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Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Break!

I've been MIA the last few weeks while getting a paper done for a conference and largely just trying to keep my head above water with classes. But spring break is this week and I'm hoping to catch up a bit. One of the great ironies of academic life is that we have all this flexibility so non-academics often look at our schedules and may envy all the vacation and 'free time' that we get. But the reality is that to be a successful academic, you have to have the self-discipline to manage all that 'free time', and many academics I know work many more hours than people with more typical 9-to-5 jobs. It's also a job that's really hard to 'leave at the office', so even when I'm not technically working, I'm often thinking about work-related stuff. All of which is to say, I'm very bad at taking vacations. If I don't have specific things planned, I tend to default into doing work. This is not necessarily a bad thing - I see it as an indication of how much I love what I do - but I also know that part of my feeling of teaching burn out this year is because I didn't take the mental break that I needed last summer.

So when a friend asked me yesterday what I was going to do over break, I started gushing about how I can finally tackle all the weeds that have taken over my yard, run a bunch of errands, catch up on the final episodes of Battestar Galactica (not to mention catching up on blog posting!) - and I realized he was looking at me in total confusion. He asked, "That's a vacation?" Sigh.