The Between Jest and Earnest 5 Things You Can Do On Sabbatical List

Time spent on book: 2 hours
Words written: 375
Grade for the day: C

I think that Monday is my first official day of sabbatical. University *stuff* (read: ASSESSMENT!!!) remains an obligation until tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, I will be leading a "field trip" to Penn State University Press, where we will be talking to Patrick Alexander about publishing. More on that next week.

But for now....

I'm not sure that everyone I talk with really gets what I'm doing on my sabbatical. Scratch that. They get the big picture--an extended summer break. They just aren't clear on I am doing with this surplus of time. It seems that "writing a book" just doesn't adequately answer the question. Moreover, when I say "I'm writing a history of religion and sports in America" I can almost hear them thinking, "Oh great, another academic who takes something fun and interesting and sucks all of the life out of it." 

Indeed. I wish I could argue back, but...

Just so everyone is clear here, the 3 AM panic attacks are already starting. "Sabbatical," in my mind, is horrifying because it means that I have to produce results. I'm already having nightmares where my sabbatical is about to end, and an army of judgmental deans and provosts are disapprovingly scowling at my three paragraphs of progress. "But look at that endnote!" I scream. "It's got, like, FIVE poststructuralists in there. I even say 'hegemony'!" The scowling continues.

But still, I haven't had much luck communicating that I have untold hours of writing and research ahead of me, and that a sabbatical is the only way that I will Get the Damn Book Done (GTDBD©).

So I've quit trying. From now on, whenever I am asked "What are you doing on your sabbatical," I will reply with....

The Between Jest and Earnest 5 Things You Can Do On Sabbatical List        
  1. Taking up smoking. I'm not even talking high-end cigars or anything. None of that hookah lounge stuff either. I'm talking old school cigarettes. I heard an interview with Louis C.K., and he mentioned that Joe Pesci told him that the anti-smoking stuff is complete bunk. So for my sabbatical, I will be testing Dr. Pesci's theory.
  2. Concentrate on my music. I don't play any instruments. I have no musical talents either. But I listen to a lot of music. So I'll just see where that takes me. A few open mics and I'm sure a Tiny Desk Concert will come my way. Or maybe I'll form a Mumford Band
  3. Doomsday Prepping: These food buckets aren't going to fill themselves!
  4.  Follow Phish. I don't even know if they are a thing any more. 
  5. Organize a Third Party Run for the President Based on Enacting and Enforcing Anti-Robot Policies: I think I'd have a good chance. This year, at least. ROBOTS TERK ER JERBS!