Permission to Take a Vacation

by Kelle on June 11, 2012

I need a vacation. Posting from me will likely be even less frequent than usual for the next couple months. Never fear, however! I have been working on a project to try to firm up the long term future of AstroBetter without completely sabotaging my research program and tenure prospects. Did I mention that I need a vacation?

Essay on need for academics to take vacations | Inside Higher Ed.

Sometimes it’s hard to allow ourselves to relax. We rush through the academic year, dealing with the inevitable crises of the spring and fall semesters, putting out the fires that students and colleagues sometimes set, torching a few things ourselves along the way, creating more work for ourselves from time to time. The summer offers a break from the cycle of crisis-and-response, from the dulling routines of the working year. Summer offers a chance to slow down. But it takes a lot of patience and commitment, oddly enough, to allow ourselves a period of genuine relaxation. It takes, in a weird sort of way, permission.

The curse of an academic career is that the work is never, ever done. No matter how caught up with our day-to-day work we may get, there is always research or writing that we could/should be doing, or a course that could use an overhaul. The boundaries of academic work are ill-defined, and so work follows us from our offices to our homes, in the evenings, on the weekends, and even in the summer. This is precisely why, after a year of hard work, you deserve, actually quite need, some sort of a vacation.

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1 Ann Onymous June 12, 2012 at 3:11 am

The last time I enjoyed real holidays was before beginning graduate studies. That’s almost a decade away now. Even when there are some kind of “mandatory” holidays such as over the Christmas period I keep working 10-12 hours a day 7/7, which mainly generates the wrath of my family.
Being a postdoc does nothing the alleviate the problem. I feel I need to publish ever more articles to land a permanent position (a rather silly idea if you ask me when looking at who gets hired and especially who does not). Taking holidays would mostly increase my stress level (as papers would not get written). I clearly feel that it is taking a toll on my health now. I just hope I will get a permanent position before all this literally kills me.

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