Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (courtesy of CalvinandHobbes.com)
I stumbled on this comic just now looking for a different Calvin and Hobbes strip that unfortunately I wasn’t able to find. But this comic reminded me of the good ol’ summers that I used to have when I was a kid when I would by dying of boredom and excited to go back to school (yes I was a nerd even then). The summers where I would sit around in the heat all day reading, watching tv, sweating. Where my friends and I would have water fights, go swimming, play sports and on the whole be spontaneous.
We used to have this tradition in elementary and middle school where after the last day of school my friends, my brother’s friends, my brother and I would all come to our house and have an intense water fight. We’d just run around my house with super soakers (which by the way seem to have changed a lot since I last had one), hoses and water balloons and we’d all be dripping and shivering after a couple of hours.
Since none of us could drive, during the days when our parents worked we weren’t able to hang out with each other so everyone got bored, but it was the best boredom one could imagine. There were no cares, no deadlines, no internships, no summer school, no applications and it was truly amazing.
I already wrote about what I’m doing this summer so I won’t really talk about here (you can read about it here though). But since high school, summer was about getting ahead in school, getting into college, and learning how to be an adult (i.e. working). In high school, I took classes, tutored, taught clarinet, tried to get a job, studied for SATs, worked on college applications and even though there was a lot more free time than during the school year, it wasn’t the same as the summers of elementary and middle school. And now in college, I’ve spent both my summers working full time for pretty much the entire summer because I’m supposed to get ready for adult life.
It’s not like I don’t enjoy these summers where I am doing things. In fact I think if I were given a couple of weeks with nothing to do, I’d probably spend most of it programming anyway. It’s just that I think I would like a couple of weeks with nothing to do, and then I’d have the ability to spend that time however I want (programming…) and it would be really relaxing. I also think the not being able to drive around would be interesting, because I’d get a lot more time to myself which I need every now and then (especially when I’m trying to relax).
So things have certainly changed, but I wouldn’t say for the worse. Now I’m able to take care of myself, I’m rarely ever bored during these summers, and I still have some time to play sports and hang out with my friends. It also really makes me enjoy the weekends.
On a random note. I used to read Calvin and Hobbes pretty religiously. I have a lot of the comic books at home and really like Watterson’s creativity. Calvin’s imagination is amazing and I really enjoy a lot of the adventures that he has. Also I find his philosophies and social commentaries pretty interesting. If you haven’t read much of this comic I highly recommend it.