Sunday, September 18, 2011

BU Fall 2011 Courses

This fall I am taking 6 classes at Boston University where I am pursuing a Masters in International Relations with a Certificate in African Studies.  I am taking classes in American Diplomacy, Politics in Contemporary Africa, Politics of Southern Africa, UN Peacekeeping Operations, Guitar, and Ballroom Dancing.

The textbooks for class are pretty interesting:
-The Responsibility to Protect
-Brahimi Report and the Future of UN Peace Operations
-American Diplomacy
-Markets and States in Tropical Africa
-21st Century Peace Operations
-Understanding Peacekeeping
-War and the Intellectuals
-Politics of Necessity
-Country of My Skull
-After Tears
-States and Power in Africa
-African Politics in Comparative Perspective
-Fate of Africa
-Bottom Billion
-Best Intentions: Kofi Annan & the UN in the Era of American World Power
-Zimbabwe: Years of Hope & Despair
-Politics in Southern Africa
-Power Elite
-Quiet American
-Empire as a Way of Life

So far I have read the Bottom Billion, Quiet American, and found Zimbabwe to be an easy and very informative read.  I have gotten a couple chapters into Best Intentions and find the book interesting as I developed a negative opinion of Kofi Annan from reading about the UN interaction in Rwanda.  When I visited Accra I toured the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Center and I look forward to learning more about him. 

The scariest or perhaps most challenging class has been ballroom dancing as I have squashed many of my dance partners toes over the past years.  At least its only pass/fail and the grade is based upon attendance!  I was initially worried that i would fail the class if stumbled during the waltz or dropped my partner (like in Dancing with the Stars).  The guitar is just for fun, i have played around with it for years but not seriously until now.  Thankfully this one is also pass/fail based on attendance.

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