I’m always fascinated by how people differently define their common experiences.

How do you define “summer”?

Summer solstice to autumnal equinox?

End of school to beginning of school?

When it’s hot out?

When traffic is better or worse (depending on your area)?

What constitutes summer has changed for me over time, but only marginally.

When I was a kid, summer was always the chunk of time when school was out, regardless any other factors.

When I became a teacher, summer maintained its definition.

When I lived back east, school started right after Labor Day and ended in late June.

Here in Arizona, school starts in July or August and ends in late May. The district I’m in is on a modified year-round schedule, and teachers start a week before students, so I start in mid-July.

It’s so odd. Teaching in August took some time to adapt to, but starting a week or two or three before my colleagues in other districts is mentally messy. (And it’s July!) I do enjoy breaks between quarters.

Many friends of mine are also teachers, so we have similar schedules. Friends who aren’t teachers define summers differently. Some say meh, summer is no different than the rest of the year. Some note that the office is more often missing people in the summer. Some are married to teachers and still have the school year definition…


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