Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last First Day

Today my last year of graduate school begins.  Phew!  It is also my last first day of school ever.  I have enjoyed my master's program so far, but this semester promises to be challenging, at best.  I already have a mountain of reading to do and I haven't even been to a single class yet. 

People always ask me what courses I'm taking and since my schedule is usually determined by when I have childcare as opposed to personal interest, I can rarely remember the actual names and subject matter of my classes.  But, not this year.  This year, with the kids in school, I had a lot of freedom, well, more anyway, to pick and choose.  And here is the result:

Public Diplomacy -- if you know me well, you know that I can certainly benefit from any practical skills imparted in this course.  The focus of the class is diplomatic relationships between countries and organizations, but I suspect it is really just about getting along in the sandbox, just on a much grander scale.

Egypt: Authoritarianism to Revolution -- as of yet, there is no syllabus for this, but since much of what we'll be studying is in the process of unfolding, I suppose that stands that reason.

Research Methods in Democracy and Development -- this is exactly what you think it is.  Boring?  Maybe.  Useful, probably more so if I'd taken it at the beginning of my program, but there are still a lot of papers between me and graduation so all is not lost.

Transnational Justice -- the official course description states: "Transitional Justice addresses the question of how countries that are seeking to extricate themselves from massive human rights violations and undemocratic rule can best deal with their past in pursuit of the rule of law and participatory democracy. Central to this question is the need to ensure both peace and justice in fragile states living at the interregnum between the past and the future. Which comes first – justice or peace? Is it possible to have both? If so, under what circumstances?"

Don't you wish this were your schedule? 

As present I am anxious to begin even though I know very soon I will feel completely out of my depth and buried up to my neck in readings and writing assignments.
Summer fun with cousins Sloane and Taylor
But, in the end I know it will be like every other school year.  I'll get the work done and survive and then will have plenty of time to recuperate and savor that inevitable feeling of accomplishment.
Another cousin, Grafton, catching some rays

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