Photo Friday: Tan Kah Kee

There are pictures depicting various important scenes from this Tan Kah Kee’s life hung up all over Xiamen (or at least the tiny part of Xiamen that I’ve walked around so far). He moved to Malaysia, made a fortune, then came back to China with the idea that education was very important. He set up many institutions of learning, including a few universities here.

What’s the plan for next year?

If you’ve been following along judiciously, you already know that I’ve finished up my MA program. You may also be wondering what’s next for me.

I’ll be honest: I’m wondering the same thing, but in more of an existential way. I do, however, know what I’ll be doing for the next two years. I’m going to stay in Michigan and get a degree in library science.

I went in to the MA program because I wanted to get better at Indonesian with the end goal of somehow breaking into translation work. My Indonesian has gotten better and I’ve been doing more translating. The concept of freelancing, however, makes me rather wary.

That’s where library school comes in. I like being part of the academic world, and I especially like having access to academic libraries. The University of Michigan library has science fiction novels written in Indonesian. How crazy is that?

Given these various interests of mine, going to library school makes a lot of sense. Most importantly, it will open up the opportunity for me to become an academic librarian. There are positions out there for librarians specializing in Southeast Asia.

So that’s my plan. Library school means heading, once again, into unknown terrain. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how that goes.