I have two teaching days left, and then one set of final papers and two sets of exams to grade--not to mention a crush of meetings and receptions and semi-mandatory social events--between now and May 15th, but as far as I'm concerned, the semester is already over.
How do I know that the semester is over?
Well, the trees are finally fucking blooming, that's for one (for the last two weeks, I've been peering intently at every one I pass, desperate for signs of life). And I've administered my evaluations. And I'm already putting in requests for my spring 2008 classes.
But the real sign that the semester is over is the fact that I've been spending hours a day ordering books through ILL and ABE and looking stuff up in the MLA database--and not just stuff for my current chapter or my most immediately due conference submission, but also for an essay that's not due for ages, and some abstracts I've been mulling over on entirely new topics, and weird shit for my teaching, and those couple of vague book projects that have popped into my head over the last six months. I've also been walking around the apartment picking up random books as they catch my eye and then collapsing on the sofa to poke around in them for 20 minutes.
I've recovered my curiosity--or my ability to be curious--about anything without an immediate deadline attached to it.
And that, my friends, is a sure sign that not just the semester, but the school year, are OVER.