It’s been so long since I last posted and after the last posting, one would think I’m doing fine settling in and should have got a hang of things by now. But well getting back to studies isn’t easy. And if you want to give it your best shot then maybe you end up taxing yourself a little too much. I cannot say that I am studying 18X7 (given that I at least need 6 hours of sleep every day!) hours but yes I am studying most of the times.. Something that I hope to change soon. Life has been hectic and I have the usual set of ‘student cribs’ – lectures, readings, essays, submissions, presentations… (read blah blah blah). When I came and was handed over the question for the 1st essay assignment (in the first week of lectures), I had no clue how I would be able to write 1000 words on a topic I had no clue about. It was a topic that I had come to learn, how can they expect me to write on it before I have any interaction with that area! Anyway since then I have done 4 essays and written more than 7000 words and 2 seminar presentations in 2 months. So the learning curve was fast. Though, there hasn’t been any feedback till now so I don’t know if the curve was steep or just mediocre.
Apart from the usual grill, LSE has been fun. The public lectures are very interesting. I remember when the minister to the Foreign minister of Israel had come for a talk, the Palestinian students had staged so many protests and even though it wasn’t huge, it was the first time I was in the middle of a college protest. For me it was an experience.
Before coming here, life moved on without much concern about things happening elsewhere. They were always things happening to someone else, someplace else but not affecting me or my immediate concerns in any way. But now these are things happening to the person sitting next to me in the class and there is no way that I can be ignorant of them. When the news of bomb blast in Peshawar came, a friend was immediately on phone trying to contact his family. There is no way that I can stay unaffected by it. And I think all this is changing me. In certain ways I’m loosing my optimism. I still don’t know whether that’s good or bad. Whether I’m becoming more realistic or just more pessimistic? When I came here, I had a vision, a desire to be part of a process to undo the wrongs done to some people. The perspective or the understanding I had of the world was too narrow and limited. The reality is far more crude and cruel. The challenges are great and the stakes are high. So many times we read of concepts that appear good and so logical and we are left questioning as to why have those concepts not been put to use! Are these beautiful ideas just to win Nobel Prizes? Can policy makers not put these ideas to good use OR are policy makers not doing their job well intentionally, just to ensure that their job stays? At TI, someone once said to me “put a known bug in your design and you are going nowhere for the next 5 years, because you’ll be spending that time fixing it” Perfect solution to job insecurity 🙂 . I wonder if policy makers also think so.
I think I shall leave at that note because otherwise I believe people will stop reading postings here. (not that I have too many people reading it! But I shall stick to my optimism) 🙂