Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | January 19, 2011

yes, I am still alive

Wow. Long time no post, huh? Sorry about that. I could give you a bunch of excuses–I was in California for a little while, the quarter just started, work is really busy, I came down with pneumonia…. (all true), but really, who wants to hear all that? The important thing is that I’m finally posting something! Hooray! 🙂

So we are in the middle of week 3 of the quarter and things are going well. I’m taking Politics of Deeply Divided Societies, International Criminal Law, and International Campaign Management. I had originally signed up for Nuclear Ethics (I know, I know.. what in the world was I thinking?!) and after just one class decided that I needed to get out- FAST. Philosophical/moral/ethical reasoning is definitely not my thing, and the professor’s requirements for participation and assignments were frankly absurd. Absolutely unreasonable requirements considering that all of us have at least 2 other classes we can’t ignore and most of us also work part-time. The class would have fulfilled one of my degree requirements, but it wasn’t worth my sanity to stay. I can fulfill that requirement some other way. So instead I picked up Intl Campaign Management and am very pleased with my decision. So far it’s a fun class and I really like the professor. But the best part about the class is that there aren’t any long papers! YESSSS!!! lol.

In other news, the deadline for Fall 2011 admission was last Saturday, and we are being flooded with calls and emails from applicants. The main problems seem to be with the letters of recommendation, and believe me, I feel your pain. The system for submitting them sucks and we are doing our best to help you guys (and your recommenders) get them in. Yesterday I went over to the Office of Graduate Studies (they handle the application itself and all corresponding materials) to help out for a bit because they are buried under a mountain of transcripts and hard-copy letters of rec. After seeing what they’re having to deal with, I urge you to please be patient if you sent your transcripts 2 weeks ago and they still aren’t showing up on your online checklist. They’re being entered as fast as possible and they will make note of when the transcripts were received, not when they were entered. So all will be well. Take deep breaths and believe that everything will be okay… it will all work out.

Achen devlesa!

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | December 7, 2010

Winter break fun

Walking to work these days is rather depressing… rather than being surrounded by dozens of students rushing to class or hanging out on the lawns, it feels like I’m walking through a ghost town. Or rather, ghost campus. Almost all of my friends have gone home for the holidays and my once hectic schedule is now filled with a whole lot of nothing. Not that I’m complaining! It’s nice being able to stay up late, sleep in, read whatever I want, and explore more of Colorado.  I’ve scratched a few more things off my Denver To-Do list recently, and I’ve been having a blast. Last weekend I went to a Denver Broncos game and sat six rows from the field. It was awesome! The Broncos lost, of course,  but I still had a lot of fun. Last Friday I went to the New Belgium Brewery (home of Fat Tire) in Fort Collins with a few people, and I also recently got a chance to explore Red Rocks and Golden (home of the Coors Brewery).  The weather has been pretty chilly, but so far no snow.

Despite all my free time, I haven’t done any of the school-type things I need to get done over the break. Internship applications, additional scholarship applications, language proficiency, program statement…. nada. Every night I go to bed committed to working on those things the next day, and every morning I wake up and think of about ten other things I’d much rather do. Ha. The procrastination bug has bitten me pretty hard. Ah well. I still have four more weeks of winter break, right? It’ll all get done…eventually. 😉

Kwaheri!

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | November 22, 2010

I survived!

All papers are done, all finals handed in, and my first quarter of grad school is officially over!  It’s a minor miracle that I survived with my sanity and emotional health intact, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth!  It actually hasn’t hit me yet… I think I’m still in school mode.  I’ve been told that it’ll most likely sink in sometime next week.

I apologize for the prolonged radio silence, but the past couple weeks have been jam-packed with assignments, class, and work.  To give you a small glimpse into the end of my quarter, I wrote a 14-page paper last Wednesday.  As in, wrote the entire thing in one day, stopping only long enough to go to class for 3 hours.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.  And I wasn’t forced to write it in one day because I procrastinated (although I do have trouble with that sometimes).  It was the first and only opportunity I had to do it because I had so many other things going on. 😦  But it got done, it was handed in, and now it’s only a bad memory and a sentence in a blog post.

So what are my plans for winter break?  I have to submit my program statement, have my resume reviewed by the Career and Professional Development Office, start applying for summer internships, apply for scholarships (I need more money!), and work on my language proficiency so I can get the proficiency exam out of the way.  And somewhere in between all that, I’m working and catching up on all the mindless TV shows I’ve been unable to watch for the past 2 1/2 months. 😀

Au revoir!

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | November 3, 2010

8 weeks down, 2 more to go… Wait. ONLY 2 WEEKS?! Ack!

I’m beginning to realize that one of the most useful skills to have as a graduate student isn’t analytical ability, time management, reading quickly, public speaking, creativity, or any of the other ones that may come to mind.  Nope, the most important skill for surviving grad school seems to be writing–fast.  My usual method of “let’s stop and think about how I want to word this sentence for 10 minutes” just isn’t cutting it.  For those of us who work while attending school or are involved in many extracurricular activities, the ability to crank out 10-page papers in a weekend (including doing all the research) is crucial.  I have 3 papers to write in the next 2 weeks, which works out to be about 40 pages all together.  Am I worried?  A bit.  But I also know that at the end of those 2 weeks, all 3 papers will be completed and submitted, even if it means 4 hours of sleep a night and a gallon of coffee a day.  I’ve already warned my friends not to expect to see me for a little while, but of course all of them are in similar situations and will be turning hermit just like myself.

On the bright side, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing larger by the day.  The quarter is almost over!  Woo-hoo!  We all registered for winter quarter classes on Monday and I’m pretty excited about what I’ll be taking: International Human Rights Criminal Law, Politics of Deeply Divided Societies, and Religion and International Studies: The Apocalyptic Tradition.  After taking 4 classes this quarter, I’ve decided to save my sanity and take only 3 next quarter.  First and foremost, I’m here to learn, and I feel that by taking 4 classes I didn’t get as much out of each course as I was hoping to.  I hardly ever do the reading for my classes anymore– I simply do not have the time.  By reducing my course load next quarter hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with my reading a bit better.  We’ll see…αντίο!

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | October 27, 2010

Sleep? Psh. Sleep is for wimps.

You know your life is hectic when the prospect of sleeping in the next day fills you with an inordinate amount of excitement. I’m pretty sure the only thing keeping me vertical at this moment is the knowledge that tonight I may actually get a full 8 hours of sleep. I can’t wait! 😀

But before I can sleep, I have to finish work, read, start writing a paper that’s due on Monday, go to class, and prepare for a presentation I’m doing tomorrow (on the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force).  In tonight’s class (Comparative Politics) I’ll be getting my midterm back.  Monday I turned in the second paper for my International Terrorism class (an analysis of the 1946 King David Hotel bombing). I’m very happy with how I did on my first paper, and hopefully he likes this one just as much.

As usual, lots of stuff going on at Korbel this week. Internship search strategy sessions, internship student panels (you get to hear from the 2nd-year students about where they went, how they got the internship, and whether it was amazing or awful), a showing of “Seoul Train” by CORD, a presentation by two Cambodian victims of human trafficking, a Peace Corps information session, and a Korbel Halloween Party on Saturday. I’m sure I’ve left out a few things, but I think you get the picture.

Speaking of Halloween…. I LOVE Halloween. What I don’t love is figuring out a costume. I was going to be a character from TrueBlood, but I’ve since abandoned that idea and I now have less than a week to figure something out. The fact that it’s going to be freezing cold will definitely need to be taken into consideration (it’s been about 42 degrees during the day recently, dropping into the 30s at night…brrr!). On Friday some friends and I are going to a haunted house but we haven’t figured out a plan for Halloween yet. I’m hoping for a huge costume party in a mansion. I’ve always wanted to go to one of those. Anyone have a mansion they’d like to share?

Hej då!

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | October 20, 2010

Come check out our exhibit on Saturday!

Okay, so the official time and place for this Saturday’s genocide exhibit is 12-4pm in Ben Cherrington Hall in room Sie 150.  The flyer for the event can be viewed by clicking on this link: DeadweightofComplacencyExhibit. Come down and check it out!

I may have mentioned this before, but one of the great things about the Josef Korbel School are the many opportunities to network and meet employers.  It seems like every week there’s at least 2 events.  For example, yesterday there was a Catholic Relief Services Brown Bag Information Session, today there’s an NGO Networking Forum with about 25 employers, and Friday some Korbel students will be assisting Condoleeza Rice with her book signing in downtown Denver. (I volunteered for that, but unfortunately the volunteer slots had already been filled.)  Korbel offers tons of opportunities to start making connections and put yourself in the best possible position to get a good job after graduation. The main problem for me is finding the time to take advantage of them.

In other news, I’m turning in my Comparative Politics midterm tonight and then working on the presentation I have to do tomorrow for International Organizations. I’ll be discussing the strengths and weaknesses/efficacy of the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.  Oh, and I got that first paper back in International Terrorism on Monday…and I’m extremely happy with the grade I received. 😀  This weekend I have to write the next paper for that class, an analysis of the King David Hotel bombing by Irgun in 1946. Fun stuff.

Cześć!

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | October 18, 2010

I can do it!

Good news! My research prospectus did not say “You fail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.”  Instead it said something along the lines of “Congrats, you’re a grad school rock star and you put all other research prospectuses to shame.”  Ha!  I win!  Nah, she wasn’t that enthusiastic about it, but she did really like it.  Big sigh of relief.  But tonight I get my first paper back  :/  So cross your fingers for me again!

This Saturday ASHR is hosting a genocide exhibit that is on loan from the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action and we’ll be having a speaker from the organization here to talk about genocide and how people can get involved to stop it from happening.  We aren’t sure of the exact time yet as we’re waiting to find out when the speaker is available, but it’ll most likely be around 12-4, and it’s open to the community- not just Korbel students. When I know the exact details I’ll be sure to post them so you can come on down and check it out!

Tschüß!

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | October 12, 2010

Ready…set…WRITE!

Hammy 🙂

I turned in my first paper last night! Yay! Or rather, yay that it’s done, yikes that I have no clue how well I did on it.  Tonight I have to start working on my paper for Field Ops… my goal is to get at least 2 pages written by the time I hit the sack.  Too bad I’m like a caffeine-addicted hamster (think Hammy from Over the Hedge) when it comes to sitting down for hours at a stretch with nothing to do but stare at a computer screen and think.  Tomorrow night I’ll get my research prospectus back in Comparative Politics… fingers crossed that there’s not “You’re completely lost. Come see me ASAP.” written at the top. Until I get a few assignments back from professors, I’m going to be a bit unsure about what they’re looking for and whether the work I’m producing is grad school-quality or still stuck back in undergrad (or worse? after all, it’s been 5 YEARS since I’ve had to do anything like this! ack!).

In other news, right now Professor Art Gilbert (who is completely crazy and absolutely wonderful, btw) has his personal collection of graphic art of the Holocaust on display in the Josef Korbel School Cyber Cafe.  The ASHR (including myself) has volunteered to hang out and make sure no one gets crazy and decides they like one of the pieces so much that they take it home with them.  So that’s where I’ll be tomorrow afternoon, surrounded by books and handouts in an attempt to catch up on the reading I’ve been neglecting while staring at the computer screen and thinking.

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | October 8, 2010

Well at least my eye stopped twitching.

Week 4 is over, and things are definitely starting to pick up. My first assignment, a research prospectus for Comparative Politics, was due on Wednesday and while attempting to formulate a research question it finally sunk in that I have a ton of stuff I need to get done in a short amount of time. I freaked out for a second (or a couple hours), but quickly got things back under control and planned out the next few weeks and when I’m going to start which assignment. Time management is key, remember? On Thursday we had a debate in my International Organizations class on whether the Obama Administration has made significant advances toward a more multilateral foreign policy. My team pretty much dominated (although admittedly the other team may disagree with that. That’s okay- we know the real truth, right?). This weekend I’ll be working on my first paper for my International Terrorism class, which is short- only 5 pages (yay!). I’ll be writing an analysis of the Israeli terrorist group Irgun Zvai Leumi. It’ll be nice to have a short paper to ease me back into the paper-writing process.

Tomorrow night I’m going to a birthday party downtown that’s being held for me (my birthday was Monday, and despite having to work and go to class, it was fantastic!) and two of my friends whose birthdays are around the same time. As of right now, close to 30 of us Korbel folks are going to be invading a bar in LoDo. It’ll be a nice break from reading and writing. I can’t wait!

Oh, and as for the title of this post… my right eye started twitching about 2 weeks ago (probably due to stress) and got progressively worse to the point that it was very noticeable and very embarrassing. But it’s finally gone. Phew! I can stop wearing sunglasses indoors now. Jk.

TTFN.

Posted by: Josef Korbel School, Office of Graduate Admissions | September 30, 2010

Because my life isn’t crazy enough…

As of today, I am the new Treasurer for the Association of Students for Human Rights at the Josef Korbel School– woot woot! One of the things that really influenced my decision to attend Korbel was the level of student involvement. When I went to the Discover Korbel event in April (which I strongly suggest you go to if you are admitted) it seemed like every current student I spoke to was involved in student groups, internships, part-time jobs, various centers and institutions on campus, all while taking a full load of classes. I was seriously impressed, and not a little intimidated. And now it looks like I’m headed down the same path– crazy! But the whole reason we’re here is to learn and eventually get a job, right? So every little extracurricular thing counts!

I’m excited about the events we (the Association of Students for Human Rights, hereafter referred to as ASHR) have planned for this year. Each quarter has its own theme: Fall Quarter is Genocide, Winter Quarter is Women’s Rights, and Spring Quarter is Minority/Indigenous Rights. We have a film festival, an art exhibit, a concert, and several speakers in the works. ASHR will be teaming up with CORD (the Center on Rights Development) and possibly the HTC (Human Trafficking Clinic– sheesh, enough with the acronyms!) to co-sponsor some of the events. One idea that’s been floated is trying to get Ayaan Hirsi Ali to come speak at Korbel, which would be awesome if we’re able to pull it off!

Alright, time to stop procrastinating and start working on my research prospectus.

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