School started yesterday. And I wasn’t there.
I’m on sabbatical, one of the major, many perks of working in higher education. The timing is pretty great, as I watched from the sidelines all summer my colleagues prepare for a crazy semester of online teaching. It felt very weird yesterday to stay at home in my workout clothes instead of heading to campus (had I been teaching, I would have made the decision to teach in the classroom).
So what am I doing? What’s the point of a sabbatical?
I will take this time to focus on my writing. I’m sure I’ve said it before on this blog — teaching and advising and grading and committee work doesn’t leave a lot of time during the semester to write. I teach writing; I was hired based in part on my writing track record. Professors need to be able to keep up with their profession, and that’s the point of a sabbatical — to return to your projects with uninterrupted time.
A question for those of you with kids who are either in college or will be heading to college at some point: Don’t you want their professors to be in the top of their field? To stay on top of a field takes time and energy.
My plans are to put the finishing touches on the latest draft of my Camilla Hall/Symbionese Liberation Army manuscript and start shopping it around. Then there’s another creative nonfiction project I’d like to start, as well as a more scholarly research project. I may also throw a novel into the mix, too 🙂
That should be plenty to keep me busy! It’s not as if I will finish four books this year, but at least I can get a good start on them. I’d like that momentum to carry over to the next school year. My hope is to have some projects in the works, with potential, to give me the motivation to keep working on them even when things get busy.
I won’t lie — I also have plans to walk the dogs every day! And do some organizing around the house. I’ve already started to weed out and re-organize my books, and I get such a sense of calm and peace when I look at tidy shelves. We’ve lived in this house for more than 20 years and things have a tendency to pile up.
What are you working on these days? How do you organize your time?