Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Syllabus by Richard Alley

My brother made this great list of things to do this summer in his column, Because I Said So, in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

  1. First, take your school pants, the ones with the knees that are frayed and worn thin, and rip the legs off there at those knees. This is your summer uniform.
  2. Next, go outside and stay there until called in. And then complain that the day is over.
  3. Catch fireflies.
  4. Explore the woods.
  5. Build a fort.
  6. Tear it down and build another.
  7. Spend an entire day reading comic books.
  8. Have your fill of snow cones.
  9. Learn the names of the birds in your backyard.
  10. Drink from a hose.
  11. Track down kids in your neighborhood and get to know them.
  12. Read “Tarzan, the Ape Man” beneath your largest tree.
  13. Spread wildflower seeds around your neighborhood.
  14. Build a sand castle.
  15. Laugh at the tide the next day when that castle is gone.
  16. Build a kite.
  17. Fly a kite.
  18. Use chalk to make a sidewalk mural an entire block long.
  19. Go barefoot. Everywhere.
  20. Learn new songs and sing them.
  21. Draw a picture of your house every day and color it a different color each time.
  22. Camp in your backyard.
  23. Write a story.
  24. Write a poem.
  25. Plant a garden.
  26. Wash your neighbor’s car.
  27. Go whole days without putting a shirt on.
  28. Play in the rain.
  29. Shoot 20 baskets in a row.
  30. Eat new foods on a blanket on the lawn.
  31. Drink lots of lemonade.
  32. Make your own popsicles.
  33. Eat a popsicle for breakfast.
  34. Read your parents’ old encyclopedias; they were the first Google.
  35. Conduct a census of the squirrels.
  36. Climb trees.
  37. Oil a baseball mitt.
  38. Dig a hole.
  39. Read the funny papers.
  40. Watch a Marx Brothers film.
  41. Forget where you put your video game.
  42. Roast marshmallows.
  43. Count the stars.
  44. Lie in the grass and listen to the cicadas; you’ll be adults the next time they sound like that.
  45. Make mud pies.
  46. Operate a lemonade stand.
  47. Nap in a hammock.
  48. Run through a sprinkler.
  49. Visit the zoo.
  50. Stay up all night and watch the sunrise.
  51. Tell ghost stories.
  52. Build a birdhouse.
  53. Ride your bike farther than you ever have before.
  54. Swing on a rope.
  55. Find some shade.


Chris said...

Great list.

carrol mctyre said...

Brilliant list. The only change I would make is to #11 - Track down kids in your neighborhood with a pool and get to know them.