Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Question of the Week

Take it, hon!  Before the fanny pack slips!
In The Right Kind of Girl, Sir Paul Wyatt is on sabbatical.  Here's the wiki exerpt on the subject:

Sabbatical 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 the Bible (Leviticus 25, for example, where there is a commandment to desist from working the fields in the seventh year)...In recent times, "sabbatical" has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something. In the modern sense, one takes sabbatical typically to fulfill some goal, e.g., writing a book or traveling extensively for research

Though Sir Paul seems a little unfocused during his sabbatical (visits to the hospital, substituting for a GP, lecture-tours), he seems to be working flat-out.
I live in a little unincorporated suburb outside of Portland, OR that is home to sports-clothing behemoth Nike and several large Intel fabs. Since many of our friends work for one or the other, they are beneficiaries to those companies' sabbatical policies (In the case of Intel, it is an 8-week paid sabbatical every seven years.  Nike's is five weeks sabbatical after 10 years employment and then every five years after.)
One of my favorite people in the world was able to have her husband take sabbatical a couple of years ago.  They did weeks of family trip-making and then farmed out their kids for a few weeks while she and her hub visited Italy.
The Major International Employer van Voorhees has no sabbatical policy.  (Dang it.)  But if they did...???

What would you do?


  1. My cousin's husband works for a Silicon Valley company, although they live in the greater Boston (yes, Massachusetts) area. He gets a sabbatical every 5 or 7 years. When the first one rolled around, the entire family went up to the house on the island off the coast of Maine. No running water or electricity. He wanted to be "off the grid."

    Unfortunately, my cousin has an autoimmune neurological disorder (myasthenia gravis) and living that, uh, close to nature made her extremely ill -- needing-to-be-hospitalized ill -- and cut short the sabbatical.

    For the next one, they'll probably go someplace with running water and electricity. Just a guess.

  2. My best friend's younger son is a professor at Northwestern and he gets sabbaticals and exchange programs and the like very frequently. I guess once you're a full professor you don't have to be in your own classroom much! :) Their oldest daughter is just 19 and they have been to France for a year twice since she was school age, and spent a year and a half in Mexico as well. It's been wonderful for the kids - the older two are tri-lingual and the younger two are completely bi-lingual.

    I don't know of any corporation that gives sabbaticals - great if you can get it. Hubby just told me that Bethlehem Steel (which is no longer in operation here) offered that kind of leave to employees after so many years of employment. They'd get 13 weeks after 10 years.


  3. Oh - if we had sabbatical? I don't even have to discuss it - hubby would want to travel across the US, as far and for as long as leave and money would take us. :)


  4. When I was in 4th grade, my mother took a year's sabbatical to get her Master's Degree. It was a case of her working harder during her 'time off' than she did with her regular job.

  5. Dr. Moose Steuve van der Haar likes to spend his sabbbaticals doing absolutely nothing. I on the other hand am debating between an American History Family Tour or Moose and I hit the greatest Cities of Central and Eastern Europe Trip. 2015 here we come!

  6. I have always wanted to live in a (politically stable) Spanish speaking country (Chile comes to mind) for six months just so we could all learn to speak Spanish like natives. So far, the Fed. Gov't hasn't offered us any sabbaticals (though 5 weeks of paid vacation a year doesn't seem to go as far as one would expect it to). There is also the difficulty of my husband's health. He is a victim of major abdominal surgery, and has been hospitilized three times since with life threatening post-surgical complications (bowel obstruction), so I do hesitate to go live in a country that doesn't have good modern hospitals.