One of my favorite instrumental pieces on my iPod is Allison Brown's "The Sound of Summer Running." Ray Bradbury used the title for a short story too, I believe. Brown's lilting melody is a perfect soundtrack to my last few days as I approached this morning--the first official day back to school. She makes me hear "time's winged chariot" on my heels.
Students won't return until Monday--and I actually look forward to their appearance. It's all those meetings we dread--and the drudgery of adjusting the syllabi to this year's calendar and to minor changes in texts and in the MLA format.
There is no way around it: work cramps my reading style. In the summer, I never make my way through the stack I meant to finish because the stack grows through the summer. I visited my good friend Jane in Bahama (not the islands but the little suburb of Durham) and came home with several of her books, adding to my frustration.
But although I may not have as much time for pleasure reading during the school year, I have always been bound and determined to keep it up. Even during the year I completed my National Board certification, I promised myself I would not abandon my family or quit reading to complete the portfolio.
Pat Conroy's new novel South of Broad comes out on shelves tomorrow, and I'm ready to download it on my eBook. I'm also planning to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as soon as I finish the teacher's guide I'm writing on contract. I'd hate to let a few zombies slip into that project. I can't begin to name all the other books just waiting for my time and attention.
Fortunately, for my line of work, being well-read adds to my credibility. I'm one of those folks trying to keep people reading and writing. I'll do the same.