For most people, the year ends in December.

For accountants, it ends in Mid-April.

For teachers, it ends in June.

Happy End-Of-The-Year.

Anyway, it's at this time of the year - about a week before the end of school - that mild panic starts to set in for most of us. We've spent the whole year, thinking of Summer Vacation as some sort of Three Month, stress-free, empty expanse of time, during which we can do all the home improvement projects we've been putting off, get in shape, recharge, reconnect with our families (who, at this point, only vaguely remember who we are) and tackle all the projects we've been putting off all year. (Which is to say, since September.)

What we fail to remember - and what most of the general public doesn't realize - is that Summer Vacation is NOT three months long. For teachers, it lasts about six weeks. (Mind you, I'm NOT complaining; I know how thrilled most people would be for six weeks of vacation.) During this time, we need to get all our ducks in a row for the Fall AND take classes AND go to conferences AND do our summer reading AND...

Well, simply put, this is the week when we realize that there probably won't be as much hammock-lying-while-drinking-cocktails-from-coconuts-while-being-fanned-by-Raul-the-pool-boy (or in my particular case, Minnie Driver) in our immediate future as we had hoped.

Here's what I DO plan on doing this summer: