Summer school starts at my school on Monday, and I am thankful not to be involved. One argument against summer vacation from school is the documented lapse that many students experience after so many months away. Not every kid has the summer full of reading and unstructured playing and swimming and listening to the radio and doing chores and taking day trips and vacations and having conversations at dinner that I had when I was younger. Those activities were stimulating and involved critical thinking and problem solving that exercised my young brain, even if the game shows and soaps I also watched did not. Or did they? Maybe summer is kind of like the R.E.M. sleep of a kid's life, an active rest essential for proper development. Now if only they could find a way to measure that.