Tuesday, August 28, 2007

28 August 2007: Leaving

Took a big step today: resigned from my job at the university.

The reasons are fairly clear-cut. We're looking to move to the USA, and have submitted a visa application to get me over there as the spouse of a US citizen. We had initially planned on doing this much earlier, as soon as my PhD finished back in September, but that dragged on a bit. Then we thought we might be staying a little longer. But now we've made the decision to go, and despite the lengthy visa application process (it takes months, literally, although once you get an interview date from them it all moves very quickly), we are getting ready to go, initially to Texas, thence to wherever the right job takes us.

In fact, the visa application process has been underway for a while now. So why the decision to resign today (technically, yesterday)? Well, readers with computers who can click here will know that back in October last year I spent a month doing some consultancy work for an unnamed company. A similar offer emerged at the end of last week, with the remuneration for the five-week contract exceeding the salary I would get were I to remain at the university to the end of December. Since we're looking to go to the US anyway as soon as we can (and don't get me started on tax laws, which we're currently investigating after a tip-off from McDougal), it made sense for me to write my 'with regret' letter.

And it is with regret. When I leave after my notice period it will be four years, almost to the day, since I began work as a full-time PhD student with a computerless desk, a vague notion of the semantic web and no idea at all what an RDQL query was. Now I've got a computer on the desk, I've completed a PhD applying semantic web science to the digital library metadata and RDQL has become SPARQL. I've learned a lot, written papers, presented talks, taught students, even performed a little research along the way. And now, with the clean break of the USA move becoming imminent (and a little more about the visa process to follow in another blog, I feel...), it's time to move on.

Arouna from the other end of the level 4 lab is thinking of organising a farewell five-a-side testimonial for me (and possibly him, depending on what he decides to do when his contract is up next month). I wonder if they have much five-a-side in Texas?

Postscript: My leaving Southampton makes my blog title even more decoupled from reality. Any suggestions for an alternative title?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good luck dude! Finally a Spencer establishing a base of operations in the US. Crossing my fingers for ya.
Struan

Becky said...

How about 'A pilgrim abroad'?

I know we rarely see you anyway, but I'll miss you. Wishing you and Gloria all the very best for this next exciting chapter of life.

Nick Gibbins said...

Mixed feelings about this - I'm glad that you're not falling into the trap of hanging around indefinitely post-PhD, but IAM will most certainly be poorer without you.

Anonymous said...

quitter!

DuncMcRae said...

Anonymous said...
quitter!

You always say that when I resign.

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion for the blog title... it would be "at least I'm not an oriole"...

there's an epidemic if these "with regret" letters recently huh?