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Chaparral 2018-2019: 27.6 Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: Rest and Relaxation

beach chairs on sand

The common refrain I hear during this time of the semester is always, “I’m so busy.” Whether it’s scrambling to compile flex, attending meetings, or diving into end-of-semester grading, I think it’s fair to say that most of my colleagues are running a bit ragged. In academia, there are often expectations to work long hours, to grade over the weekend, and to dedicate as much time and attention as we can spare to our students. It’s wonderful that we have faculty and staff here that care so much (and it shows!), but we also need to remember to take time for ourselves to recharge so that we can offer the students and community of GCC our best selves, not our sleep-deprived, running-only-on-caffeine, stressed-out selves.

That’s why rest and relaxation are so important. Academia has always had breaks built into the yearly schedule (winter break, spring break, summer break), and while these breaks might have initially come about for different reasons, they have long been a vital part of maintaining sanity and vitality in academia. Though schools may play around with truncating summer to create more frequent short breaks, the idea of the break has never gone away. Yet there is a certain misconception outside of academia that we are so lucky to be able to be lazy all summer! We all know that’s not true: most of us are teaching, lesson planning, taking care of families, or doing other kinds of work that is important to our lives, even during the break.

Maybe other industries should follow suit and offer more breaks or vacation days to their employees; maybe we would all be a little happier and a little saner if we could more effectively balance work and relaxation. We’re living in an interesting time with regard to quality of life, with increased automation taking over repetitive labor and ideas like universal basic income being bandied about in the political world, developments which could change the game of work-life balance entirely.

However you plan to spend your summer—teaching, traveling, doing creative work, spending time with family, catching up on the ever-elusive idea of reading for fun—I hope that you are able to rest and recharge.

Have a great summer, everyone!

Sincerely,
Joanna Parypinski
Editor-in-Chief

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