Sabbaticals 101: A Practical Guide for Academics & Their Families

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Sabbaticals 101: A Practical Guide for Academics & Their Families, by Nancy Matthews. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press, 2008, xiv + 154 pp. $18.95

Sabbaticals 101 starts with the assumption that the elusive sabbatical has already been approved for the faculty member who is anticipating the next steps in the process. This book does provide some fine sources for those looking for a book to guide them through the sabbatical application process in the references and resources sections. The author, a veteran of five international stays, leads us through the family side of sabbatical life with a mixture of sage wisdom gained from personal experience and wry humor. Nancy Matthews, travel professional and wife of a seasoned academic has an easy writing style that is user-friendly and immensely informative. The author examines the sabbatical in three segments; preparing for and traveling to the sabbatical site (Pulling Up Stakes), arriving at and taking full advantage of the sabbatical (Putting Down Roots), and finally coming home (Heading Home). Ms. Matthews reminds us in the Introduction of the book that sometimes all that is needed is "information that could change a potentially stressful, potentially unpleasant situation into an enjoyable and memorable adventure."

The book contains many check lists, links, addresses, and resources that the traveler would be wise to consult as the sabbatical proceeds. On multiple occasions, the author reminds us that it takes more time than is often allowed to get important papers and permissions completed before departure. The text reminds us of the need to prepare for the sojourn by checking, rechecking, getting written confirmation, and making extra copies of all important papers and then rechecking every detail again. …