I’d like to welcome myself to the first post of my second term, and you people, at whichever stage you are in your pre-university career.
Quick recap of my Christmas holiday: I did nothing that relates to my degree, future career or university in general. Instead, I took this much needed time to watch TV i.e. decay, knit and write light-hearted poetry. As all good things do, my utter revelment in the idle life began to cease after two weeks, at which point I started counting down the days until I came back to my malfunctioning home in London.
(I have been so kind to embellish my post with pictures from Istanbul, for your enjoyment).
Fortunately, I didn’t have any essays (but one) due or exams coming up after the break, so it’s been business as usual since term started. We seem to be coming to the end of the seemingly infinite time line of the Cold War, having just covered the Sino-Vietnamese War and are moving steadily towards the 21st century where we’ll learn about the Arab Spring and the Iraq War. Strategy too has steered towards the current country – having put aside the Kosovo intervention, we have taken up Al-Qaeda, which, if I’m honest, doesn’t make for the most lively and intellectual discussion. Thankfully the recent comments from the London mayor Borris Johnson that jihadis are the way they are because they just can’t get the girls came just in time to lighten up the mood in the seminar – good ol’ Boris…
In other news, I will be the representative of Turkey as Prime Minister in the KCL Crisis Simulation 2015! The simulation is an exciting new initiative in collaboration with Princeton University and Science Po Paris. It aims to engage students in a simulated conflict where they can apply their knowledge of International Relations to develop policy under pressure and time constraint, i.e. making sure we are not hunched behind our desks for life. Mind you, my choice to act as Prime Minister of Turkey was anything but arbitrary. In the highly gendered and discriminatory politics of Turkey, where women (along with a multitude of minority groups) have been harassed and interfered with by the current government, led by the then Prime Minister Erdogan, I felt this is the least I can do towards self-empowerment, however naïve and petty it may be.
To end on a brighter note, our ten-week Surrey Square literacy project is coming to an end this Thursday. It is textbook bitter sweet as it will be heart breaking to say so long to the students while at the same time heartening to see them graduate from the programme. Last week, they sat with a sergeant from Southwark Council to negotiate for more patrols and street lights in their neighbourhood to improve safety. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if the council will listen to the pleas of these young, mindful citizens.
P.S: If you liked what you just read, make sure you volunteer with KCL Citizens to influence more change! (If not, Citizens UK will do just fine)