By Kevin Mulholland, Professor of Humanities
I had the summer session off for a sabbatical that involved travel, reading and reflection. I spent seven weeks of the 14-week session traveling to Holland, San Francisco and Peru.
The trip to Holland was built around the annual faculty exchange program administered by SAGE, which involves hosting a colleague from Mondriaan College and then spending two weeks as a guest there. While in Holland, I also toured the country and explored its rich art heritage.
While a week in San Francisco was less work-related, it did involve visits to the area’s museums, as well as an exploration of the murals of the Mission District.
Three weeks in Peru’s Sacred Valley rounded off my travel itinerary. Part of my time spent in Peru was with a group of Valencia faculty members who studied Incan culture under the direction of Marlene Temes, professor of Spanish. I also had the opportunity to extend this exploration with some solo and family travel.
Upon reflection, what I learned during my sabbatical will have direct impact in several areas. Namely, the study of the Incan civilization will be brought into my Introduction to Humanities class. While my experiences in Holland were not directly related to international politics, learning about Dutch perspectives will help me show students in international relations how captive we are to our own assumptions and prejudices.
Overall, I think any serious study in any area benefits us as teachers. The more we learn, the better we can teach.
The sabbatical program gave me the precious gift of time. While some of it was spent traveling, I also had time to visit local museums and spend long afternoons on the couch with a books on Incan history or Dutch culture. A chance to step back, read and to think and approach life at a slower pace was profoundly refreshing.
My trip to Holland was funded by SAGE, and I secured funding for the first part of my Peru trip from the Bank of America Chair in the Humanities. The solo portions of my trip were self-funded with reasonable costs, as I used the rent-by-owner services to find an apartment as a base for my stay.
A sabbatical is a wonderful opportunity to learn new things, to refresh yourself intellectually and personally and to consider completing one of those “if-I-only-had the-time” projects that we all have stored in the back of our minds.
Interested in taking a sabbatical? If so, applications for sabbatical leave for the 2016-2017 academic year are now being accepted. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 17, 2014. Click here for details.