Wednesday 19th April 2017

Today I went to the gym first thing in the morning and then drove back to campus. For the first time in ages, I only had to walk across campus to get to work and didn’t have to travel anywhere else today. I got in, and did some final edits on my latest book chapter before class. Today, my undergraduates were taking their exam and so at 11am I distributed the papers and the exam lasted around one hour. I gathered in the papers and then three of the groups were due to give presentations today, supported by their relevant graduate student. The groups presented really well and demonstrated a good knowledge of the issues they had researched.

I left the classroom at 1.20, went and got lunch and then went into a meeting in the conference room with Cassandra, who was giving the students who are travelling to Scotland to do a field trip in June some information on what to expect. She had asked me to come along and say something about Scotland. The students are going to be at Napier University this year for the first time, not UWS as they normally would since the field trips are now going to be shared between UWS and Napier. I talked to the students about Edinburgh, told them they should go and see the castle and the Scottish parliament, told them about the souvenir shops and the tartan memorabilia and tried to describe haggis to them and recommended they should try it. I don’t think they were convinced! I also talked to them a little bit about the criminal justice system in Scotland, the children’s hearing system and welfarist approach to youth justice.

After the meeting I met with Lisa, one of my graduate students, who took me across campus and showed me where the student support office was so that I could collect exam scripts for two of my students who have additional support needs and had sat their exam in private. We walked back to the office and I then met with Bryan Kummerland, the former Chief of West Palm Beach Police Department. Bryan has now retired but is an Adjunct Professor at FAU  and had agreed to do an interview with me. The interview took about 40 minutes. I then marked all my exam scripts before leaving the office just after 5. A busy day!

I walked back to my apartment, had my dinner and then went back out to go to the study group at Boca Raton church – the first time I had managed to get to this since February. Bob and the other guys were pleased to see me and we had a good session. At the end, Bob asked if we had anyone we would like him to pray for and I asked for prayers for my friend David Ferguson and his wife Lorna and 4 sons. David is a missionary attached to my own church, St Paul’s in Milngavie, and has worked and lived in Japan for the past 20 years with his family. He has had a long battle with cancer and two of the guys in the group, Bob and also another young guy called David, kindly prayed for David, Lorna and the boys. This was very poignant for me – during one of my many texts with David while I have been out here, I reminded him in January that it was 20 years since I had participated in the Alpha course at St Paul’s church, where David was my group leader in a setting quite similar to the type of study group I was in this evening. He and Lorna also first created Sun Kids, the children’s outreach group in St Paul’s, and inspired me in my own work as coordinator of Sun Kids which I did for about 8 years.

I left and got back around 8.15pm and spent the evening packing and getting ready for my trip tomorrow to Cincinnati.

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