Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Latin sabbaticus, from Greek sabbatikos, from Hebrew shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a “ceasing”) is a rest from work, or a hiatus, often lasting from two months to a year. The concept of sabbatical has a source in shmita, described several places in theBible (Leviticus 25, for example, where there is a commandment to desist from working the fields in the seventh year). In the strict sense, therefore, sabbatical lasts a year.

To desist from working the fields in the seventh year – thus, my break from teaching, which, I guess, is akin to working in the fields.  So far my sabbatical has produced three trips to Italy, lovely quiet time in the archive, a bit of time lying on the living room rug staring at the ceiling, a lot of undisciplined reading, some disciplined reading, and a whole lot of good intentions, not many of them realized.  Learn to drive – not yet.  Learn to play guitar – can’t give up my manicure.  Lose 60 pounds – so far, I’m still curating them.  Write a book – already did that but, in academe, while publishing a book means everything, once it’s published it doesn’t really mean much.  One of the many ironies of accomplishment is that it’s about as short-lived as most other real pleasures in life.  However, like my second book manuscript, I am a work in progress.



About hickson1

Art historian, professor, Italian Renaissance and Baroque specialist, Italophile
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