Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend Treats

Eye Candy for the Day:

(Photo Credit: Moose, on her iPhone, exploring her undisclosed location, 9/18/09)

Word for the Day: SKYPE! Please don't tell us this free, miraculous techno-toy is a way of gathering information for creepy, capitalist purposes, if that is in fact the case. We don't care! Goose and I got to see Moose in her undisclosed location last night (and this afternoon and will again tonight . . . ), and she got to see US right here in Roxie's World! They keep making jokes about The Jetsons, and I keep going, "Wait, is Moose gone or what? What the heck is going on here?" What a world, what a world.

Thought for the Day (from Moose on the Loose): Academics, and especially humanists, need to stop being so sheepish about being able to take sabbaticals. From one perspective, yes, time away from teaching and service is both a privilege and a luxury, but such time is also essential to other vitally important aspects of our work: recharging intellectual batteries, exploring new scholarly terrain, immersing ourselves in reading, writing, and research. All of that will make us better teachers and happier, more productive members of our campus communities. Is it our fault that other professions don't regularly afford such breaks from routine? No. Rather than being sheepish, perhaps we should try to imagine a world in which such opportunities would be more broadly available -- and not just for professionals and creative types, but for everyone. Yeah, pie in the sky, I know, but such happy thoughts are possible to a girl getting a long overdue break. Gotta go, kids. It's time to explore one of the fine dining options available here in Sabbatical Land. Peace out!


  1. I'm so glad to see the coral reefs are in such a fine state...

    Our cats have *very* mixed feelings about skyping my parents' cat, 3000+ miles away, but potentially o so close... (Roxie, yes...what skyping! it's true!)

  2. from the Wikipedia:

    "In recent times, "sabbatical" has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something. In the modern sense, one takes sabbatical typically to fulfill some goal, e.g., writing a book or traveling extensively for research. Some universities and other institutional employers of scientists, physicians, and/or academics offer the opportunity to qualify for paid sabbatical as an employee benefit, called sabbatical leave. Some companies offer unpaid sabbatical for people wanting to take career breaks — this is a growing trend in the United Kingdom, with 20% of companies having a career break policy, and a further 10% considering introducing one.[1]

    "Sabbaticals are often taken by professors, pastors, cartoonists, musicians, programmers, and sportsmen."

    The idea that no one else gets a sabbatical, or that they are not possible in other professions, and not as uncommon in some other countires, help create the impression that everyone must work all the time. It is one form of mis/dis/information.

    Yes, I am thankful to have had a sabbatical. Yes, I know how uncommon these are in the US, and in the world over all generally. But I also know that they are more common in some other places that have different histories and ideologies of work and accountability.

    We all deserve sabbaticals. They are good. Workplaces and worklife can be better. Marx and other socialists have had good ideas about this for a long time.... We need to honor these ideas more and more.

  3. @ Kate: Thanks for the botanical info. Moose would have identified it as "pretty yellow growing thing." As for cats and skyping, one wonders if they are more bothered by the technology or the notion that there are other cats in the world. PS: Harry's ROCKS!

    @ Katie: Here, here! Sabbaticals for all!

  4. Hey -- and don't forget and don't forget to remind folks: academics are ONLY PAID FOR 9 MONTHS WORK. Paid vacation--ha! So one can see the sabbatical as a way of making up that fact of life.

    And all of the other things that Katie said.

    And Kate, cat skyping is the New Hip!!!

    Always Goose


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