As summer approaches, the general pace of things around Fletcher likewise undergoes a seasonal shift. We still have a lot of work that keeps us very busy, but with most students (and many faculty) gone the place is definitely quieter, and our attention turns toward larger projects that tend to get sidelined during the semester, as well as planning for the upcoming year. The typical day gets a bit less hectic, and many of us actually take the opportunity to get away a little and use up some vacation time. While there’s no formal policy restricting vacation to the summer months, in practice the demands of our work make it difficult to get away for more than the occasional long weekend here and there during the academic year. There’s a lot for us to get done over the summer, but also a bit more breathing room to schedule a bit of away time.
Our team has some good times lined up for various portions of the summer. On my end, I’ll head to Ireland at the end of June, an exciting prospect for a number of reasons. I’ve never been, which is reason enough in itself to go. The real impetus, though, is to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (congratulations, Mom and Dad!), which will fall around that time. It’s a rare opportunity to gather my family together, normally a challenging prospect since it involves coordinating parents who live in Canada, my Germany-based sister and family, as well as my wife and I. A high degree of difficulty, but sure also to be lots of fun.
Lindsey may have me beat for sheer ambition, though. She’ll head to Zimbabwe in early July with family, in part a celebration of her father’s birthday. She’s of course been excited as her plans coalesce and the trip draws nearer, and we’re all looking forward to living vicariously through her, as our collective familiarity with Zimbabwe is pretty low. Victoria Falls is on their agenda, and lots of other excitement about which we’ll be eager to hear more upon her return.
Lucas will keep things mostly domestic this summer. He’s got an upcoming family reunion in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and has some time at the Cape lined up for various points throughout the summer (if you can tolerate the traffic to get there, there’s nothing like Cape Cod in the summer). At some point he’ll also get to his native Buffalo, NY, surely more hospitable in the warmer months, though snow-loving locals might dispute that characterization.
Liz typically follows a summer strategy of shorter but more frequent long weekends and trips to a variety of spots. She’s originally from New Hampshire and has family there, so takes advantage of the opportunity for some leisurely weekends of golf, tennis, hiking, swimming, and generally just enjoying the New England summer. She’ll also make her annual pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard with friends. While the Obama “summer White House” there recently went for a cool $15 million, as recently as last summer Liz and crew still had the chance of a sighting, so fingers crossed for 2019.
Poor Laurie will barely have any letup in her schedule, but she’ll still manage a bit of time away to relax, too. Her daughter will start college in the fall, and there will be a lot of related prep and tasks to accomplish, including the last of their yearly trips to Virginia Beach for a national dance competition (reports from past years indicate that this requires Laurie to be in full “dance mom” mode, so it hardly counts as a vacation). She’ll get up to Maine as much as possible to kick back at their summer place there. And, in the midst of meeting with a number of Fletcher’s European partner institutions, she’ll also manage a few days in Düsseldorf to catch up with some old friends.
Take heart, readers, that none of this globetrotting will come at your expense. Our office will remain open throughout the summer, and you can count on at least some of us being here at all times. Be in touch, and feel free to come see us at Fletcher!