Catching up

By Roger Watson | 09/13/2019

First, art appreciation.

Blog by Roger Watson

After a memorable family vacation in the United States, the author returns to work, traveling to China and Australia.

SYDNEY, Australia—My wonderful family vacation in the United States seems a long way back now, but it was memorable. It was my first visit to Washington, D.C., without being at a conference or other work-related activity, and it was a privilege to have time to explore the place at leisure.

It was also good to show my youngest son—a history graduate—and his girlfriend around. They made repeated visits to the White House Visitor Center to buy gifts and quiz the ever-helpful shop assistants about the history of U.S. presidents as represented by the annual White House Christmas decorations. If you have not viewed these displays, you must check them out the next time you’re in Washington. [Editor’s note: The 45th Biennial Convention of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) will be held in Washington 16-20 November.]

The highlight of my visit was the National Gallery of Art, which I had not previously seen. With the range of paintings on display, I was in my element. All the “big names” are represented: Picasso, Mondrian, Modigliani, Pollock, Kandinsky, and more.

We also spent a week in New York during the July heat wave, which limited activities slightly. It was very nice to have time to introduce my family to Sean Clarke, PhD, RN, FAAN, executive vice dean for academic affairs at New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Clarke is a long-standing friend I meet regularly at the annual conference of the American Academy of Nursing. While in New York City, my family did the usual tourist visits, and I went to the Museum of Modern Art. For the first time, I saw an original and very characteristic painting by Georgia O’Keefe.

China
Roger WatsonBack to work. My first work-related visit after returning from vacation was to Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, China, bordering Inner Mongolia. I was there, courtesy of the local Shanxi Medical Periodical Press, to deliver a keynote for a training event attended by 150 doctors and nurses from across China. With two Wiley-related editors—Fiona Timmins, PhD, RN, editor of Journal of Nursing Management, and Eileen Lake, PhD, RN, FAAN, editor of Research in Nursing & Health—I was in good company. Carolyn Yucha, PhD, RN, FAAN, CNE, editor of Biological Research for Nursing, was also with us. In addition to the conference, an interesting social program was arranged for us with visits to museums and other places of interest. I especially liked Yingze Park, which was very close. The air quality was good, and I was able to run there twice.

It was nice to get away from UK news and Brexit-related politics for a while. In fact, it was nice to be away from news altogether, but that meant I heard nothing about Hong Kong for a few days. News there is heavily censored with CNN going offline for the duration of anything controversial. Upon landing in Hong Kong on my return journey, I learned the situation had grown more tense.

After returning to the UK for less than a week at the start of September, I attended the Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research Conference in Sheffield for three days. Along with Alison Tierney, PhD, RN, FRCN, Hugh McKenna, CBE, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Parveen Azam Ali, PhD, RN, I organized a symposium on the theme of research impact. It was billed as a tribute to the late James P. Smith, OBE, RN, FRCN, founding editor of Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Australia
At the kind invitation of Michelle Cleary, PhD, RN, at the University of Tasmania (Sydney campus), I spent three days in that city doing consultancy work with colleagues on staff development and manuscripts for publication. Although located at a relatively small outpost of the University of Tasmania’s main campus, the team has become tight-knit and highly productive under Cleary’s leadership. I have known her and watched her career develop for more than a decade as she has held positions at other universities in Australia and Singapore where I have held visiting positions.

I normally visit family while in Australia, but I’m heading back to the United Kingdom to an international family reunion of cousins from Australia, Canada, and the UK. Next reports will be from Europe—Turkey and Italy. RNL

Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of JAN and editor of Nursing Open. Click here to access Blogger-resident entries posted before 2017 in Watson’s former blog “Hanging smart.”

You can also listen to this post as a podcast.

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