Spring Break?

So I just wanted to share with you a bit about different possibilities for Spring Break… In the past I’ve often insisted that, just like the undergraduates who I’m teaching//TA’ing, I’m going to take a few days away. More often than not, for me this meant that I was going to give my eyes a break from staring at a computer and, usually, to watch a ton of TV and movies and catch up with friends who I wasn’t able to chat with. Usually this routine would last longer than it should have: usually I’d hang out and lay low for about 5-6 days, instead of the “brief” break that I intended—3-4 days. Not so this year…

Instead, this “Spring Break” began with me at the library working on a conference paper/presentation at 830 AM on a lovely Saturday. BUMMER! This spring break I had to write up a paper (nearly from scratch) and prepare two different presentations using the same material. So, rather than spending my Spring Break hanging out, watching TV, and catching up with my people (who, for the most part, are no longer in Bloomington), I was at work every day by 9 AM—usually at the Wells Library, though I went to the Bakehouse a few days too (http://www.scholarsinn.com/bakehouse.html). I also LOVE Sweet Claire’s as a work spot, though their hours were slightly less conducive for me—over break, that is (http://www.sweetclaire.com/). So the paper got done on Saturday night (yuck) and I read it and edited Sunday till 4 and then sent it out. And I think it turned out fairly well—the first presentation sparked some, err, heated debates? The second presentation (totally different audience) was well-received and enjoyable across the board. So, all things told, it worked out well, even though I had no real Spring Break…

Moral of the story? It might be something like this: to and for me, balance is a great thing. A great, great, GREAT thing! I wish I would have had more work done for the conferences so that I could’ve had a few down days over Spring Break, though I also wish that I had been more consistent in plugging away on work in previous Spring Breaks. How about you folks? What’s your take: should graduate students enact their own Spring Breaks? Or should they get on the grind given a brief break from coursework?