Thinker in Residence Blog

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Archive for July, 2009

So Many Little Things

Posted by peggyhora on July 23, 2009

The thought of living away from home and in a foreign country for seven weeks is daunting. The longest I’ve every been away is a month. Getting ready feels like an endless “to do” list. Today I met with a computer wonk to sync up my travel computer with my desktop so I have full access to Outlook, Word and Power Point. Took > four hours. I figured out what converter to use to plug in all my electronics of which I am carrying an astounding amount (camera + charger + downloader; Kindle + charger; computer + electrical hookups, some back up disks, external D drive, computer camera for Skype, remote mouse; iPod + charger; digital camera + charger; Bose noise cancelling headphones + batteries). I’ve got a list of upkeep items for the housesitter and thank God I don’t have any pets to worry about. I secured Australian dollars. And I haven’t even begun to think about clothes. Got to go! Lots to do!


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I’m legal!

Posted by peggyhora on July 15, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I sent off my passport to Virginia to a visa service I’ve used before.  For some reason, I couldn’t track it on line and finally, after a gazillion phone calls, they confirmed they received it.  The lady at the post office who was going to get back to me “tomorrow” never called.  Then Fed Ex made an attempt to deliver it and I wasn’t home.  The next day, the on-site manager was at lunch and they couldn’t get in.  But today?  It happened.  I have a work visa and am completely legal three months at a time for multiple entries.  The process was very interesting.  I had to show why I was going to work and why an Australian couldn’t do it (better?).  I provided the letter from Premiere Mike Rann appointing me and said I was the only one (in the world?) who had sufficient expertiese to do the job.  They also wanted a certified birth certificate despite the passport already confirming my citizenship.  Maybe they wanted to see if I was a naturalized citizen.  Who knows?  I also had to provide proof of health insurance so I photocopied my Kaiser card.  The application form itself was about eight pages.  $165 and some angst later I’m legal.  I’ve also changed my dates to Aug. 12 (leaving San Francisco late night on the 10th) through Sept. 28 because the Aboriginal Law Conference at which I am speaking is Sept. 24-25 and it was just too much to speak and pack and scoot to the airport the next day.  My meeting with the Attorney General is Aug. 17 and a welcoming reception of about 100 people is the 18th.  Coming in a little earlier will give me time to move in, get adjusted to Adelaide time and gear up for the exciting challenges of the next 6 1/2 weeks.  What a thrill this all is.

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Things are heating up.

Posted by peggyhora on July 3, 2009

My preparations for my Residency are moving along quite well.  I’ve sent off my passport (always a nerve wracking experience) in order to get a work visa.  I’m working on various Power Point presentations for different audiences.  I’m all set for a whirlwind visit to Monash University Law School in Melbourne where I’ll be speaking to Michael King’s (former drug court judge in Perth, now professor at the U.) class on non-adversarial justice; addressing the faculty as part of University Research Weeks, attending the book launch of Dean Arie Freiberg and Michael’s new book, and speaking to lawyers and judges in the evening.  I’ll also visit the Neighborhood Justice Centre while I’m there.  The Adelaide women lawyers have asked me to speak and I’ll be the keynote at the Australian Institute of Criminology’s national conference.  And I am inivited to the Aborginal Law Conference.  My head is spinning with ideas but I guess that’s the point, right?

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