countdown to sabbatical…3…2…

im not sure if there is an actual start date, but somehow july 1st feels like a good time to shift into sabbatical mode. by that point — less than 2 days from this minute! — i plan to bring some sense of closure (as if such a thing exists — HA!) to the 2010-2011 academic year todos (lingering rec letters and the current online course im teaching, notwithstanding!). july 1st is also the date on which i’m also planning to launch my official sabbatical auto reply for my university email. the extent to which that gives me joy should cause alarm, especially as i am moved to do a jig every time i imagine said “away” message.  away!  just the idea of being/going/moving/flying “away” fills me with a strange mix of elation, nervousness, giddiness, and mostly joy, joy, joy!  🙂

obvious reasons aside, i wonder if perhaps this unfamiliar melee of emotions is partly due to the fact that i have been jogging on the hamster wheel of school in some capacity since i was 2 and 1/2. even when i was “just working” i was part of an inquiry group, engaged in teacher research; my summers “off” were still spent in tennis camp, rocketry camp, and even something called “camp college.” [insert any number of nerd/dork/hopeless geek jokes here, now.]

but a sabbatical. the word has a magical power over me. i can’t say it without whispering just a little bit. while the origin of my wonderment with the word has been brewing for over 20 years, the actuality and possibility of the idea becoming a reality have only materialized in the last several weeks. the notification that the sabbatical was approved (glory hallelujah!), getting details sorted out for a visiting post overseas (more on that to come…), and sorting out the subletting of my apartment.  ah, subletting. more like bloodletting! not the actual process — everyone involved has been super! — but the actual steps one must take to make one’s home available to a veritable stranger. (how much to leave behind ? how much to pack?) and how to keep cool when not one, not two, but three potential subletters fall through…?

but keep cool i did, and it looks like all may be well. [wiping brow dramatically for effect.] so now it’s just that much more real. someone else will be living in my apartment, and so i have to leave. retreat to the house i used to call my home — still do, most of the time. but in the past two years, as i was working maniacally to complete neglected r&rs in time for tenure consideration — ah, tenure… that will be a post or two or three somewhere down the line — i came to really love my not-so-new-anymore city. and just as i am beginning to get a sense of how i belong here, i am getting ready to leave.

no, not having second thoughts. just appreciating the mildly ironic framing of tenure — now that you can stay, go away. 🙂

and away i will go, thank you very much. but not so far that i can’t share the tales of my travels, both geographic and metaphoric (and possibly even meteoric), here. hope you, whoever you are, come along for the ride!