NOT this Year, that is right we will not be returning to our teaching position this school year! We both have taken study sabbatical leave and we have returned to Drexel University to obtain current, updated and additional Masters Degrees. I am working on a new Masters in the Science of Instruction with an added certification in Information Technology. Radeen is working on a new certification in TESL, Teaching English as a Second Language. In order to qualify for a study sabbatical we need to take 24 graduate credits (12 per/semester) making us fulltime college students. Our sabbatical starts now, and we will return to our same teaching positions in September 2008. For now, we are college students once again but at the age of 50+.
This is a nice change, but as we tested out the course work this summer, it is a lot more work than first expected. We work on Drexel from 6am till around lunch time, which has become 1:30ish. Then we have lunch, pack up the laptops, shut down, and head off to the days explorations. We return to the boat around 5ish, hit the solar shower, make some refreshing drinks, share some snacks, and check back into the Drexel discussion boards where we chat and post reactions to the weeks readings. We enjoy a lovely dinner around 7pm, watch the sunset, pick up the boat, and do more reading. Around 9-10pm we hit the bunk, sleep and begin the day again with Drexel at 6-7am.
This sabbatical is a study sabbatical and with the new technology we are able to take all our coursework online via the Internet. We have full access to all the college libraries via online, we have an HP 5180 series all in one network printer, scanner, copier and a Verizon Broadband network distributed via wireless onboard. We have two Dell laptops which connect to our network wirelessly and Radeen works at the nav desk, and I work using the drop down table.
Power is a big issue since these laptops take about 8 amps of 12 volt power, so we have two solar panels mounted over the roof and they produce about 75% of the electricity we use. The extra power is made up from running the engine every 2 days to store back up the lost power in our 5 battery bank system.
We feel very fortunate that we can take this time to advance our degrees and at the same time enjoy living on the boat which we both love to do. It has taken some discipline because the boating life is really not a work environment but we are making it so. We have found that this IS a great place to read, study and write because there are no distractions for very long periods of time. We have a TV, but it has not been used since installed over 2 months ago.
Life is good aboard Island Spirit, our new college classroom, and college dorm room!
Links to our Drexel Online Programs:
Radeen’s TESL Certification