Well, the sabbatical has finally started. I’ve sent my first “I can’t attend that meeting because I’m on sabbatical” email (which felt great) and I’m getting ready to invoke the out-of-office email autoreply. Two years of planning have set us up for this great adventure. It is a great privilege to have a paid sabbatical, one that I do not take for granted. I’m hoping to accomplish some good work during this time, and to have some great experiences with the family that will be an integral part of our lifetime of learning.
I’ll be a visiting academic at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, hanging out with their Chemistry and Science Education Research (ChASERs) group. The general plan is to share our work in transforming teaching and learning in undergraduate science education at CU Denver, and to learn about their related efforts. The folks at Monash have been super helpful in securing the appointment and research Visa so that I can be there for six months. Luckily, it’s much easier for my wife and daughters who are all Australian citizens.
We’ve found someone to house and pet-sit for us here in Colorado, thanks to a connection from a colleague at work (thanks, Brent!). And out awesome neighbors are helping out as well by assisting our house/petsitter. Now we’re finishing up the house prep and packing. Deciding what to take on a six month “trip” is an interesting exercise indeed. Between clothes, tech devices (too many), running and cycling gear, ham radio stuff, soft toys, etc the list is long and the bags are many. But I’m confident that we’ll be all ready to get out of here and onto that long flight on Tuesday Jan 14.
Once we arrive we will stay with family for a while before moving in to our first of two rentals in Elwood, Victoria. We’ve got an Airbnb for the first month, then we are renting the home of a fellow academic that we found through sabbaticalhomes.com. This is a great service for academics to advertise and find places to stay when on sabbatical.
Our girls will continue fifth grade at the primary school in Elwood. And I think we’ve even found a Lacrosse team for one of our daughters to play with (she’s bringing all of her Lacrosse goalie gear). There are libraries and parks close by, and we can even walk to the beach 🙂 We are set to go.
I’m really excited about this family adventure to a new place. Figuring out all of the daily stuff we take for granted now (shopping, cooking, transport, laundry, etc). I’ll try to update this space with posts from time to time, and of course I’ll share pics on my Instagram feed. I deactivated my IG>Twitter link that I had set up through IFTTT, so if you want to see pretty pictures then please request to follow me on IG.
So wish us luck, and don’t expect timely response to your emails 😉
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