05 September 2010

A Continuing Saga

The wait continues for the return of Marilyn's passport even though the reasons for needing it are becoming more urgent. Marilyn's father has now been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but without her passport, she is unable to travel to see him and support the rest of the family.

All of life currently feels like we are sitting in limbo. Although we both have work (Marilyn until mid December and Errol until mid June 2011), there is no certainty that allows us to make confident decisions about housing, research funding, …

Errol was again asked by a student whether he would be able to supervise his PhD. The response is always the same - “I can not guarantee that I will be available beyond ...” So although there has been some opportunity to supervise MSc projects over the summer and see some of his research interests make progress, it is difficult to make progress on some of the bigger projects. But what we are experiencing seems to be the norm with recently graduated academics. Errol shares an office with two research associates both on short term research contracts and there are two others in teaching assistant roles on short term contracts. Errol wonders what the message is that students receive about the future security of work in academia and in industry.

Despite all the uncertainty, we do have peace of mind feeling that we are supposed to be in this situation and it has much to teach us about waiting on God and about being God's messenger.

The demise of our desktop computer means that we don't have access to all of our photo editing software and we don't want to overload Errol's laptop.

The month has been busy with a quilting exhibition visit, a church camp, a conference, and a trip to Bletchley Park with Paul. The church camp was under canvas in a farmer's paddock. An experience that we haven't had for quite a number of years. The panorama from the top of the white horse hill was good especially early on Sunday morning.

The conference was in Durham and organised by the Computing and Information Sciences Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy. Durham is a nice city and Errol enjoyed walking along the rivers edge.