Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independence Day

It's an interesting coincidence that Independence Day and the beginning of my sabbatical came at the same time. I didn't "plan" for this - it was the vagaries of the academic calendar that scheduled my last class to end on July 2. Yet, it seems like something to take note of. Many of my "non-academic" friends and family have mentioned their envy at my upcoming 'year off.' It's my academic friends who know that the 'year off' isn't what many imagine it to be.

If you search Thesaurus.com for synonyms for the word 'sabbatical,' several pop up with additional synonyms listed for each of those. "Breathing space" was one. It seemed like a good title for a blog, yes, but more importantly a good way to think about the upcoming year. In academia we get so caught up in the daily pressure of lessons and exams, papers and lectures, committee meetings and committee meetings, that we often feel that we don't have time to catch our breath. That is really what sabbatical is about. A time to slow down, catch your breath, and really look at what you do and why you do it and, most importantly, figure out ways to do it better. Wish me luck!

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