Today I went to LA Fitness first thing and did my training. I quite like it there now, although I am not sure it is the kind of place I would every actually get chatting to people in any great length – so far I have said a few words to one or two people in passing but that is all. I can’t see that I will find the same type of banter as I get in my local Glasgow Club gyms in Yoker and Scotstoun!
I drove back to the campus and walked around to the office. The severe weather that was forecast did not seem to come to fruition – only a bit of wind and a few clouds!
Most people are in the office by the time I arrive on a day when I have been in the gym, and some of my colleagues are in around 7am. I worked on preparing my class for next Wednesday, given that I like to be a little ahead of the students and also because I know I have a lot of other things on this week. At 12pm John Smykla had asked the whole School to gather in the committee room to discuss and reflect on the Associate Professor applicant who visited on Friday, and it was a very interesting experience for me to see the outcome of the process. In Scotland we have a much less rigorous approach in terms of appointing senior staff where candidates come for interview and do one presentation – but do not usually spend a whole day in the department and meet with all Faculty members with a view to them giving feedback about them later. This has been an important learning experience for me to see the process here in the USA – these kinds of experiences are part of the ‘mutual understanding’ that Fulbright is all about.
In the afternoon I worked some more on my class and then met with Seth, an Assistant Professor in the School whose work is focused on policing. He gave me some helpful feedback on my interview schedule I intend to use with police officers in West Palm Beach. Again, the combined experience I have with qualitative research on gangs and policing approaches in Scotland and Seth’s wide experience of American policing and issues related to procedural justice mean that we can share insights and experiences, build partnerships and enhance that focus on ‘mutual understanding’.
I got home at 5.30 and enjoyed my casserole I had made in the slow cooker! I then worked on a book proposal review I had been asked to do for Palgrave MacMillan and a reference for a colleague at UWS.
Today I also received the first mock-up of the book cover design for my brand new book, ‘Young People and Social Control’ that I have written with co-author Kalwant Bhopal. The book, published by Palgrave MacMillan, will be released in July this year. Great to see the cover appearing – now it feels real! And I am already almost finished the second chapter of my next book, ;Gangs and Spirituality’ – which is due to be completed a year from now. Only 8 more chapters to write and I hope to do two more while I am out here.