Academics suffer from not being able to convey their thoughts in language that normal people understand. I’m frustrated that the journals I read are written in a language so arcane, they should belong in wizard’s dusty grimoire kept above a tower with a fire-breathing dragon flying around on guard. Scared that I might be guilty of the same crime, this blog is here to remind me that I need to get my point across in plain English. I try to keep articles within a reasonable length (around 1,000-1,500 words) and insert a lot of relevant references to games, books, and movies, and of course, and not lapse into that alien language known as “Academish” (though sometimes it’s inevitable).
So, these are the records and scribbles from an aspiring academic, who had to claw his way to a Master’s degree in the ivory tower of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, where I majored in Strategic Studies, or as colloquially known, “the place where the guns-and-bombs weirdos gather”. Now, I’m still trying to get into a PhD program after multiple rejected research proposals.
In 2017, I joined as a faculty member at President University, West Java, Indonesia. In 2019, I became an Assistant Professor, which basically marks the first step towards a tenured position. I mostly teach Defense and Strategic Studies-related courses, such as maritime security, the study of war, and defence policy analysis. On the side, I also handle Research Methods and Intro to Political Science. The latter mostly gives me an excuse to host film discussions and to study political philosophy.
I like gaming, watching movies, good food, and science-fiction. Speaking of science-fiction, I really recommend reading Liu Cixin’s Rememberance of Earth’s Past trilogy or maybe the Dune saga.
I’m interested in maritime security, Southeast Asian security, Indonesian foreign and domestic politics, and counter-terrorism. I’ve also written op-eds in the Jakarta Post and The Diplomat, mostly on Indonesia’s maritime developments and other social issues I care about, such as gender equality, civil-military relations, and nationalism. Some of the opinion pieces under the “Thoughts and Coffee” column have never made it to print, either by my own discretion or editorial rejection.
A guide to the site
This blog is separated into several columns, each with their own distinctive purpose. Here’s a breakdown of what you, the reader, may find in each column.
The bread and butter of this blog. All of my notes, reading summaries, lecture notes, and even seminar summaries can be found in this column.
A more personal column, where I upload commentary on issues I find interesting. It also serves as an archive for my pieces published elsewhere on the web (you know, if the links die or anything).
A column set up with my students in mind to help them improve their writing skills, assuming they even read it. You’ll find writing tips, style guides, and basically anything about academic (and sometimes, semi-academic writing) in this column.
This is a column I set up to document and reflect on my teaching methods. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll finally be able to balance entertainment and rigorous delivery. Also, some syllabus samples may be uploaded on a later date.
Another student-oriented column where I share tips on surviving college life and academic tips.
Another reflexive column where I rant about national higher education policies and ponder what it means to be an academic.