Why I Get Nothing Done During Spring Break


North Myrtle Beach, S. Carolina

I actually do take a stack of grading to the beach with me. I pull out a report. Start reading.

Is that a dolphin? Oooo it’s two.

Look down and try to find where I left off. Jot down a comment.

Oh look. A gull landed so close I can touch him. “Hey guy. How you doing?”

Look down again. Read the same paragraph.

This would be so much better if I took my shoes off, and you know, squish my toes in the sand.

Set report aside. Take off shoes and socks. Dig feet into sand. Dig for a long while. Pull out report. Read the same paragraph.

Oh the heck with it. I’ll grade on the plane.

Observations on the Beach: Electrons vs Paper


The beach is the perfect place to read, and in June, I was able to spend two weeks of blissful sun ray soaking, sandy toe stroking, gentle surf sounding, reading time. I even broke my personal reading record: five books in two weeks. As you can imagine, it was hard to leave that perfect reading environment behind.

Each day, after diving in to a good book for a couple hours at a time, when I finally came up for air, I did some people watching on the beach. And, nosey gal that I am, I took a peak at what they were reading. Mainly, paperbacks. Yes, there were Kindles and Nooks (I saw three of one and two of the other on the first day), and a spattering of hardcover books (three throughout the week), but by and large, beachers were reading paperbacks in every genre.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to ask someone. Well, okay, a few someones that had fatefully unfolded their chairs near mine.

Rachel from Virgina, reading Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, told me she owns a Kindle, but would never bring it to the beach because of the sand. “Even if you don’t drop it, there’ll be sand on your hands when you’re touching the screen.” She said a paperback is lower risk and just as satisfying.

Mark from N. Carolina, reading The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal, sitting next to Maggie with a Nook reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, said a paperback felt better. “The sun warms the pages. It feels good. Better than that machine she’s got there.”

Maggie, on the other hand, was all for portability. “I got too much to lug around as it is. And this thing holds an entire library.”

Finally, Carla from S. Carolina reading Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks, said, “I’ve always brought a new paperback to the beach, ever since I was a kid. I pass them around when I’m done and someone hands me off another. The condo I’m staying at has a bunch and you can tell they’ve been well read. It’s recycling.”

So there you have it. My completely non random non statistical sample of the books and book format people read on the beach. And me? I was one of the three with a hardback book. Dust jackets repel sand as well as dust.

How about you? What do you bring to the beach?

Photo © Alex Bramwell

Your Teacher Digs Spring Break Too…


It’s fun to see how excited students get about Spring Break. Some will take a trip some place warm (Florida was a hot spot again this year), some will sleep (I can tell cause they come back without the dark circles under their eyes), and some, will cram the first half of the semester’s homework into a marathon “catch-up” session.

My son spends the week living in his pajamas. My daughters, their Spring Break is never the same week as mine and they are too young to stay at home by themselves, hang out with their grandparents. We affectionately call it “Nana Camp”. Mornings at the playground and afternoons crafting fill their days.

And here’s the scoop–I dig Spring Break too! This year, I went to my favorite beach and the top five things I did (in order):

1) Wrote

2) Slept

3) Wrote on the Beach

4) Slept on the Beach

5) Walked on the beach, Watched other people on the beach, Read, Took long showers, Played Words with Friends,  Watched TV, Ate, Talked, Swam, Visited, Shopped, Photographed the beach, Smiled.

Yep, kids of all ages enjoy Spring Break.

Photograph by K. E. Blaski 2012