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Who Does’t Need a Sabbatical? November 13, 2012

Posted by Jill S. Schneiderman in sabbatical.
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An upublished Letter to the Editor of the New York Times, re: Hillary’s Next Move
To the Editor:

Re: Secretary Clinton’s comment: “I just want to sleep and exercise and travel for fun. And relax. It sounds so ordinary, but I haven’t done it for 20 years.”
It sounds to me like Hillary Clinton intends to take a sabbatical. I’m a college professor on a seventh semester sabbatical right now. Academics fortunate enough to teach at institutions that grant sabbaticals are eligible every seventh semester or every seventh year. This makes sense given that the word “sabbatical” derives from the word “sabbath,” a time for rest, reflection, and renewal. Many academics forget this and rush to try to accomplish something during a sabbatical. But the real rejuvenation comes from embracing  the ordinary sleep, exercise and fun to which Secretary Clinton refers and in which I’m currently engaged. I just wish that Hillary Clinton hadn’t had to wait twenty years for the opportunity. And I wish that all human beings might be granted  opportunities to take needed rest from the demands of daily life. All life on the planet, and the planet itself, would benefit from regular rest and reflection.
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1. Sarah E. - December 4, 2012

I love this! Growing up, I saw that when my professor mom had a sabbatical, she was able to renew and create much like I feel is facilitated by Shabbat. I’d never made the connection between sabbatical and Sabbath, very interesting, Jill!

2. Jill S. Schneiderman - December 4, 2012

Thanks Sarah. I do believe that the majority of academics don’t realize that more-than-etymological connection!


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