Archive for May, 2014

Trimester Three is over!

May 29, 2014

It’s been an exhausting tri. Maybe it’s my first time taking three modules (and audited one more throughout). Maybe it’s the obligatory midpoint blues that everyone feels in any journey of some length (even though for me it’s more accurately three quarters of the way). I’m just relieved it’s over. Now some much needed R&R before the new tri opens in August.

I should really leave this to its own dedicated post, but I’m going to do it here anyways in case I never get around to it and it’s still fresh now. This trimester has been all Terrorism Studies, which is basically the reason I signed up for the MSc programme. I should be over the moon, but I’m not really wide-eyed excited, which I had said before could have been because not all the stuff was terribly new. 6034 was amazing, although the contemporary stuff left me a little lost. Still I can’t deny it challenged me and really made me work. 6028 was fascinating for its comprehensiveness, and though I had a good grounding in the basics, it still required me to work for my exams.

I think I worked the hardest this trimester to get my exams right. I hope my grades pass muster. I must admit my assignments were less than stellar but I take responsibility for not having been able to pull myself out of the dumps to do an excellent job.

One thing that really struck me doing all the readings and doing the research and taking part in the discussions is how we seem to be learning about the history of Terrorism Studies rather than engaging IN terrorism studies. Anything early post 9/11 was already very familiar to me (which may have contributed a little to my flagging interest because I had already read or heard it all before), but the reading lists seem very light on work done post 2009 that I feel is really key because the threat has morphed and mid 2000s paradigms may no longer be directly relevant anymore. Maybe I should have worked harder to look for new stuff. I don’t know. But one thing I’m certainly grateful for is being introduced to actual terrorism scholarship. It’s a certainly bigger field than the journalistic offerings I used only to have access to on the shelves of Kino. At least now I know who to look out for and how to sort the wheat from the chaff when I’m there.

I’m also sad to see all my classmates graduating when I still have one more tri to go. But I’m happy for them, and I hope we keep in touch regularly on Facebook. One of the things which I really learned a lot taking this programme was navigating cultural diversities and enlarging my cultural quotient. This is not something you can learn from doing your readings or from taking exams, but from regular interactions in and outside the classroom. I hope I can attend their convocation in July as a fitting way to close this chapter.

There were plans to take off for Bangkok for a few days, but what with martial law and changed schedules, it’s probably not going to happen. I might do a solo if the sit gets better, right before the new tri starts. Or I might as well just go ahead and plan my Sydney trip for year end. 

For now, two pressing things await. Need to set up the meet for the Comms Cube, and do the enquiry on the D affair. Let’s see what progress can be made before June ends.