joseph-85Well, summer is here and it has been more than a month since finals.  I probably say this in every blog post, but again, time has surprised me!   When in school, summer seems to be this far-off abstraction of freedom, sunshine, and fun.  While that is generally the case, summer is an amazing opportunity to make a schedule and stick to it.  I’ve concerned myself mainly with a cause very important to me to occupy most of my days: voter registration.  In town, I am assigned to gas stations who sell more cigarettes and chips than gas.  The customers who roll up to make these purchases insist that either they have no time or that they’re felons.  I’m lucky if I get more than two an hour, but its worth it to know I’m enfranchising populations that don’t have the time nor the money to afford as loud a political voice as others.   To make money though, I’ve been revisiting all the yards I took care of in high school and have one project that required a lot of clean up.  Results are fun, but the sun isn’t.

Especially with a job though, summer is a great time to practice what works with your body and your mind when it comes to sleep, fun, and family, while you don’t have to worry about keeping with a syllabus or preparing for tests.  For me, I’ve tried to readjust to a normal person’s sleeping schedule, something more resembling what Ben Franklin recommended in Poor Richards Almanac “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  Especially for outside, it’s best to do it earlier before the sun scars the arid high plains here along the Arkansas valley where temperatures can climb to more than 100 degrees this time.

Dorm life, as a I mentioned in an earlier post, follows no such advice.  Neither do my friends, many of whom weren’t in school at all over the last year.  This makes me think that staying up late might be built into our DNA at this age!  Maybe this is just a cop out though, as increasingly in my college-kid discussions about human nature and the like our genetics are cited much more often than not with the debit of our guilt.  It is a phenomenon that I am uncomfortable with, but perhaps its true.  Either way, I’ve been trying to figure humans out a great deal this summer with little success.  This brings me to the last point that I have to make about summer:  Use Your Mind!

I have been reading, participating in those college-kid discussions (about human nature and the like), but as the lazy river of summer leisurely passes by, hanging out with friends during my spare time becomes much more appealing than reading Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” and its also a whole lot more encouraging.  Regardless, keep yourself occupied with at least a few tasks that make your brain work.  Someone once likened it to a muscle that needs to be exercised every once in a while!!