What does a professor do on sabbatical, anyway?

Well, I can only recount what this professor is doing on sabbatical.  The list is long and reflects things that suddenly arose, that were neglected, and things on my "someday-maybe list."

On the suddenly arose list is my finger-I fell the weekend before we went on vacation in July and when we returned in August my right pinky decided to go astray-I can't move it toward the rest of my fingers.  An EMG test seems to indicate a damaged ulna nerve, so off to the doctor tomorrow to find out what we do about this.

On the things that were neglected, first and foremost is my office at home-not cleaned up in, oh, four years and two months.  I don't have any "before" pictures (too embarassing) but I do have an after, and a picture of all of the recycling sitting by the curb (and that doesn't include the stuff that just plain got tossed.

You can see my meditation cushion in this picture, another practice that has been neglected, so I'm getting back to that.  Pleasure reading with the exception of my monthly book group has been limited to what I can grab and read on the train.

Spending time with Anne, again except for "planned" times has been severely neglected, so I am enjoying long breakfasts, leisurely conversations, and picking up my share of house chores.

Spending time with family has also been neglected but some of that that was rectified by attending a family wedding at West Point right after Labor Day, and by having my father, sister and brother-in-law stay over (which was the motivation for cleaning my office; my sister and brother-in-law slept in the guest room, and my dad slept on a blow up bed in my office.  So my office had to be cleaned up.  Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.).  I saw my cousin Tom (we hadn't seen each other since my grandmother's funeral in 1983) and my cousin Bob (at least I saw him in the 90's and Anne had met him) and their families-it was Bob's daughter Emily who was getting married.

But maybe the best of all is having time for learning new things, practical things.  Developing my web site has been on my "someday-maybe" list for four years, ever since I took Meggin McIntosh's workshop "Make a Difference, Make Money, Teaching Teachers" (a class she no longer offers).  At Meggin's suggestion, I signed up with a hosting service and snagged connieknapp.com, constanceknapp.com and facultyzen.com and have done absolutely nothing with them, except pay the leasing fee for the last four years.  So it's time to learn iWeb.  More to come.

Learning how to use Evernote productively is also on the list.

Spending time actually reading all of my RSS feeds would be useful, as will pruning some of them back.

For the learning part, I'm experimenting with Grovo-can't remember how I first heard of Grovo, but so far the free classes have been very useful.

And then there's Project 137 with the amazing Patti Digh.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll actually get caught up on all that e-mail (or perhaps I'll just declare e-mail bankruptcy).

The "new and improved" me will head back into the classroom in January, right after I turn (gulp!) 65.

No comments: