On Sabbatical!

I have been given a gift: for the spring term, I am on sabbatical. Leading up to the start of the spring, misgivings and regrets dominated  my feelings about three empty months, away from school, the faculty, the academic work that has given my life purpose and meaning for 27 years, my advisees, the seniors and the senior projects, all the special events of spring term.  But excitement began to build as my plans developed, and now that I am two weeks in, I appreciate what this time means more and more each day. I feel almost the way I did just after graduating from college: my time is my own, my life is what I make of it. So far, this has meant a succession of explorations: reading through accumulated piles of books, and sites I had always deleted, trying my hand at writing for publications other than those sponsored by Dublin, trying out a meditation class, scoping out Plum Island.  I am a student again, forming my own classes: my new schools are a couple of non-profits that work to keep us safe from the dangers of radioactivity. My classes are meetings and time in their offices. One is C-10 research and Education Foundation in Newburyport, Massachusetts, which monitors emissions from Seabrook and serves as a citizen watchdog group. The biggest issue at present is concrete degradation in the containment dome: 131 cracks have been found by the NRC so far. Interestingly, Seabrook applied to renew its license from 2030 -2050 twenty years ahead of time. The other is Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Takoma Park, Maryland, where I am helping them re-work their website and writing and updating fact sheets. I will be in Washington, DC, for the coming week and hope to do some research in the archives (inspired by Nicole Sintetos.) I am attending a UN conference reviewing the Non-Proliferation Treaty later in the month - and then the travels begin: to Nova Scotia, and later, abroad. And more adventures too are in the works; I will write about those when I return ion July 1st. This gift of time is precious, and I am so grateful to the school and its leadership for providing me this opportunity. May your spring contain explorations and new learning too!