Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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14/11/16: back but not back

When I was in the upper sixth form at school I was fortunate enough to pass the Cambridge entrance examination at Christmas time, leaving me two clear terms at school only needing two E grades at A level to get in.  So that should have been fantastic, shouldn't it?  No need to do any much work with the University place all but guaranteed.

But it wasn't, it really wasn't.  It felt a very strange place to be, wanting to work but not needing to.  And any attempt to go with the flow would contradict my motto in life: why be laid back whilst worrying is still an option?

Well, I'm in a broadly similar situation now.  Here I am, back in Dar es Salaam, with my passport very clearly stamped, "Employment prohibited", still waiting for the renewal of my work permit which should be any day now.  So, once again, this should be fantastic, shouldn't it?  Even as I'm writing this I'm in a cafe almost on the Indian Ocean front, having a late breakfast, with a community choir practice to attend later on today after a meeting with our head of HR - dressed very casually as a clear signal that I'm there for an HR meeting, absolutely not to work.  Zanzibar is but a short ferry ride away, there are a number of beach resorts within easy driving distance, how fabulous can this be?

But again, it isn't, it really isn't.  There are a multitude of things I could be doing at work, not least with the deadline for dissertation submissions perilously close now.  But for a whole number of different reasons I'm keeping firmly within the spirit and letter of the visitor's visa I'm clearly on.  Not an easy thing to do, not least in a line of work where the boundaries between work and one's own activities are not always entirely clear.

So, I'll be much happier when my work permit comes through - as I'm confident it will - and life can go back to normal.  Meanwhile, I'm trying to enjoy this period of being out of work, but it's not easy, not easy at all.  Any suggestions for non-work activities gratefully received!

And finally, after another spectacularly wrong prediction - the election of Donald Trump following on from Brexit - I make yet another one, which is that President Trump will not achieve re-election in four years' time.  If I'm right, you heard it here first!

2 Comments to 14/11/16: back but not back:

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Cyril Tennant on 14 November 2016 05:50
What about aiming to hone your keyboard skills, doing some Swahili and, of course, taking a short course in plant resuscitation?
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Simon Gledhill on 14 November 2016 06:16
Take photographs and post them on Facebook so that we can see the wonder of God's creation in your part of the world. That should have many positive benefits. Every blessing, Simon.
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Return to the UK 2017
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