Summer continues happily on here in Boston, and I hope wherever you all are as well. I have no particularly pressing obligations or must-achieve goals for the summer, and I must say it's excellent. Olin continually pushes me to be a little better than I thought I could be (a more critical thinker, more open-minded, more organized, a bolder designer, a more technical engineer, etc.), and I love it for that, but there's something immensely refreshing about operating a little "below potential". I'm not advocating skating through life, but I'm tossing around the hypothesis continually operating at the outer limit (or even a bit beyond) of one's capability precludes a certain type of percolating thinking that can only be done slowly and not terribly efficiently. It might be like the intellectual equivalent of never taking a rest day after a hard workout. I haven't quite worked out all the edges of this particular hypothesis though, and I'd love to hear arguments for or against.
Regardless, my life is now pleasantly full of normal working hours, swimming, cooking large pots of rice pudding just because I can, walking through Boston, and coveting the sailboats along the harbor.
With about 90 minutes of bus time every day, I've also been going through books at a ridiculous rate. For just-for-fun books, I lean towards stories over non-fiction, and so that's been the majority of my recent reading. My current new favorite are Isabel Allende's books - fair warning, the Infinity Plan should have been over about 200 pages sooner, but the others have been excellent. Most are easily found in English too, so if you're looking for a new author, check them out!
Water for Elephants gets this summer's "exceeds expectations" points. It was a random grab off the shelf (strike 1: the downside of having a lovely, gigantic library with oodles of books is that it also has oodles of mediocre and worse books), and general structure of "old person reflecting on some formative coming-of-age period of their youth" which is so terribly easily lent toward said mediocrity. And then it turned out to be solidly good, and fun to read as a bonus!
And so that is how a slow summer in Boston goes. I hope your summers are similarly enjoyable and as productive as you would wish them!