It seems like only yesterday the calendar turned to the year 2011, and then suddenly I woke up on Monday morning to the realization that it was August 1st. Surely the summer cannot be almost over?
With August’s arrival comes warnings of summer’s impending conclusion, and thus this month will be anything but relaxing for me. While I wish I could spend it sitting on a park bench with a good book or lounging lazily in the sun at the public pool, my August promises to be a whirlwind of activity.
As of tomorrow, school is officially four weeks away, and so now becomes the time for planning. Buying books, moving apartments, and room decorating are just a few of the minor things on my to-do list before the academic year kicks off. Higher on the list are continuing my work with the MBA program preparing to welcome in the new business students, as well as finishing up planning for the week-long freshmen pre-orientation program I am co-coordinating at the end of the month.
Despite having all of this on my plate, one can rest assured that I will still be writing. Amidst the craziness of everything, blogging will be my way of keeping sane. Not only will I be posting new content here, but I will also be writing for the College section of the blog Big Girls Small Kitchen. Founded by two Ivy League graduates, Phoebe Lavine from Brown and Cara Eisenpress from Harvard, the blog aims to provide the undergraduate and post-grad set with easy and budget-friendly ways to navigate the kitchen.
Throughout the rest of the year I will be generating original content for the site’s Small Kitchen College. My first post, a guide on how to use one of the season’s best ingredients, cherry tomatoes, just went live today. You can expect lots of recipes, stories and cooking adventures in the months to come.
The irony of my crazy month is the fact that it coincides with the celebration of Ferragosto in Italy. If I were still abroad, I imagine I would be spending the next few weeks escaping to the coastal towns of the country, practicingl’arte di non fare niente with my family and friends. During this time of year activity essentially comes to a standstill.
“Ferragosto, at first, baffled us as a holiday,” wrote Frances May in her memoir Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mays, “until we began to understand it as a state of mind…Simply put, ferragosto, August 15, marks the ascension of the corporeal body and soul of the Virgin Mary into heaven…But the day itself is only a marker in the month, for the broader meaning of the word is August holidays and a period of laissez-faire. We’re coming to understand that everyday work life is suspended for all of August…American business logic does not bear up; they [business owners] do not necessarily take in money during tourist season and take their holiday during April or November when tourists are gone. Why not? Because it is August.”
For Americans, the thought of taking an entire month off to do nothing is ridiculous. The closest thing we have to ferragosto in this country is the Congressional recess in Washington. As evidenced by my to-do list, this month will be anything but a holiday. Yet, regardless of all the looming deadlines and school’s imminent beginning, somehow I will make this August worth celebrating.