Sleep and the Sabbatical

I had not expected students to care only about their high grades (A or A- are the only acceptable “good” grades) and about getting work done so they can get on with their partying or video games (“relaxing”) or even sleeping. I had not expected that students would dash off a first draft and think it should get that desired A. I had not expected that students at a first-rate university — because you should know that the institution offering me a coveted sabbatical is a generous, well-endowed one with high admission criteria, unlike some of the other universities where I taught — would know so little of books and the intellectual tradition.

And the real whammy, the genuine shocker, was all the other stuff: I turned out to be a conscientious committee member and an imaginative administrator in running an underfinanced center. Then my life began to fill up with what I consider mental spam: meetings, strategies, proposals, reports that go unread or even missing when they are finally needed, lunches with candidates, time spent lobbying colleagues for support for votes, informational meetings about how to work the computer program that keeps track of student activities, and scheduling for all the meetings, lunches, and committees. —Susan BlumSleep and the Sabbatical (Chronicle of Higher Education)

What will I do if I get a sabbatical?

Let’s dream a little here. For me, a one-semester sabbatical would mean release from four courses, plus a semester worth of committee work. I could ask to teach a 2/2 load for one year… could I ask to teach a 3/3 load for 2 years? A 3/4 load for four years? Maybe I could teach a summer section of basic comp, and end up with a 3/1/3 load for four years… but would I become accustomed to that level, and would I hit a wall when I had to go back to the regular schedule?

If I stretched it out that much, would I even notice that I was on sabbatical?

Oh, well… it’s been fun counting these chickens.