Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Washington and State in the Spring

The end of this semester marks a new page in my Dickinson career; I am going to study in Washington D.C. for the semester under The Washington Center program. While in D.C. I work an internship full time as well as take one class a week. I am going to be interning at the Department of State in the IO Bureau and I am more than pumped. I finally get to (hopefully) handle diplomacy and see how the process works first hand. I've been in far too many classes which explain the structure of diplomacy; now I get to help implement it.

I don't actually know what Ill be doing at my position just yet. Though I'll probably not going to be the guy who gets Sec. Clinton coffee, I will definitely not be exposed to any top-secret stuff. However I am really excited about looking over documents, sitting in on meetings, and just getting to know the people who work on multilateral diplomacy. I have a strong feeling that these "bureaucrats" are not as evil as some politicians make them out to be...

Another thing I am excited about is getting to know the city. I know wherever I need to in New York, so I assume D.C. may not be as difficult. That's just an assumption, however. I'll have to learn train and shuttle schedules as well as shops and places in the area. Not to mention restaurants and entertainment too. Essentially, I am starting over.

But that's the best part.

Being a city where I eventually want to make a career, learning my way around is definitely one of the things I am looking forward to. Its an empowering experience to know that you're in control of what you want to do and where you want to take your life. Being at TWC and State is just the first step, and an important  one, to my life goals.

Will I learn a lot? Yes. Will I have while doing it? Definitely. These are the times we never forget.

Harry S. Truman Building aka The State Department

Thursday, December 8, 2011


This was the last day of Religion: Conflict, Violence, and Peacemaking. I honestly have to say that this was probably the best course I have taken at Dickinson to date. Not only did a learn a lot, I also have valuable insight an tools to start further pursuing conflict studies; and this goes well with my focus on international politics.

I have learned so much from this course whether its the nature of religion, how religion interacts with conflict, how it can further conflict, how it ties into psychology and identity, and concrete ways to bring people back together. I have also have in-depth knowledge of the Breivik bombings in Norway, and it is a far more complex conflict than meets the eye. It is important for anyone who's looking at Europe to understand the Breivik case, as it is sure to be a recurring theme in the coming years due to globalization.

Though this course is just an introduction, I intend on further pursuing this. Wanting to go into international relations and national security, I think this fits well. It also has opened my eyes to the deeper nature of some of the world's most complex problems, and has effectively shown me the errors in analyzing conflicts in a purely secular lens.

Though religion is often not the causes of the conflict, it plays a defining role in them. In order to solve the problem, one has to understand every dimension of it. Often, and I was guilty of it, we overlook an important and defining factor in reason's behind why people chose to do certain actions; the role of their spirituality.

This course has opened new lanes for me, including potentially going to grad school for conflict management. Who knows, maybe this is what I'll end up doing. Politics and International relations don't stop at the state level, as I have been shown.

Thank you Prof. Staub, Ill be taking another course with you next year.