Summer in the city
Now that the 4th of July has come and gone, summer in all its glory bears down upon us. By rights, I should be on a beach somewhere, chasing the waves. Instead, I’m at the library, chasing footnotes.My neck is buried in that infernal contraption known as a microfilm reader, my eyes ache from squinting at the fine print of a 19th century newspaper, my fingers tirelessly tap, tap, tap away compiling information — and I’m in my element, happy as a clam.
Academics liked to joke that there were three truly great things about our profession: June, July and August. These days, thanks to the accelerated pace of life, June and August are pretty much given over to winding down and gearing up, respectively, leaving July our one shot at sustained research and writing.
I, for one, am hoping to make the most of it, so that when it comes time to account for how I spent my summer vacation, I’ll have what to show: no tan, but enough sentences to fill a sandbox.