Sabbatical thoughts

By Enrico Manlapig in reflections

August 23, 2021

contemporary aboriginal art Earth Cycles by Sarrita King. Used with permission.

So today is the first day of our annual faculty retreat. That means that my sabbatical and summer are officially over. Very thankful for this break and anxious for what life will be like when I return to the classroom. I’m going to jot a few things down here, in no particular order, and return to expand upon it later.


I created a Twitter account in February of 2017 to scrape the tweets of a certain someone that rose to prominence around that time. My first Tweet, though, was on March 8, 2021. About 5 months ago. One of my goals this sabbatical was to find my people. As someone that bounces between academia and consulting, it’s hard to know where you belong. So this was a peek into social media to see who’s there and to see what communities I felt most at home in.


I attended a couple of conferences early around all things R. This website is largely a result of that experience. Although I’ve used R for many years, I feel like I’ve made some actual growth in this area over the last 6-8 months. #TidyTuesday is fun. I’ve learned more about Hugo, distill, and blogdown for making websites. I now know Xaringan for making slides. I even tried my hand a little package development.

There are many folks in this community but I feel most appreciative for [ @kierisi, @apreshill, and [@lisalendway](], who’ve been astonishingly kind and generous with me.


I attended an INFORMS conference on business analytics this year. In the ORMS world, I’ve been so impressed by @KayseMaass and her @ORSJ_Lab. They do fascinating work on human trafficking. Kayse is a wonderfully innovative teacher and mentor to her students. I have much to learn from her (and people like her).


I’m stunned how unpopular economists are - much more than I though there would be. And there’s a lot of drama on this channel. Economists have clashed with data people and other economists and people that fancy themselves economists. EconTwitter is pretty wild. Despite the drama, I’ve not found a few generous folks here that I admire.

@ClaudiaSahm, @JohnQuiggan (from UQ!), @JustinWolfers, and @wwwojtekk (from Columbia!) are just a just a few economists I admire for their clarity of thought.

Also, must mention @SHamiltonian for his food and @KhoaVuUMn because he’s so funny.

Data more generally

@AngelaBassa shares wisdom about management and leadership. Her personal page FAQ is genius.

@ChelseaParlett because she makes probability so relatable

Generative art

@thomasp85, @djnavarro, @NadiehBremer are all so amazing. How they do what they do blows my mind.

Filipinos and Filipinas

@anthonyocampo, @ejrdavid, and @SosyalGal are super different personalities but they all speak about racial justice (esp. Filipino) in ways that resonate with me.

@cesicruz fits in a few categories. Her research is so interesting.


Although much of my personal and professional development is R-focused, I try my best to help students grow in Excel. For many of them, this will be their main tool in the workplace.

This semester, I made a series of videos for the college to introduce them to the basics of Excel. Video editing is a lot of work but I’m glad for the experience and hopeful students get some use from it.

R Stuff

Over the years, I’ve played with many programming languages. For a long while, AMPL and Matlab were my favorites. But both are proprietary.

Posted on:
August 23, 2021
3 minute read, 579 words
sabbatical teaching social media Twitter
See Also:
Looking back on Fall 2021
Transitioning from Lyx to RMarkdown