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500 Days of May

500 Days of May
By Sean Bartlett

Here is something that is difficult to believe - We are less than one month away from the end of the 2022-23 school year. 

Ten months ago seems like it was years ago - so much has already changed since then. As the school year has progressed, many of us find ourselves busier than we have been since before the pandemic shut everything down. One PJA parent and I were discussing the sprint to the finish line and she shared a phrase with me I had never heard before: the 500 days of May.

May and June are busy months for students and families. There are end-of-year projects and tests due, applications for summer camps, enrolling for school for next year, graduations, vacation planning, plays, concerts, athletic events and nicer weather keeping us outside more often. 

May and June are also busy for school staff, including all of us at PJA. This May saw the return of field trips including the Israel trip, Ashland trip and outdoor school. Summer Discovery and MJCC Camp are ramping up. Our Afterschool, Early Childhood and Admissions offices have been making sure our programs are full and organized for next year. Teachers have been holding conferences, taking professional development, and maintaining quality educational opportunities for students. A later than usual Passover along with other Spring holidays have made May a very full month for everyone.

May can really feel like 500 long, full days.

The hectic schedule of May will eventually ebb. Spring will turn to summer and with it a slower pace will set in at PJA. This is the nature of a school calendar.

The calendar rhythm reminds me of two elements of Jewish learning and life: sh’mitah and Shabbat. Both sh’mitah and Shabbat remind us that rest is not only important, but a part of our very existence. Cycles of work and rest allow us to find joy in both. It is in resting that we are able to reflect, recover and recharge. Work is where we seek fulfillment, community, and new learning.

Until summer, everyone at PJA remains dedicated to ensuring quality programs for all of our community members. We are excited to learn, teach, create, celebrate and more with our community over the last few weeks of school. We look forward to the many events that make May seem like 500 days. When June 10th comes, we will be excited and ready to slow down and enjoy summer.