Fall is in the air and what fall would be complete without that dreaded first writing assignment of the school year – “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” I’m sure you all remember struggling over at least one of those essays. Sitting at the ___ (fill in work space of your choice) staring at a blank sheet of paper, praying for inspiration, asking yourself “What the heck did I do this summer?” and most importantly, “Where did summer go?”
I seem to recall that years ago when I was teaching I gave dreadful assignments like this, too. (My sincerest apologies to any former students who were scarred for life.) Lately, my mind leaps off rather nimbly in wild directions, one thing leading to another until I began to wonder just what the Bennet sisters would say about their summer activities. Rather than an essay, I’ve suggested each character share just a few notes about her summer:
Elizabeth – Traveled with Aunt and Uncle Gardiner. Toured Pemberley and accidentally saw Mr. Darcy again. Was totally mortified! The alteration in his manner was astonishing. Just as I was beginning to think he might still hold me in high regard, my silly sister, Lydia, eloped with Mr. Darcy’s arch-enemy, George Wickham. Returned home in disgrace and will undoubtedly never see Mr. Darcy again! Must ask Jane about dealing with broken heart.
Lydia – Went to Brighton and danced with many, many handsome officers in red coats. Eloped with George Wickham. Oh, la! I have so much more to tell than any of my sisters! Just wait until they get married, and I can scare them with all sorts of tales about wedding nights. Note to parents: Please send money for wedding trousseau.
Kitty – Lydia went to Brighton and had all the fun while I got in trouble for not being a tattletale. Now my father will never let me do anything including go to an assembly! I hate you, Lydia!
Jane – Tried to keep busy watching our nieces and nephews while Lizzy traveled with the Gardiners. Unsuccessful in forgetting Mr. Bingley even though I tried. Discuss new strategies with Lizzy.
Mary – Practiced pianoforte for three hours each day. Read a new book of sermons and assisted my mother in counting the silver just in case the Collins’ should ask.
So what did I do on my summer vacation, you might ask? I guess if I had to write about my own summer, I’d give my son’s wedding the most space. The wedding was September 8th in a little town on the lovely Hudson River just north of New York City. In the lead up to the big event, I attended wedding showers on both coasts, planned the rehearsal dinner (with a lot of help from various people), and dealt with the usual mayhem associated with big weddings. I could go into lots of detail – and if this truly was an assignment for a school class, lots of detail and description would be required.
However…I get to make the rules here, and I’m much more interested in what you have to say about your summer! What did you learn? What new experiences did you have? Did you do anything fun? Please share! I promise no red pens will be employed on your responses!