Global politics is micropolitics.

I’ve just spent ten minutes waiting for a bus on campus in Singapore and overheard students say these things with respect to the election results:

1) “It’s not gonna affect us one la, the US is damn far away leh bro”

2) “Trump is racist but everybody is racist to some extent anyway, it’s quite normal”

3) “These things won’t come here one, we’re not so racist”

4) “He won’t dare to do anything to Singapore cos of trade”

5) “His business is quite good right, like he’s quite successful la so he has experience”

6) “I read on Facebook that Hillary is corrupt […] so I’ll never vote for her”

7) “Wah that was damn fun to watch, it’s like reality TV but real […] so entertaining”

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Where to from here, as instructors who work with young people every day:

1) Be even more invested in engaging with students to see their worldview. Understanding and trying to speak their language is more important and effective than belittling students or shutting them down.

2) Probe students to critically assess their opinions, validate their sources of information, stimulate desire to develop critical thinking. Parochial media consumption breeds closedmindedness, but the media culture here has fostered unthinking passive uptake.

3) Teach and discuss Standpoint Theory and Cultural Relativism and Positioning and Interpellation in the classroom. Some students don’t think critically or practice empathy because they haven’t been taught how to, and we will equip them.

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We encourage these conversations when we can. We do this in baby steps. We start tomorrow.

Procrastiprogress updates from the cave VI.

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Moshimoshi folks,

I can’t believe it’s already the end of September. This month has been hectic but fulfilling.

I finally attended my PhD Convocation ceremony, 13 months after I had submitted my thesis and seven months after I had passed. (Yes the grading did take that long!) I still have mixed feelings about graduation because four years of research was literally casually commemorated in a five-second walk on stage to shake the hand of an important-looking academic in front of a bunch of strangers. To me, the real fun was the honour of getting to graduate with my good friends – it was a bumper crop of five anthropology PhDs this time – and spending precious time with all the people I miss and love. So yes, all the officialdom of postgrad life is done and dusted, I have been Lord Voldemort once more, and my DECRA clock has begun!

Continue reading Procrastiprogress updates from the cave VI.

week 2 of teaching!

This afternoon, an undergrad stayed back after our workshop and waited until everyone had left to tell me he was really enjoying our classes and wanted me to have this feedback so I know how I’m going. (reporting ad verbatim in passive speech) Feeling infinitely encouraged at the moment :)

I’m also thinking about blogging my weekly lesson plans for one of the units I am teaching this semester. Will probably get to that over the weekend!

In other news, I turned 26 on Friday in the most lepak chillax manner possible – spending time outdoors with my favourite boys eating my favourite foods and enjoying new experiences. We went camping! It was mad freezing when we woke up to row in the lake at six in the morning, but boy did it feel good not to touch my laptop for my four-day long weekend. The price to pay is collapsing under the weight of my email inbox right now. Sigh.

This week, I endeavour to conquer my lit review chapter. Let’s go!