Blog Swap Day

'Photo from a 2 weeks summer school in Lipari' photo (c) 2000, Paolo Massa - license:, my name is Kellen. I live in Ohio, and I’m Noel’s partner for the Blog Swap. You can read my other posts at

It’s an interesting feeling knowing that I had something very specific to do smack dab in the middle of my summer this year. Usually that time is saved for a vacation where I get to get away and relax. For years we went to the beach in July. The same time last year it was my honeymoon up in Boston. This summer, it was my first summer of classes.

For those of you who don’t know this, I’m a commuter in grad school. I stay on campus in the middle of the week and cram everything into a few days. Then I head back home two hours away.

Last week I finished my final paper for class, and a couple of weeks ago I packed up my room to come home. It was an odd feeling. I’ve always had my summers to do other things besides school, and now I find myself busy writing a paper and reading books. I was originally signed up for two classes, but decided to drop my second one when I felt that I wouldn’t learn anything from it. And after hearing the discussions from the rest of the week from a student still in the class, I’m pretty sure my feeling was right.

This summer was also weird because my wife Rachael came down to campus to visit me on weekends. This made me seriously feel like I wasn’t married and still living on campus full-time instead of commuting to school like I had grown used to.

This class threw off a few of my plans, such as holding down a full-time job, and being around home for the summer. But mostly, it threw off my plans for a summer I’m used to. And in retrospect, I’m fine with that. I had fun in the class, and got to spend a couple of weeks with some friends I don’t always get to spend a lot of time with. In some ways, it was a working vacation. And while I would have rather not had to go to class this summer, overall, it’s been a good experience, and one that will let me graduate in December. But now I’m on my real vacation of the summer, back home to visit family. It might not be the beach, but it’s still a chance to relax, and really, that’s what a vacation is all about.


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