The sabbatical was invented by God Himself, who instructed Moses that after six years of planting, the ground needed a rest. At some point in history, the similarity between profs and dirt was discovered and it was determined that academics need occasional rest as well. Sort of. Whether the sabbatical is actually a time of rest is up for debate. Here’s what Webster has to say: a sabbatical is “a year or half-year of absence for study, rest, or travel, given at intervals, originally every seven years, to teachers at some colleges and universities.”
So my sabbatical means I will be absent from TWU for the next half-year and that I will be resting, studying, and travelling. And directing, and seeing a lot of theatre.
The theatre-going has begun in earnest, as I am in the middle of seeing 11 shows in 10 days, mostly at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. My next post will be an update on what I see.
Sabbatical is a really cool idea (I find God has many of those) and it seems to me that the ultimate goal is bigger than a break from routine. For insight into the higher purpose of sabbaticals, I like these thoughts, which I found on the Boston University School of Theology website:
Sabbaticals are not vacations, but carefully planned periods of time devoted toThere are many words and phrases in that short paragraph that resonate for me. I’ve got a lot of activities planned between now and December, and my hope is that they will provide both professional development and spiritual renewal. These entries will be a great opportunity to process my experiences.
study, reflection, rest, and renewal. They frequently become a path to
understanding one's vocation in new ways or as a vehicle for a transformed
sense of identity. This is a time to experience "being" in addition to
"doing"; it should be a time of freedom and authenticity. One of the goals
of a sabbatical is to return renewed and refreshed.
I might even come to understand my vocation in a new way...