Into uncharted waters

It seems like business as usual. I was trained to do this. I’ve done this a lot of times. Yet, why does it feel like I’m entering uncharted waters?

The preparatory Japanese language classes have ended and here I am, at my research desk, where I’ll spend the next three years of my life. Staring at a wall, occasionally glancing left to a pile of scattered papers and open books, and then back to typing a few words… only to delete them later. Rinse, lather, and repeat for several hours. A short break. Then again.

Basically, business as usual.

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Studying IR #2: A guide to reading

Ah, reading. According to some of my students, once they get hold of a book, they start feeling queasy. As they read, they develop lightheadedness. Some start convulsing in pain. Ten minutes in, they have to be escorted to the ER. No seriously, this is exactly how one of my students described the experience of reading an introductory text in International Political Economy.

Hyperbole aside, reading, especially academic texts, is not the most exciting activity there is, but it is the most important part of studying IR. After all, a large part of IR is about understanding the thoughts of other scholars through their written work.

Continue reading “Studying IR #2: A guide to reading”

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