I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by.
I’m about a month away from the end of my first of two six-month sabbaticals and it feels like I just got started.
It’s not that I haven’t made significant progress towards my goals, but rather that I feel like I only recently stopped teaching and dedicated myself full-time, more or less, to research.
I plan to use these final two posts to reflect on what seems to have gone right and wrong. This post is dedicated to the professional side, where the experience has been much more positive. The next one will be more personal, and more challenging to write.
Looking back on what I hoped to achieve research-wise, I’m quite satisfied. My primary goal, to complete the Ottawa-based archival research for my book project, has been met.
My plan to split up the sabbatical has also born fruit in terms of giving me extra time to make access to information requests and to schedule interviews.
Good planning and a heavy workload has meant that I have accumulated enough CV-friendly achievements (published refereed articles, book chapters, conference presentations, invited lectures) to satisfy my chair and dean, so I’m not concerned about the post-sabbatical report or my prospects for another leave in seven years.
And my decision to change my wardrobe (and dress down) while in the office seems to have contributed to the lack of additional service requirements that were imposed upon me this term (even though it seemed to some of my colleagues like I was always on campus).
Sure, I did attend a few more meetings than I might have, but they were primarily teaching-related, and I’m happy to make time for efforts to enhance our students’ learning experience.
All of that said, many readers will find it ironic that I will be returning from sabbatical with an urge to write. I’ve spent a lot of time taking notes and generating ideas, but given the importance of getting the research travel done, I’ve spent much less putting pen to paper (or thoughts to screen).
Once this sabbatical is over, I plan to take on a couple of smaller writing projects that have been staring at me since January. After that, it’s headfirst back into teaching and service.
At one level, it all feels very good…