Friday, May 1, 2009

The Infinite Promise of May

In celebration of May Day and the last day of Spring Semester classes, it seems apt to invoke one of my favorite concepts: the Infinite Promise of May.

This refers to that moment in academic life when, as school falls away, almost anything seems possible. You could, if you wanted to, spend the next three months driving Route 66 from Chicago to LA. or reading all of Proust. Two weeks in Dar es Salaam? Building a garage? The itinerant life of a rodeo clown? Anything could happen. There might even be time just to focus on your writing.

Okay, sure, there may be a summer class to teach or fall courses to prep or dissertation chapters to read, and the Infinite Promise of May will inevitably turn into the Diminished Expectations of August, but, once that last paper is graded, for just a little while, all of that recedes from view as you catch a glimpse of the horizon.

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