Spring Break 2013. Every year I look forward to this week on the calendar. It’s a break from the normal and an escape to a slower pace. For the kids, and my students, it’s a break from school and signal that the end of the year is near, very near. I am certain they had a day count going to the time when the bell rang and they could rush home and begin their break. I worked to make sure that the day was full of learning and had enough structure to keep them focused and tuned in. For the most part, I was successful, when we come back next week the sprint to the end begins and I’ll have to deal with another day count.
The past few years we have enjoyed a ‘staycation’ or a trip to the cottage or a combination of both. This year we opted to go somewhere different. Spring break is unique to school children and families who have school age children (and school teachers, too) especially those in the frozen Midwest or north. Growing up in Texas I don’t recall a ‘Spring Break’ except for my high school and college years but Spring Break wasn’t a big deal as it is up north. It probably has to do with the climate difference and the itch to go somewhere warm, to wear shorts, to feel a warm salty breeze run through your hair, wear sunglasses and a ridiculous hat, to hear kids squeal with delight, or just to kick back and relax. Whatever the motivation, we’re here.
We left late Friday afternoon and drove to Detroit to catch a flight to Fort Lauderdale. From there, we drove south down the Florida turnpike to the Overseas Highway and the middle Keys, home of a tropical paradise. We are 24⁰ 43’2” North of the equator, it’s 79⁰F and a far cry from the 32⁰F back home. There is a strong breeze off the Atlantic Ocean, but it doesn’t matter. The water is a clear blue and days will be spent resting, relaxing, and spending time together.
Last week in geography, I had my students track the sunrise and sunsets from across the globe and they discovered that on the equinox, the amount of daylight is about the same – twelve hours and few minutes. It was an amazing discovery for them, but we’re not done with the sunshine report, we’ll get back into it, when we return for the fourth quarter. Yesterday, as we drove along down the Overseas Highway we watched the sun slide across the sky and slowly sink into the Gulf of Mexico. I pulled the car off the road and we got out and watched the sunset. It was a great moment and all of us captured the moment on our phones and cameras.
Right now, O has abandoned me by the pool and taken off for the seashore to fish, or help or watch someone fish. W is sleeping, he needs his sleep because he’ll be in SCUBA school all week. Last night we had dinner together and enjoyed the salty breeze and warm night air of the Keys. It’s gonna be a great week, I know it. It’ll go fast, but time to relax is what we need. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, even with sand in my toes and wind in my hair, wearing a ridiculous hat.
Where will wear your ridiculous hat to escape and rejuvenate?