This semester I’m taking four classes, trying to get most of my course requirements out of the way so that next year I can focus on my thesis.
Indonesian Language: This is the continuation of my Indonesian class from last semester. We’re focusing all of our coursework on the killings that occurred in 1965 in Indonesia. While not a topic that I’m terribly interested in, this focus on recent Indonesian history has been extremely helpful. I’ll admit that before taking this class I knew very little about Indonesian history or politics. This class has been helping a lot and also contextualizes many of the articles that I’m reading on my own in preparation for my thesis.
Gamelan: Last semester, I was informed that having played gamelan at all qualified me for the advanced gamelan class. Despite not having a lot of experience, the teacher was absolutely right and the class has been great. I’ve started more seriously working on bonang, an instrument that I did not focus on while at ISI because I didn’t feel like I had the support or time. I’m also getting to dance, which is very exciting; the existence of Michigan’s gamelan—with the hope that I’d be able to dance—was one of the factors that led me to apply to the school in the first place. We have a performance coming up in February and though I’m not quite ready yet, I’m looking forward to it.
Pre-Colonial Southeast Asian History: This is the major class that I’m taking to get graduation requirements out of the way. I’m not particularly interested in pre-colonial history—I’m actually much more interested in colonial history—but this class is writing-heavy, which is one of the graduation requirements I have to fulfill. I’ve looked at the syllabus, though, and it does look like it will cover some interesting topics. I’ll keep you updated.
Thesis Preparation Course: I’m not sure what the actual name for this course is, so this is what I’ll call it for now because that’s what it is. This course is all about preparing to write a thesis prospectus. It looks extremely useful and hopefully this is where I’ll get some of that guidance that I was looking for last semester. Of course this also means that I have to nail down a thesis topic, something that hasn’t quite happened yet. I have ideas, but it’s yet to be determined if they’re truly any good…