I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow. Skiing. Here’s a list partial list of of things I won’t be doing:

  • Writing letters of recommendation.
  • Reading a fellow’s application after we met about a better platform to do experiments.
  • Reviewing papers.
  • Working on grant applications.
  • Writing papers.
  • Writing blogs for Edge for Scholars*.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last month carving out this 10 day holiday and, for the first time (maybe ever), I am not going to let work creep into my time.

Taking a vacation has not, historically, been a source of pride for me. I bristle at the all too frequent ‘it must be nice’ passive aggressive comments of others as if we should be competing to be The Most Miserable in the Olympics of Pain. I would rather just have a closed office door than an explanation. But not this time. I’m Spring Breaking like a rockstar next week.

Squirrels need vacations, too.

I come from Boston Catholics and have been in the South for most of my son’s life. He is now 16 and hasn’t met all his freaking crazy New England cousins, second cousins and extended family on my side of the family. Did I mention ‘Catholic’ because there are a lot of cousins to meet. He can’t remember seeing copious amounts of snow or mountains. Shamefully, he has never skied. I’m going to fix that. No matter how many of his legs he has to break trying to make it happen. (Sorry, son)

There’s more than enough academics who ‘have no time’ to vacation. Folks like Scott Kern who shall forever live in Twitter infamy #K3RN3D publishing an Op/Ed piece lamented the lack of people in his building on a Saturday. There’s also fabulous multitaskers who go on vacation, get up at 5 am for a run, dash off some emails and make breakfast for the family before everyone wakes up. I won’t be one of them.

I hope leaving the keyboard firmly on my desk catches on for more of you, particularly those who are in their 30’s and 40’s. The pressures on young faculty are greater than ever.  Let’s vacation like we mean it. #SQUIRR3L3D

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*We are doing our annual Darwins’ Balls March Madness fundraiser for kid’s STEM ed, so you aren’t rid of me entirely next week because it’s an awesome cause. 

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1 Comment

Just read the Kern op/ed. HOLY CRAP. My jaw fell to the floor and stayed there.

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