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Stephanie Paulsell on the Lilly Fellows Program

Stephanie Paulsell, Houghton Professor of the Practice of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School, reflects on her time as a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow and on Mark Schwehn’s Exiles from Eden in The Christian Century.  Read more here.

Posted by Joe Creech

A Little Time Away

No, I will not launch into Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.” Rather it is that time of the summer when the LFP office closes up shop for a couple weeks as we (the office) take some time out of said office.  We try to stagger when we are away, so we are not all gone at once.  But, we close down our computers, shut up our blinds, put our out-of-office message on our emails, and water our plants in the vain hope that they will still be alive upon our return.  The trick is shutting ourselves down from the day-to-day activities of the business of the LFP.  (There is always an email we could answer, a conference planning detail to check on, or something.) This, I think, is the trick of everyone working everywhere. (I do not claim it to be a problem unique to us.)  It is hard to stop.

John Singer Sargent, Girl Fishing

John Singer Sargent, Girl Fishing

Academics, on the other hand, look to their summers as the potential time to turn their attention to their research projects, that article they wanted to finish, or books they wanted to read in preparation for a course they wish to try out in the coming fall or spring. Shutting off, taking time away, going fishing, if you will, is difficult.  Those in the classroom have all those students, that correcting, class prep, and committee meetings to occupy them during the school year.  Administrators have an equal number of items on their To Do Lists during the year as well.  The summer, that Mythical Summer of Productivity calls us all.  This will be the summer I do everything that I intended to do! (Ha.)

But we try, because time with our spouses, partners, friends, children, parents, nieces, nephews, dogs, a really good non-academic mystery, whatever, is a good thing.  Time away, even if it is a long weekend, even if one finds herself dipping into work while on vacation (guilty as charged), if one is lucky to get that break, is helpful.

So we, the LFP office, have hung up our Gone Fishing sign as of today. We will be back in business before you know it.

 

By Mary Beth Fraser Connolly

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