Eventually, I survived the Jackson School

I just left the room where I presented my final papers. I was so nervous to present these two theoretically contradictory papers: the one argues that religion matters less and the other argues that religion matters most in the Indonesian politics. I really doubted how to relate them. But eventually I am done. I am free.

The oral was started with a more personal question, the background where these papers come from. And I see such a question is an essential to my own experience.

When applying for the Fulbright scholarship, my proposal was about finding a way to accommodate religion in politics. If you visited AMINEF's website, you will find on their list that I am studying about Islamic law and democracy. That was my concern and is.

However, it once came to my mind that my school is not a good place to study this topics. I once decide to work on the US foreign policy. I spent two quarters to work on this issue. I was not satisfied and I didn't see the future of doing of this study. You know, so many scholars have been working on this issue and it will not "sell" me.

So, I decided to return to my proposal: Islamic law and democracy. In happentance, the democratisizing Indonesia are witnessing the trend of introducing local Islamic law. It would be not a hard thing to do research on this trend.

Well,it doesn't matter now what the topics I picked. I have passed the oral exam and that means I am done with my school. I will go home in two weeks and "start" a new life.

Yes "starting" new life. Becuase 'graduation' is not the end of a thing; it is a start of things. It is way our graduation ceremony is called "commencement", a starting momentum.

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