I’ve been a busy little bee this weekend, averaging one post per day since Friday. I’ve got about six on deck, too, so assuming I don’t get swamped with too many other things you’ll be hearing from me a lot in the next few weeks.
Speaking of bees, there was a huge wasp buzzing around my room this morning at about 6:30 am. At first I tried to coax it out peacefully, but after an hour I decided that I had no choice but to resort to violence. I’m hoping this is a freak occurrence and not the beginning of an unfortunate trend, because while a gigantic black and yellow insect flying around and audibly bouncing off the walls and ceiling is certainly one of the most effective wake-up calls I’ve ever received, I’d prefer to just maintain the uneasy truce I’ve struck with the Insect Kingdom (and yes, I know it’s not a biological kingdom).
Anywho, I’ve received some confirmation regarding my summer plans, so I figured I might as well announce what I have now rather than wait until my flight dates are also confirmed, because people keep asking me and I have no idea when I’ll get my flight info – it could be another two or three weeks yet.
First of all, as some of you know, I’ve decided to renew my contract with TLG and stay in Georgia to teach for another year. As of now my plan is to remain with the same host family and stay at the same school. I don’t have actual confirmation from TLG or from my school that they actually want me back next year, but the impression I get is that they do and I have nothing to worry about. We’ll see.
Second, I’ve put in for a two-week vacation in the US. I expect to fly into JFK sometime around June 30th. I will be in New York City until July 11th, at which point I plan to go to Vermont to attend my aunt’s wedding on July 12th. I will be back in NYC by July 14th and flying out possibly as soon as July 15th. The exact dates of my flights are subject to some change, but of course the wedding itself is not…
Third, I’ve signed up for, and been confirmed at, Buckswood Summer School. I will be an “Activity Leader” there from July 31st until September 10th. I’ll also have orientation from June 14th through June 18th. Buckswood is in Tskneti, up in the mountains about five miles west of Tbilisi. Apparently it’s somewhat cooler there in the summer, but we’ll see.
I’m already somewhat unhappy with bus rides around Tbilisi – this morning I had to resist the temptation to explain to the man standing over me that cologne is not a valid substitute for washing your pits – and air conditioning is a rarity in Georgia. Hopefully putting August away in the mountains will ameliorate some of the suffering summer has in store this year.
From what I’ve heard, Buckswood is a British school and its attendees are students from all over Georgia who have won academic competitions of some kind. I’ve also heard that the age ranges are 14-19. However, I can’t really claim to know this for sure as I’ve just heard it from people who have heard of Buckswood and not officially from TLG. When I have more information (for instance, during and after orientation, which starts three weeks from tomorrow) I’ll post about it here.
So if you’ve done the same math I have, that leaves me with free time around June 18th through 30th and July 15th through 30th. I imagine I’ll spend September 10th through 15th meeting with coteachers and gearing up for the school year.
What I would like to do is head to Batumi for a little while in the first interval – maybe for a weekend at the end of June, or something – and try to go to Istanbul in the second interval, perhaps for a week or so in the second half of July. Whether I’ll have the money to follow through on these plans remains to be seen, but I’ve got leads on places to stay in both cities so financially it might actually be feasible.
And with that, my entire summer is swallowed. Two weeks in NYC, six weeks at summer camp, and the four remaining weeks divided up with trips slated for each break. I was anticipating endless days in the sun, going up to Kus Tba or to one of Tbilisi’s swimming pools to beat the heat, spending hours and hours at my desk working on various projects to enhance my academic and/or journalistic career, meeting up with the various friends I have in Tbilisi who will not be gone for the summer… you know, having at least a month of serious leisure time. Instead I have basically filled my calendar. It’s nice, in a way, but it means that I have to get motivated to do a lot of my extracurricular work during the course of my normal days, which means less relaxing and less socializing overall. This approach will probably save me money, so that’s good. And of course packing my resume with summer camps and paid blogging is great. And strangely, for once I feel like I may actually be striking an adequate balance between work and leisure, like I might be just the right amount of busy.
Even though it grates on me to no end that I just can’t do it all. There just aren’t enough hours in the day – and, now, not enough days in the year, either.
Video: Jack Johnson, Dreams be Dreams