4 Pieces of Advice for Every Political Scientist

@StateAs part of the 6th Annual Graduate Conference at my department, we had Dr. Irfan Nooruddin give a key note address. Dr. Irfan Nooruddin is one of the most sought after and respected comparativists in political science academia. So it is little wonder that he is leaving Ohio State this fall to take up the role of endowed chair of Indian Studies at Georgetown in Washington, DC.

His keynote was essentially the most honest summary of what we all attempt to do and what we need to learn to do it better. It made such a profound impact on me that I decided to share his words with all of you. (more…)

AdnanVenture – Coming Home to ATL

IMG_20140321_163814Ending anything is horrible. Be it donuts, a burger or a trip, the end is always painful. I deal with endings in most awkward ways (Just for reference, I cannot bring myself to say bye to people, I just vanish… I know that is the shit thing to do… am still working on that). It is only recently I have figured out how to manage them properly. So on the last day of my DC Adnanventure, I refused to be awkward about it, instead I gave myself a challenge, to enjoy and not plan a single second till I got home.

So having moved to Extended Stay America for the last day in Virginia, I had to wake up really early to get back to town. Why did I have to wake up early? Because I do not have a car and I rely on public transport. So I wake up and wait for the bus, then wait for another bus and then eventually catch the Metro in to town. This whole effort normally ends up taking about an hour and a half. Normally I am cranky making such an effort but as this was last day in town and given that my bus was at 9 PM, I had nothing better to do or at least that is what I thought. (more…)

Adnanventure – Wonderful Washington Part 2

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World War 2 Memorial

The first two days were ultra hectic. I had been constantly travelling, hardly getting any sleep and trying to see as much of everything as I could. So on Day 3 I made it a point to slow down a bit and kind of enjoy what was around me. Woke up relatively late around 9 and ventured down to the lobby restaurant for my free breakfast. At this point I would like to take the time and thank Best Western for easily having one of the best breakfast menus of any hotel in their category. Great breakfast that was thoroughly enjoyed as the sun was finally out.

Having already seen the Air and Space Museum, Congress and the White House, my agenda was to finally go through rest of the Smithsonian museums and basically just walk around for a bit getting the feel of the city. So on advice of my Americanist friends (These are my friends who specialize in American Politics as part of their Grad Studies) I started the day at the American History Museum. History in general fascinates me but recently American History has become my area of interest. I feel that we can see the future based on the past and that our personalities are built up on our shared history. Add to this the fact that I live Atlanta, Georgia… which is one of the largest cities in the South; I have developed a special interest in the North South divide as well as the Civil War. (more…)

AdnanVenture – Walking Washington DC

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Capitol Selfie… Hazards of Travelling Alone

I travel not because I have to, for me it is something more. I took this trip/vacation not because I needed one; well I needed one, but because it is when you travel you get to know yourself better. I always saw travel as a means of improving yourself because it gives you testing conditions that your normal life does not. So from where I am sitting, travel is a great way to do a self evaluation and find stuff that can be better addressed in your life to improve the overall quality of your life. You throw yourself out there and make as many mistakes as it takes to get through a finite amount of period while trying to have fun and take things easy. It is a balance that you try to maintain throughout the period of time you are travelling. This Adnanevnture, as I like to call it, has been amazing from this point of view. I have learned so much about myself, about the places I have been visiting and the people I have been seeing. (more…)

Adnanventure – Doing Durham

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The last 24 hours have gone something like this; I started out from Atlanta on MegaBus. Honestly I just chose that instead of flying or Amtrak because the ticket was 1 dollar. The bus took about 8 hours to get to Durham having made a stopover in Columbia, South Carolina. If you have the liberty of time, always take MegaBus. It is comfortable, it is cheap and the buses are in great condition. (more…)

Road to Routines

ImageThere was a time when I enjoyed being spontaneous and basically winging anything and everything. This approach worked for me most of my life that was until I got to graduate school. The first semester I tried my level best to continue my approach to life which was basically to walk in with confidence and wing it while simultaneously hoping no one notices it. I failed miserably.

I tried everything; being productive in short bursts of a few days, writing papers based on meta analysis, talking to my class fellows and collecting info from them, even dedicating two full days a week to just catch up on stuff. Turns out, you cannot really catch up on stuff; all you can do is keeping up. If you by any chance cannot keep up, consider it as a lost cause. (more…)