Ah, summer – such a beautiful, fleeting, catch-as-catch-can time of year. Especially for those of us who live north of the 45th parallel, most of us have a pent up demand for what the summer season has to offer and therefore try to take at least a week off here and there to enjoy the experience.
During this time, I’m often amazed at how many people ask me whether I have the entire summer off. I wish! Over the years, I’ve heard everything from ‘You’re not really working, right? You just teach once in a while and since it’s summer you must be off’ to ‘Well, you help out with the business once in a while, but I mean, you can just hang out with the kids this summer, right?’
These types of comments, usually from well-meaning friends, happen on a surprisingly regular basis and have left me sensitive to and more understanding of other people out there who don’t fall into well-defined job descriptions…like other entrepreneurs and their spouses.
So for any of you out there who may be in a similar situation, you might relate to our situation. In our case, I grant you that my husband is the ‘classic entrepreneur’ and I readily acknowledge that I’m not; nor do I like to be in the limelight of our business. That said, since my early twenties, I’ve always worked long hours – including working pretty much every summer. I started off doing my MBA at night while I worked full-time during the day; I had two babies within 13 months when I started my Ph.D.; during the latter 5 years of completing my Ph.D., Charlie and I started our business together; then, once I took on a full-time academic position, I still maintained a part-time role at the company.
It may seem on the surface that professors are ‘off’ for the summer, but except for a few weeks of vacation, most of the profs that I know, spend much of the summer working. Not only are we getting ready for all of our students coming back in the late summer to our campus, by reading through new books to decide on potential course adoptions, re-working course syllabi or sometimes developing completely new courses, but it’s also ‘research central’. Most academics are responsible for conducting So, You Have The Summer Off, Right? (Wrong) - Forbes: