virtual children by Scott Warnock

Stop trying to steal my summer

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Maybe it’s because I work at Drexel. We are a different school in many ways, especially because we’re on the quarter system. We’re shifted off a month from other universities. While most freshmen go off to college at the end of August, Drexel students nervously wait for weeks. In June, when everyone else has been done for a month, we’re in finals season. So maybe I’m schedule-weird, but I  really want people to stop trying to steal my summer.

You know what I’m talking about. Not long after 4th of July you’re taking down some redwhite&blue bunting, and some gloomy soul will slump by muttering, “Summer’s almost done.”

By mid July, people are talking about the how fall is “just around the corner.”

By August, everyone has pretty much given up. Their tenses even shift. Even though there are still several weeks before they go back to non-flex work weeks, before they have to wear business suits again, they are still asking at that point, “How was your summer?”

Stop it.

This year in particular, the calendar is kind, and Labor Day comes late. Summer won’t head out, even with the in-your-face reality of dwindling daylight, until September 6.

When the 4th of July doomsayers come at me, I’m having to put my foot down: “It ain’t over! I’ve got 2 ½ months more to do projects x, y, and z.”

Even on August 20, even if you really do have the Labor Day deadline and not the Drexel dream of September, can’t we all just enjoy it for a little longer? Why do we have to have it stolen away?

Why must our eyes be warily looking way out ahead at the doom to be instead of the pleasure that’s now?

Be careful, because we spin a life of this stuff. On Monday we look to Friday. Every work week we strain and look ahead to vacation. During our years of work, we talk about that retirement ahead.

I don’t want to hear any more of that. I don’t want people draining away the days I’m living with the promise of days to come. Because to me it’s not just that someone on July 5th could be worried, really worried, about September, but that someone could end up skipping over a whole life this way.

I don’t want to get drawn into it. I don’t want to fall into the smooth, easy cadence while talking on the train commute in July of complaining about the end of summer.

Instead, I want to put an end to it. Stop trying to steal my summer, I’d like to say: Stop trying to steal my life.

Scott Warnock is a writer and teacher who lives in South Jersey. He is a professor of English at Drexel University, where he directs the University Writing Program. Father of three and husband of one, Scott is on two local school boards and coaches all kinds of youth sports.
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3 Responses to “Stop trying to steal my summer”

  1. I am with you on this 100% Scott. I hate the season pushers. The school supplies coming out in July. The Halloween candy out the first week of September. Even my favorite pumpkin beer-already out. I think of summer as the season that slows us all down to a more natural pace. Stop wishing our lives away and let the clock slow. Can’t we let the frantic pace wait a little longer. Please?

  2. amen! that is why i am celebrating the #395daysofmy50thbirthday ! it has made the fun last a whole lot longer! my summer is grand- how’s yours?

  3. Christmas is right around the corner.

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