Breaking away?

Academics are well used to being asked some time in early June at the latest whether the are now off until September. As I have mentioned a number of times, this is never the case now (and anyway never was the case in most universities) – few manage to take more than 2-3 weeks away.

However, I can report that I am now on a two-week break, and right now am travelling between the United States and Canada (tomorrow I shall be in Halifax, Nova Scotia).

As I travel I get a chance to read things I donโ€™t normally have the time to tackle. This time it has been Pnin by Nabokov; Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens; and The Silent People by Walter Macken. Alongside that, and for real entertainment, a book on monetary economics.

I hope some of my readers are also enjoying a break. Back to normal service for me next week.

Explore posts in the same categories: higher education, literature, society


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8 Comments on “Breaking away?”

  1. no-name Says:


  2. Vincent Says:

    Have a good trip. When you hear some of the accents in NS you’ll think you are in Ireland or Scotland.

  3. James Fryar Says:

    Enjoy! Halifax is a great place … as Vincent said, the accents are wonderful. There’s an Irish Ale House on the Old Triangle I have vague memories of … must have been good.

  4. cormac Says:

    Ahem. It is a little-known fact that the majority of lecturing staff in the Institute of Technology sector do, in fact, take holidays on June 20th, to re-appear on September 1st. Quite a perk, you might say!.

    The reasons for this are partly historical (as teaching oriented institutions, the former RTCs occupied a space somewhere between secondary school and university), and partly practical: during term time staff endure heavy teaching loads (at 18-20 teaching hours per week, closer to to secondary level than third).

    The right to this long holiday is strongly defended by the teacher’s union (of course, some IoT lecturers involved in research take short holidays – if at all – but that is a small minority). It’s curious though that, in the discussions of mergers and technological universities, the issue of holidays has not been raised – further evidence, in my view, that the proposal has not been thought through, and that many in the IoT sector undersestimate the demands of research

    • In truth, it’s hard to justify such holidays even for schoolteachers. When I took up my post in DCU and we moved from England, I was astonished at the length of the school summer holidays – which were based I think on a mixture of the needs of farmers for family support and of the assumption that women don’t work. To put it in perspective, Irish schools have been on holiday since early or late June, English ones have only started about a week ago. This cannot continue.

      • Vince Says:

        Killjoy !. What about all the bean on ti livelihoods your initiative would erase, never mind the patting the grave of the language. Then think of the rise in the teen murder rate if the frazzled parents had to house them instead of shipping off along the spokes of the railway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Wendymr Says:

    Welcome to Canada! I visited Halifax briefly a couple of years ago on the way back to Ontario after a week on beautiful Prince Edward Island. Enjoy your time in the better part of North America ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Jeremy Says:

    A friend of mine was born and raised in Nova Scotia … enjoy your holiday there!

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