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Remember...School Vacation

It started in Kindergarden and ended after Senior year in high school; Three separate vacations, guaranteed every year around the same time. Then some people would go to college, where it was cut down to two vacations a year. Now everyone is in the real world, and with the exception of teachers, most of us are lucky to get one full week a year off.

The K-12 vacations were great, my family never went away during them, but I bet a lot of yours did. Whether it was a cruise, or Disney, or a ski trip, most people did something during their school vacation. I on the other hand, like the other neighborhood kids, did not get to go away, but instead we had sleepovers and would pull all-nighters (see MLZ's piece last week) to watch shows our parents would never let us watch (South Park and anything on Cinemax after 11 PM). But the big thing was that these were a lock to show up every year, we knew they were coming. When I got to high school, things changed a bit. Because I played sports, I wasn't able to just hang out and do nothing during my breaks, they became almost like school days during the training for track season. The best vacation about being in the K-12 years was the summer. When you were in high school you had to work, but before that, it was anything goes. Wiffleball games, swimming in the pool, going to the beach, times were good. Then we graduated and we were cut from two breaks to one.

College breaks were good too, but they weren't really breaks. Living two hours (driving) away from home, many of my buddies in college, myself included, would take the opportunity of a college break to work and have more money for beer and nonsense gambling at school. Yes, we had a whole month off for the winter, but again it wasn't time to just hang out and do nothing. Many of us worked and had to have money for when we got back to school to pay for beer and books. But, we still had the summer off, and while many of us worked, there were still days of down time and nonsense.

Now look at us. I was ecstatic that I took Friday off from work and was able to have a four day weekend this week. Getting a whole week off now is a rarity, and most of the time I just want to do nothing. I have been out of school now since May of 2011, and I have not had a full Monday through Friday stretch of time off yet. Now that I'm engaged, it will make the chances of getting a full week off even tougher. I have to save all my time to plan a wedding and eventually a honeymoon. I have to save to get a nice house to live in (on top of paying off loans for school and my car). The odds of this do nothing in a five day stretch are getting worse by the day.

So it's long weekends like this that I look back and cherish the times when a week off from school meant nights with little to no sleep, and all kinds of words and actions on TV that I never knew existed, and I can't wait until retirement, only about 40 years to go...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

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