Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back and different.

After all this time, I'm back. Yes, I became one of the overwhelming majority of bloggers who only blogs for a few months and than give up. Well no more of that.

I've been feeling the need to blacken some virtual pages over some issues that I care about. There will be time later for me to talk about U.S and Canadian political stuff...certainly a great deal has changed since my last post in March. But, what I really want to talk about is about Burma and my reactions to some of what I've been learning about in my graduate school.

But first, I just want to give a run down of where I've been and what I've been doing. I began a new job teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) at a company called I Can Read. You can find their link at Really enjoyed working there. Great bosses at my branch and the system really is the best that I have ever seen in eight years of teaching. Hmm, maybe I should get some money for giving them free advertising. Joking.

I've been in the process of leaving that job as I can no longer work on weekends, which is an absolute necessity at I Can Read. Reason being is that I'm now studying an M.A in Political Science at Ramkamhaeng University here in Thailand.

This university is certainly not the best in the world. The selection of English books is rather limited in the field of Poli-Sci but we are able to make do by using other libraries, inter-library loans and academic it's not a big barrier as long as one is used to life in a lesser developed country. Canadians fresh off the boat might get a bit annoyed.

Anyway, regardless of "prestige" issues I wouldn't trade this experience for a full scholarship to the London School of Economics, Harvard or anywhere else. I mean that sincerely. I very much feel that I am in the perfect place at the perfect time. The reason is is not only the excellent and dedicated professor (only had one so far as the uni uses a modular course system) but also due to the amazing diversity in the classroom and the great variety of backgrounds the other students come from.

That diversity ranges from upper-middle income, to high income mid-agers to former refugees and homeless people who study thanks to excellent charitable organizations. I'm sure that at the London School of Economics I would never have a couple of classmates (who are now also my friends) ask me "Have you ever been starving?"...seriously meaning the question and being a bit surprised that I could honestly say that I have never starved in my entire life.

It's a bit startling to think that the guy you are having dinner with was at one time the beggar that you just walked right past on the street. So, Political Science at Ramkhamhaeng is not only about the academics (at least for me) but it is also about having enough food to eat and living without fear.

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