If you are one of the many millions of students in North America, you know that the end of August is nigh and that magical last hurrah known as Labour Day (or Labor Day stateside) changes everything. I, for one, cannot wait for it to come around again because I don’t remember a time when my motivation was this low. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I had my motivation levels checked this time last year and they were actually just as low. So, what to do about this? Well, I’ve tried moping, groaning, and watching an endless stream of Storage Wars (not the Texas one, though. What a crappier show that is) but nothing seems to be working. Seems to me that the best thing for this particular malady is to get back on campus, donning my finest argyle sweater vest and khakis, and savour the sights, smells, and sounds of a new academic year. Yes, this yearly ritual is enough to get even the most spoiled and entitled school children out of the inevitable ennui that comes with a solid two month chunk of vacation. It works for their teachers too (zing!).
Yes, I love rocking up to the English department to see all the new graduate students, all eager with their heads overflowing with ideas and things to be read, discussed, and deconstructed while battle-hardened and curmudgeonly veterans like me gain sustenance from their youth and vigour not unlike some Victorian vampire minus the old (or any) money (let me know if you can think of that vampire’s name. It’s something like Drake or Count Chocula). Yes, fresh inspired minds are just what I need to surround myself with to get back to the real work of academia and reading lists and lit reviews and teaching. Oh, I forgot about teaching. Nothing is more invigorating than walking into the undergraduate classroom, master of all you survey, font of all knowledge. It really is an invincible feeling, just the kind of motivation I need to kick me in the behind and get me back to focusing on things that are important.
So, as I sit here wiling away the final days of what was a thoroughly excellent summer, I feel a little torn by the fact that I can’t wait for it to end already. By the same token, however, it has not been good for me to have spent so much time in solitude with little contact with other humans. I welcome the chance to inhale the intoxicating mixture of cool decaying foliage, fresh earth, and office supplies that signals the fact that school’s in. Well, that and my new Jonas Brothers backpack.