It's unfortunate that I've come to measure the usefulness of time spent strictly by CFPs answered and syllabuses tweaked. This summer has been productive in so many other ways, as I must remind myself. I did my fair share of work, but there was also...(drum roll)...painting! Running and novel-reading! Cooking and music! Largely fruitless dissertation plotting! Swimming in the sea! A birthday! It was much like last summer....and that's alright by me.
On my last day by the ocean, a pair of little girls was watching me draw mermaids and dinosaurs and planets and sunflowers in the sand. They were too shy to come up to me, but as soon as I went back down to the water, they started to draw; first copies of my own scribbles, and then their own fantastic creations. It was one of my favorite moments of the summer, not only because I got to watch somebody very small create something very great, but also because it's been a while since I've had the pure pleasure of creating something lovely, or useful, or something that makes me feel productive in a way having nothing at all to do with scholarly texts, or dissertation chapters, or the perfect flow of a good syllabus.
It's a feeling I forget too easily once fall creeps up again. It's my last semester of coursework, however, so hopefully (despite the looming dissertation), more such moments and good feelings lie ahead.