m still not sure. The best decision of the day was easily the Costco run that took place afterward. Guess who’s got an un-Godly amount of frozen meat and not nearly enough place to store it? This guy. The clear victory of the day though was the 2 or 3 verses I was able to come up with on the spot about how much I wanted to eat muffins, but a close second is the little kid who told me that he liked my Boba Fett headphones. Yeah, I was clearly on fire. Total success.

Some people scoffed. Some people said it couldn’t be done. But there you have it, folks. A complete Summer in just five days. Sure, to the untrained eye it might seem like all i did was drink and watch movies, but ya know what I have to say to all those nay-sayers? Isn’t that what Summer’s all about?


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