Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Fm2018
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 am

Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Fm2018 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am

I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?

--------
*I still need to do some research and teaching prep during this time.

Dopey
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:41 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Dopey » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:58 am

You only work half the year and have a budget of $5k per month of excess on months you're not working?

I think I need some career advice.

Honestly, the allure of a career like that for me is the change. I used to think I could teach HS math and work construction in the summers and make about the same as my white collar job. But that's likely not the case anymore as my career has progressed. They sucked me in....

livesoft
Posts: 69615
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:04 am

While working, I didn't have a lot of vacation days, but they were adequate.

But since you like outdoor activities, I see no reason why you couldn't take an extended solo backpacking trip. I spent November backpacking by myself and it cost quite a lot less than $5,000. I paid for only 2 hotel nights the entire month, but I did pay for camping permits of $10 to $15 per night in a few places, though most nights cost me nothing.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

smitcat
Posts: 4642
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by smitcat » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:10 am

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?

--------
*I still need to do some research and teaching prep during this time.
When I had large amounts of extra time I divided it up somewhat equally between starting a business and various vacations and activities.

Mike Scott
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:45 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Mike Scott » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:12 am

I usually work part time to full time depending on grants and teaching. I have to keep up with my grad students, it helps pay for health insurance, savings/investments and improvements to the farm as well as spending time DIY on those improvements. I've got a several year long list of things to try to get done during the upcoming winter break along with family time, local travel and a nap.

perl
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:46 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by perl » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:49 am

I wish the myth that professors have summers off and lots of vacation would die. At research univiersities, time when classes are not in session is when professors do the work that determines their success, tenure, and raises - research.

student
Posts: 4339
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by student » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:08 am

In the summer, I do extra teaching for additional income, and do research. The pay is low in a number of disciplines. https://www.higheredjobs.com/salary/sal ... urveyID=46 For example, about $60 for assistant professors, just under $70's for associate professors and $80's for full professors across all institutions. You can also see salaries for a special college but across all disciplines. https://data.chronicle.com/

cashheavy18
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:19 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by cashheavy18 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:15 am

perl wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:49 am
I wish the myth that professors have summers off and lots of vacation would die. At research univiersities, time when classes are not in session is when professors do the work that determines their success, tenure, and raises - research.
100% accurate. The plus side is, depending on your field, there is a lot of flexibility of where you can physically be to do your research.

User avatar
8foot7
Posts: 1739
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:29 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by 8foot7 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:22 am

perl wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:49 am
I wish the myth that professors have summers off and lots of vacation would die. At research univiersities, time when classes are not in session is when professors do the work that determines their success, tenure, and raises - research.
I woulnd't call it a myth. It might be a widely perpetuated concept that isn't evenly applied in reality, but I'm familiar with several folks in academia about whom it's fair to say they have summers off and lots of vacation.

nhdean
Posts: 234
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by nhdean » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:47 am

I was a teacher for about 8 years, I had LOTS of time off!

User avatar
ClevrChico
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:47 am

I'm in the "other" category that once had a summer off as an adult between jobs. I did whatever I wanted to. :-) Loving the outdoors, I spent afternoons exploring the bike trails in the area. I ate out at the cheap ethnic restaurants on a daily basis. I was able to spend lots of time with friends and family. I played a lot of tennis. I was a regular at the rec center. This was all cheap or free. No big travel required, this was all local. Living in a small college town made this ideal.

user5027
Posts: 839
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by user5027 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:13 am

Back in the 1970's they worked in construction. The summer after 7th grade, my math teacher was framing houses on our block. I remember riding my bicycle and saying hi to him as he was carrying lumber, wearing a carpenter's belt and a pencil tucked behind his ear.

Thanks for the memory. :beer

health teacher
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:27 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by health teacher » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:43 am

We usually do a staycation for a couple of nights in our nearby city during Xmas break. Would like to go to Florida, but the 5 RT flights during Xmas break and two teacher salaries don't mix. We use the time off to recharge, think about our practice a bit, spend time with our kids, maybe go to the zoo or aquarium. If it we're just me, I'd definitely be at the beach for at least a week.

We head to SW Florida for a long weekend every MLKjr weekend. Great value of flights for the past few years from my nearby airport.

In the summer, we spend most days by the pool in our backyard. I really enjoy waking up slow, but don't let myself stay in bed past 8. We tend to the garden, water flowers, kids usually take a late morning swim, I listen to music, make lunch, etc. I am completely stress free. It's quite amazing and as a society, everyone should get to experience this in my opinion, but I digress. We usually take a 10-14 day vacation in early June, sprinkle in some local stuff up through the 4th of July, visit family during July, and another week vacation in early August. This summer we will probably sprinkle in some camping trips.

If I were you, I would head to the northwest and tour VT, NH and ME for a few weeks in the summer.

The key is to go slow. The 40 hr week grind can be a blur and it takes practice to mentally slow down and be content with feeling a little less productive.

warner25
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:38 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by warner25 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:55 am

I've had an extraordinary amount of time off from my career over the past couple years, but also had two (now three) kids in diapers, so I've spent almost all that free time sharing childcare and housework responsibilities with my wife. If I were single, gosh... I think I'd balance it between playing golf, going to the gym, and reading/writing/learning. I did that for a while in my early twenties. A golf membership on a cheap course cost me only $700 for a year if I walked, which I did. With more money to spend now I'd include some travel for hiking.

Any city with perfect weather and all those amenities you want is going to be expensive though.

Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 1390
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:03 am

I’m a teacher in the Bay Area and work 180 days. My wife is a stay-at-home parent and we have a four-year-old. We take a vacation during spring break each year. Winter breaks are spent doing stuff for the holidays and taking care of errands. During the summer, we take a vacation or two but are mostly home. We go to the zoo, swimming pool, library, and park many times. We spend lots of time with family and friends, watch movies, and sometimes browse through model homes (our daughter likes doing this for some reason).

The vacations are paid for with credit card bonuses and the activities we choose to do are either free or close to it. We have to keep costs low since we’ve chosen to have lots of time off over a high income. Our approach is to look for inexpensive alternatives in all spending categories to allow us to work relatively few hours while still being able to meet our savings goals.

In the fall, I look forward to going back to work. I really like my job but it’s nice to be able to recharge the battery with breaks throughout the year.

You seem to have a nice size budget. For $5k/month, I'd use much of it for traveling to new places and seeing the world.

prairieman
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by prairieman » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:29 am

perl wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:49 am
I wish the myth that professors have summers off and lots of vacation would die. At research univiersities, time when classes are not in session is when professors do the work that determines their success, tenure, and raises - research.
This is true.
Also, as someone who was raised by a teacher, pay was low so my dad worked all summer. He would take a few weeks off so the family could go camping.

Elena
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Elena » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:46 am

perl wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:49 am
I wish the myth that professors have summers off and lots of vacation would die. At research univiersities, time when classes are not in session is when professors do the work that determines their success, tenure, and raises - research.
Indeed. I am a full prof. We get paid for 10 months, but work for the two extra months on research and publications. I am never "off", because I would not progress much while having to teach, but I do make my own schedule. No raises in my university; merit raises are tiny, even after having published 4 monographs. Some of my colleagues choose to teach or do nothing, because they do not wish to be promoted to the next rank.

staythecourse
Posts: 6993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by staythecourse » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:56 am

Elena wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:46 am
Some of my colleagues choose to teach or do nothing, because they do not wish to be promoted to the next rank.
It is not a myth. Is there anything in your contract that says you HAVE to do x, y, or z during months A, B, and C? If not, then you do get those months off. You and other CHOOSE to do extra to advance your career and is not required by your contract.

Not sure why teachers are so reluctant to admit they get the summer months off like our kids.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

Mike Scott
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:45 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Mike Scott » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:33 pm

In higher ed with teaching and research responsibilities, tenure and promotion simply does not fit into tidy 40 hour weeks or 9 month contracts. There is an illusion of choice mixed in with a lot of long weeks and weekends etc depending on the calendar cycle.

stoptothink
Posts: 6791
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by stoptothink » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:34 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:22 am
perl wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:49 am
I wish the myth that professors have summers off and lots of vacation would die. At research univiersities, time when classes are not in session is when professors do the work that determines their success, tenure, and raises - research.
I woulnd't call it a myth. It might be a widely perpetuated concept that isn't evenly applied in reality, but I'm familiar with several folks in academia about whom it's fair to say they have summers off and lots of vacation.
Ditto. My step-father and uncle, both public school teachers, together run a fireworks stand during the month of July; they make $10k-$15k working a total of about 10 days around 4th of July and Pioneer Day (Utah holiday). My two uncles who are university professors travel, one of them likes to do really long solo bike trips. I have three individuals on my staff who are also adjunct professors at a local university - they are happy to have just one full-time job for a while.

dknightd
Posts: 1930
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by dknightd » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:54 pm

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?

--------
*I still need to do some research and teaching prep during this time.
Do what you want. It is your time and money. My suggestion would be to take a trip of a lifetime, every year. But would be my suggestion for anybody. I don't like "coffee shop culture". Consider a trip down the Grand Canyon.

Elena
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Elena » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:09 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:56 am
Elena wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:46 am
Some of my colleagues choose to teach or do nothing, because they do not wish to be promoted to the next rank.
It is not a myth. Is there anything in your contract that says you HAVE to do x, y, or z during months A, B, and C? If not, then you do get those months off. You and other CHOOSE to do extra to advance your career and is not required by your contract.

Not sure why teachers are so reluctant to admit they get the summer months off like our kids.

Good luck.
We do get the summer off, as in "off payment", but if one carries a heavy research agenda and a full teaching load, it would be impossible to constantly publish without working through the summer. I only speak for myself, of course. I have never taken a summer off, and have not been compensated. Everyone knows. It is just a given in my field. Four books and many editions and articles later, I still work very long hours every summer. Do I have to? If I want to keep an active research agenda, tend to 200 students a year, plus rec. letters, plus book reviews, plus admin. work, sure I HAVE to. I could copy you the message from the Dean last spring, wishing all of us researchers a fruitful research summer... it is a given.

Elena
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Elena » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:13 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:33 pm
In higher ed with teaching and research responsibilities, tenure and promotion simply does not fit into tidy 40 hour weeks or 9 month contracts. There is an illusion of choice mixed in with a lot of long weeks and weekends etc depending on the calendar cycle.
Ditto. Here I am, writing this post, Sunday. I just finished drafting a book review, on my way to writing seven rec. letters. The advantage is we make our own schedule, but the work has to be done outside of teaching/grading. And this is slooow work, especially if one does archival research.
To sum up: I use my uncompensated summers to work, and have done so for the last seventeen years. It was my choice, but also expected of me.

averagedude
Posts: 850
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 3:41 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by averagedude » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:21 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:04 am
While working, I didn't have a lot of vacation days, but they were adequate.

But since you like outdoor activities, I see no reason why you couldn't take an extended solo backpacking trip. I spent November backpacking by myself and it cost quite a lot less than $5,000. I paid for only 2 hotel nights the entire month, but I did pay for camping permits of $10 to $15 per night in a few places, though most nights cost me nothing.
While hiking the appalachian trail in the summer, i run into teachers all of the time where they are doing a section hike that last weeks. Providing you have the backpacking equipment, a month vacation like this will likely be the cheapest vacation you will ever take.

dknightd
Posts: 1930
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by dknightd » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:32 pm

You teach because you love to teach. Just like some people always wanted to be cops, or firefighters. There is a safety to this civil servant type job that draw to this type of work. If you are in it for the money you probably chose the wrong path

student
Posts: 4339
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by student » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:49 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:56 am
Elena wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:46 am
Some of my colleagues choose to teach or do nothing, because they do not wish to be promoted to the next rank.
It is not a myth. Is there anything in your contract that says you HAVE to do x, y, or z during months A, B, and C? If not, then you do get those months off. You and other CHOOSE to do extra to advance your career and is not required by your contract.

Not sure why teachers are so reluctant to admit they get the summer months off like our kids.

Good luck.
It is not this simple as this is not a 9-to-5 job. Working in the summer to advance one's career is no different from a manager who works overtime (without pay) to advance one's career. For untenured assistant professors, the choice may effectively not be there. At a typical research university, guideline says one needs to have certain research accomplishment to get tenure (or one will be fired).

I prefer the term that we are on a 9-month contract. I believe some are reluctant to accept the term "getting summer off" because it suggests that it is a paid time-off. I think you will get a different reaction if you say they are being laid off for the summer.

Elena
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Elena » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:07 pm

student wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:49 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:56 am
Elena wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:46 am
Some of my colleagues choose to teach or do nothing, because they do not wish to be promoted to the next rank.
It is not a myth. Is there anything in your contract that says you HAVE to do x, y, or z during months A, B, and C? If not, then you do get those months off. You and other CHOOSE to do extra to advance your career and is not required by your contract.

Not sure why teachers are so reluctant to admit they get the summer months off like our kids.

Good luck.
It is not this simple as this is not a 9-to-5 job. Working in the summer to advance one's career is no different from a manager who works overtime (without pay) to advance one's career. For untenured assistant professors, the choice may effectively not be there. At a typical research university, guideline says one needs to have certain research accomplishment to get tenure (or one will be fired).

I prefer the term that we are on a 9-month contract. I believe some are reluctant to accept the term "getting summer off" because it suggests that it is a paid time-off. I think you will get a different reaction if you say they are being laid off for the summer.
You are correct. I am not under contract for two months, and have used that time for the last many years to be promoted to the top of the academic scale. I kept doing it after tenure, and after full prof. Every hard-core researcher does it; the Deans expect it; it is unpaid, and also vocational. Some of my colleagues would rather have a two month vacation every year and remain as assoc. profs. for the rest of their careers, which is a fine option as well. So, in the summer I do a lot of archival research, which I really enjoy, while others do not tend to an academic agenda, or teach to make a bit more money. I never considered I have a two month vacation, though I am not under contract. At this point I do not get much monetary value off my new books and other publications; I guess it is just strange to vacation for so long.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3591
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:18 pm

Hike the Appalachian Trail. Or the Pacific Crest Trail.

Ride the TransAmerica bike route.

Walk the Camino.

Buy a truck camper and see North America.

All of those fit in your budget.

Or stay home and work.

livesoft
Posts: 69615
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:24 pm

student wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:49 pm
At a typical research university, guideline says one needs to have certain research accomplishment to get tenure (or one will be fired).
For readers of this thread, a researcher with grants at a typical research university will request their summer pay in their grants if the university is not paying it. Of course, no grants, then not much money for research and no possibility of tenure based on research. :) My point is that generally at no time should research professors work without getting paid. I know of some exceptions though where the professor works for fun and does not get paid, but also does not have to work (I'm thinking of profs that are 65+ and should be taking those vacations as a retiree).
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

warner25
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:38 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by warner25 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:38 pm

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter... good weather (60 - low 80s)
This is one of my favorite websites that you might find helpful... Climate Maps
The January max temp map shows that finding 60+ degree winter weather is the hard part. I'm thinking maybe New Orleans would be a nice city for winter break. Beyond the cesspool of Bourbon Street, it has some nice museums (e.g. National WWII Museum), lots of little foodie places and coffee shops, and is highly walkable for a city down south. Maybe do some kayaking and fishing for outdoor activities besides just walking, running, cycling. Consider the Savannah historic district too.
Last edited by warner25 on Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

student
Posts: 4339
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by student » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:39 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:24 pm
student wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:49 pm
At a typical research university, guideline says one needs to have certain research accomplishment to get tenure (or one will be fired).
For readers of this thread, a researcher with grants at a typical research university will request their summer pay in their grants if the university is not paying it. Of course, no grants, then not much money for research and no possibility of tenure based on research. :) My point is that generally at no time should research professors work without getting paid. I know of some exceptions though where the professor works for fun and does not get paid, but also does not have to work (I'm thinking of profs that are 65+ and should be taking those vacations as a retiree).
I think this is only true for certain disciplines. Many disciplines in humanities at non R1 universities do not need grant money to do research.

Minor Edits.

Elena
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Elena » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:08 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:24 pm
student wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:49 pm
At a typical research university, guideline says one needs to have certain research accomplishment to get tenure (or one will be fired).
For readers of this thread, a researcher with grants at a typical research university will request their summer pay in their grants if the university is not paying it. Of course, no grants, then not much money for research and no possibility of tenure based on research. :) My point is that generally at no time should research professors work without getting paid. I know of some exceptions though where the professor works for fun and does not get paid, but also does not have to work (I'm thinking of profs that are 65+ and should be taking those vacations as a retiree).
You are very kind, livesoft, very kind. However, and especially in the humanities, having a yearly grant is simply unheard of, even before the last "crisis of the academia". Sometimes we have a little bit of summer money and/or a little bit of travel money to visit some archive, and sometimes we have major grants (I have had two in my career, worth three years of 100% research), but between their competitiveness (I like to compete, and like to think I do it well) and how cumbersome the mere application process has become, many colleagues will tell you that they would rather "fake divide" they 10 month salary by 12 months, just write whatever they are writing during the summer, and skip the application process. Lately, we are competing to obtain internal grants to compete for external grants. I am in an R1 institution. But I drift.
Thank you for your positive outlook on the field.

getthatmarshmallow
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:28 pm

Being an academic in the humanities means there's a sense in which I'm never off mentally -- tenure and promotion require research, and teaching improvements, and the summer is the best time to get extra work done on that, plus my work is something of a vocation -- but my contract is indeed for nine months.

Sometimes I take on summer teaching, but right now the usual summer involves basically switching to stay-at-home mom mode, with a weird part-time job of writing and traveling to conferences.

User avatar
mlebuf
Posts: 1915
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by mlebuf » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:40 pm

Former university prof here who began teaching at 27 and retired early from academia at age 47. In the early years, I taught summer school for extra income. I used half of the summer school income to buy things I wanted and saved/invested the other half. When I was 35, I taught summer school and used the time between the summer and fall semester to write a book proposal. The proposal launched a side career/second income from writing, speaking and consulting. After that, I used the time away from teaching to work on the second career and never taught another summer school. When all was said and done, the second career earned me many times more in income than the teaching career, and in a lot less time. There is a lot to be said for investing all that free time when you are young in order to reap the harvest when you are older.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

OldBallCoach
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:22 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by OldBallCoach » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:56 pm

I work in college football and I always laugh when people talk about how much money we make, ect..I think I have averaged about 14 days off a year for the past 30 odd years...in season we work 80-90 hours per week and thats from July 20th ish to whenever we are done...first week in Jan we hope...LOL...and then go ful tilt with recruiting til Mid Feb...then back to 45-50 hour weeks...I love what I do but I do think about what I am going to do once I retire...my question is what have others done going from 100 MPH to stop...Summer...gosh that sounds fun...LOL...by the way if you want someone to move you ask my wife and kids...they are professionals at moving...

User avatar
mattyfu1
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:35 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by mattyfu1 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:59 pm

High School Teacher - Long Island NY

1. Travel - very important to me and my family - we fill time is limited and there is only a short amount of time to see this amazing Earth.
2. Tutor
3. Sail
4. Go the beach

*I do find that at the end of the summer I am ready to get back into the classroom.

-MattyFu

User avatar
leeks
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: new york

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by leeks » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:20 pm

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?

--------
*I still need to do some research and teaching prep during this time.
If I were in your situation, I would spend a few years going abroad for the summer including some immersion language courses. Most European cities would meet your criteria. If you are happy to stay in hostels and/or sublet a cheap room in a college student-quality apartment, 10K could fund a two-month adventure in Europe including airfare to/from the US.

AllStarDaniel
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:15 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by AllStarDaniel » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:30 am

Ph.D. Student here (29, 30 in 8 days).

Besides spending time with my inlaws and playing some much-needed video games, I do a lot of writing. I have conferences coming up and papers to present, so I will be working on them. I am currently working on an article for publication as well, so I need to get it done while I have all this free time before I am writing assignments I do not care about or grading my student's papers. I also have a lot of reading to catch up, both for pleasure and for school.

No rest for the wicked I am afraid.

forgeblast
Posts: 341
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:45 am
Location: PA
Contact:

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by forgeblast » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:37 am

The first week off from school I take it real easy. The stress of the last month of school is brutal and I need a week to recover. Constant naps, etc the stress leaving my body makes it so I really cannot do much that first week.

My wife and I both teach so the first weeks off are difficult since we are in each others way, but then it gets easier.
Its like a mini-retirement.

We try to do a few "mystery" trips with my daughter. these are just day trips where she has to guess where we are going. Museums, parks, hiking, etc... Sometimes we do a week at the beach but this summer the wife needs a car so we are saving up for that.

I also do a lot of wood carving, so my summer is a time for me to build up winter stock for sales.

We garden, kayak, work out etc. I try to get up early each day because its "My Time" vs working for someone else if that makes sense.

The most difficult part is trying to keep on a schedule. In school we go by the bell, there is always something to do. Being home, I have to watch what type of schedule that I make for myself. Its too easy to couch potato it and waste it away.

User avatar
CyclingDuo
Posts: 2831
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:07 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by CyclingDuo » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:43 am

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?

--------
*I still need to do some research and teaching prep during this time.
We have always called that time off our mini-retirement time - or more importantly, a benefit.

To date, if you add up all of the weeks off over the years (summer break, semester break, fall break, spring break, etc...), we've been able to enjoy 10.7 years (561 weeks thus far) "off" or experiencing mini-retirement up to this point (still have more years to go of enjoying that time off before we enter retirement).

We have been able to do a lot of travel, DIY home repair maintenance, hiking, biking, skiing, walking, eating, sleeping, socializing, grilling, camping, coaching, etc... during all of the time off. Last year we rented a farm house in Italy, rode our bikes for a week in Tuscany, spent a week in Sorrento and came home refreshed from a month in Italy enjoying everything. We spent a month in France just driving around and seeing the sites with no reservations or plans one summer. Did the same in Germany one summer. We've spent lots of time in the Black Hills, Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, Grand Canyon, NYC, San Francisco, Napa, DC, ridden RAGBRAI 7 times (Google that one), and many more places.

You get one journey in life. Take advantage of it! :beer
Last edited by CyclingDuo on Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

Starfish
Posts: 1554
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Starfish » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:45 pm

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?

--------
*I still need to do some research and teaching prep during this time.

With that kind of budget I would start with Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, North America...

Theseus
Posts: 652
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by Theseus » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:01 pm

To stay on the topic and answer OP's question...

I would do parts of Europe with that budget. Eastern Europe is amazing, less touristy (compared to Western Europe) and much cheaper. While I have personally not done this, you can stay in hostels to save money and meet a lot of new people.

jodydavis
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by jodydavis » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:17 pm

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?
Seattle? Beautiful weather in the summer, lots of coffee, tons of outdoor activities very nearby (water, mountains, etc.). Expensive to live in the city, but you could live outside the city, for easy access to the mountains, or maybe on one of the islands in the Sound. Or if you want somewhere a little less expensive in the PNW, maybe Portland?

Boulder? College town, lots of hiking and outdoors, hopefully not too hot during the summer. Probably lots of other similar places in Colorado.

DoTheMath
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:11 pm
Location: The Plains

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by DoTheMath » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:30 pm

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?

--------
*I still need to do some research and teaching prep during this time.
Take a look at college towns in the the northern part of the US. There are likely to be good options to sublet a house or apartment from faculty traveling for the summer and they'll have lots of what you list above. Plus you can probably contact the relevant department of your local university and get library privileges, an office, and maybe even qualify as a visiting faculty member and get reduced price on the campus rec center, local public transportation, etc.

To name a few: Seattle, Bellingham, Portland, Eugene, Ashland, Boise, Boulder, Ft. Collins, Madison, Asheville, Charlottesville, Burlington, Ithaca, Iowa City, Fayetteville, Missoula, Bozeman, ....

Not all have all you're looking for, but places of these sorts should come close to fitting what you describe.
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains...” -- John Muir

rhe
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:10 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by rhe » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:07 pm

In the winter, the weather in much of east asia is still quite nice, and you may be able to get deals because it is "off season".

flyingaway
Posts: 2589
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by flyingaway » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:35 pm

Fm2018 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:42 am
I have four months of break* in the summer and winter and I have been thinking about what to do and/or where to live during this period for a while. I am 37 yo, single, likes outdoor activities a lot, good weather (60 - low 80s). Budget is up to $5k/month.

Ideally, a city with good weather, museums, book stores, coffee shop culture, lots of outdoor activities nearby and within short flight and/or train ride to multiple other cities.

Suggestions please?

--------
*I still need to do some research and teaching prep during this time.
When I was at your age, I worked 13 months a year literally.
I started enjoying my life at about 42 after having different views about the future with the administrators.
I travel extensively these days, early days in the US, now mostly international.

User avatar
leeks
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: new york

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by leeks » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:37 pm

DoTheMath wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:30 pm
Take a look at college towns in the the northern part of the US. There are likely to be good options to sublet a house or apartment from faculty traveling for the summer and they'll have lots of what you list above. Plus you can probably contact the relevant department of your local university and get library privileges, an office, and maybe even qualify as a visiting faculty member and get reduced price on the campus rec center, local public transportation, etc.

To name a few: Seattle, Bellingham, Portland, Eugene, Ashland, Boise, Boulder, Ft. Collins, Madison, Asheville, Charlottesville, Burlington, Ithaca, Iowa City, Fayetteville, Missoula, Bozeman, ....

Not all have all you're looking for, but places of these sorts should come close to fitting what you describe.
As a Southerner, just a friendly correction that Asheville and Charlottesville are not "in the northern part of the US."

Summers in Charlottesville are hot and humid and 90+ degree days are not uncommon. It does have a fantastic culture, certainly outdoor recreation, coffee shops, bookstores. It is easy to find cheap summer sublets near UVA.

DoTheMath
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:11 pm
Location: The Plains

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by DoTheMath » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:41 am

leeks wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:37 pm
DoTheMath wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:30 pm
Take a look at college towns in the the northern part of the US. There are likely to be good options to sublet a house or apartment from faculty traveling for the summer and they'll have lots of what you list above. Plus you can probably contact the relevant department of your local university and get library privileges, an office, and maybe even qualify as a visiting faculty member and get reduced price on the campus rec center, local public transportation, etc.

To name a few: Seattle, Bellingham, Portland, Eugene, Ashland, Boise, Boulder, Ft. Collins, Madison, Asheville, Charlottesville, Burlington, Ithaca, Iowa City, Fayetteville, Missoula, Bozeman, ....

Not all have all you're looking for, but places of these sorts should come close to fitting what you describe.
As a Southerner, just a friendly correction that Asheville and Charlottesville are not "in the northern part of the US."

Summers in Charlottesville are hot and humid and 90+ degree days are not uncommon. It does have a fantastic culture, certainly outdoor recreation, coffee shops, bookstores. It is easy to find cheap summer sublets near UVA.
Having been to, and sweated in, both (and Athens), I concede :-). But they're delightful and close to mountains, and aren't as dire as most places in the south in the summer.
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains...” -- John Muir

mariezzz
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:02 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by mariezzz » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:17 am

Elena wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:46 am
perl wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:49 am
I wish the myth that professors have summers off and lots of vacation would die. At research universities, time when classes are not in session is when professors do the work that determines their success, tenure, and raises - research.
Indeed. I am a full prof. We get paid for 10 months, but work for the two extra months on research and publications. I am never "off", because I would not progress much while having to teach, but I do make my own schedule. No raises in my university; merit raises are tiny, even after having published 4 monographs. Some of my colleagues choose to teach or do nothing, because they do not wish to be promoted to the next rank.
+1.
If you leave academia (or opt for a staff research position at a major university), you make more per hour and work fewer hours. And have much greater flexibility in terms of jobs.

For those who are thinking about becoming a professor: it's changed dramatically in the last 15-20 years. I've stayed in touch with former colleagues and friends who are professors in various institutions. You work far more hours, with more classes and more students. Professors are expected to do a whole lot more, and with pretty meager pay on average. Institutional politics have become worse. Students are far less ready for college level work, which means you spend much more time helping students. Colleges are pushing professors to 'involve' students in research, which adds to a professor's load, since that time is not counted as 'teaching a class'. It's also largely wasted time, because most students won't do it for more than one term, and there's little work you get out of them (while putting in a lot of work yourself) during that term. A high percentage of students (easily 20% in the last few years) now have disability accommodations, which adds to your workload as you have to adapt assignments, get quizzes & exams to disability office, and spend time discussing accommodations with students.

There's a lot written about the horrible work conditions adjunct professors experience, with many getting paid less than minimal wage once the hours spent outside the classroom (meeting with students, prep time) are factored in. Unfortunately, people in adjunct positions think that if they just do that for a few years, they'll land a tenured job eventually. These days, however, tenured jobs are fewer and farther between - adjuncts now teach over 50% of classes at most universities, and at some, that's creeping up to 60 & 70% (there's data available on this).

Essentially, all the headaches high school teachers used to deal with have now shown up at the college level - and quite often, high school teachers (with equivalent education) are paid more than college professors. Helicopter parents now call and harangue college professors, just as they've been haranguing high school teachers for about 2 decades (since the attachment parenting style became popular).

People outside of academia often do not realize (or forget) that most academics are paid on a 9 or 10 month contract. I know professors with such contracts, but they work for the remaining months, including on committees which meet weekly during their unpaid months, and which involve a good deal of work outside the actual meeting time. While many love the time they spend on research (in the unpaid months), they for the most part, view the committee work as grudge - a requirement of the job, but not something they enjoy.

frugalmama
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:53 pm

Re: Teachers, Professors, and others with lots of vacation days: what do you do in the summer?

Post by frugalmama » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:46 pm

Teachers here (among other titles). We go on long trips every summer 25-40 days. We've been through many parts of Canada, most of the US, parts of Europe...we don't do long backpacking trips only because we have small children but we RV or camp the entire way. We go almost every year. We plan to do more internationally as the kids get older. We plan the trip but make it flexible so that we can always explore the unexpected, etc. We spend 5-8K for those trips....mostly gas since we RV or camp always.

For Christmas we visit family and for shorter breaks and spring break, we visit closer destinations...usually camping trips to state parks, national parks or national forests.

I would make a bucket list of places you want to go and then start planning. Generally, our bucket list has just become larger, not shorter as we explore more areas as there is always something more to see. We prefer nature....so coffee shops isn't really our thing except to post the occasional picture of our adventures. We like to detach from the grid some and use the time rest from the daily grind.

Post Reply