Friday, September 15, 2006

Scotland Progress Update

Entry for 14 September 2006:

At work things are lining up these days as largely consisting of a series of small proposals (the grant proposals are called “bids” here) for various things: (a) to start a practice-based research clinic here; (b) for my new professor’s fund, to start a research project developing process-experiential and possibly also person-centered treatments for social anxiety; (c) for an advanced professional training course for Level 2 training in emotion-focused/ process-experiential therapy; (d) for extending the experiential therapy meta-analysis; and (e) possibly for some kind of senior researcher grant that three people have all asked me if I’m going to put my name in for. I’d forgotten how much of starting a new job consists to doing this sort of thing, and how much there is to be learned in the process of doing so.

Meanwhile, I’m also making gradual progress catching up on things that got neglected over the past couple of months. This ends up mostly being a pile of manuscripts to add my bits or comments to or give feedback on, but there are quite a few of them. I simply could not find a way to even look at them while I was packing up my labs and office and clearing my office and parts of our house. But now I’m beginning to dig out. This is hard because there is so much accumulated, but I have started downloading all my email at the end of each day to take home and work on offline.

Another sign of progress: Our bank account is now finally fully usable; the pin number arrived yesterday, and the checkbook finally, two weeks after we opened the account, came in this morning’s mail. The security for the ATM card and online banking is paranoid to the point of being comical, or it would be if it wasn’t so annoying. We have received something like 10 pieces of mail dealing with our bank account, carefully spaced over the past two weeks, some telling us about what is coming next; others requiring that we fill something out and return it to the bank in order to go to the next step. The online banking requires both as “secret number” and a password, both different from the ATM pin number. Then, when you log in, it asks for randomly-selected characters from both security number and password, different each time, a real pain.

Also, I finally got the UK power adaptor for my laptop sorted out, so that is clear progress. The UK version has an identical power converter; the only thing different is that Apple got a third party supplier to substitute a different power cord and plug piece with weird connector hardware. Fortunately, the two pieces of hardware allow me to convert the old adaptor to UK outlets as well. I have to admit that having been traumatized by having European current fry 3 mother boards on my old iBook, I'm still somewhat nervous about plugging directly into the mains (as they refer generically to most things that come in to your house here, whether it is water, natural gas, or electricity).

We learned yesterday that our stuff shipped out of Detroit on 5 Sept rather than out of Boston in 11 Sept, and that it is due to arrive in England on the 17th, so we must now quickly get our storage arrangements sorted out post haste. Our Saturday adventure exploring Glasgow this weekend will be to look at a couple of different storage facilities! Maybe we'll also get to walk across the new Fineston Bridge that officially opens this weekend.

By some synchronistic turn of events, there was a big nursing exhibition down at the Scottish Exhibition Center today, so Diane went to that to get a sense of the lay of the land. She's not totally ready to work on this yet, but today on the front page of the Glasgow Herald there was a story about the Scottish government approving a program of £5000 grants to help what they call Internationally Qualified Nurses (IQNs -- there's even an acronym!) get qualified to work in the National Health Service in underserved rural areas of Scotland. It's not everyday that you read about yourself on the front page of the paper. By comparison, the Queen's visit yesterday to formally re-open the Kelvingrove Gallery only merited a page 5 story! I told Diane that if my mom were here, she'd say that it certainly looks like the universe telling her it is time to start moving on this. And in fact, it did give her a good start on what she needs to do to get credentialed here as a nurse and to find a job in the mental health field.

The weather continued mild today, but rainy with smirr again. I brought layers to wear here, but so far have not needed them. I’m sure that colder weather will arrive soon enough, so I’m determined to enjoy the mild conditions even with the rain.

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