Monday, January 21, 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On: The Second Semester

With Strategic Theory and Strategic Intelligence completed, the second semester begins in a few days. I'm enrolled in Global Security Issues, taught by the Director, and Strategic Nuclear Doctrine, taught by an instructor whom I've not yet met (which means that there's been no nickname assigned). We've already received the course guide (what we'd call a syllabus in the States) for Global Security Issues by E-mail, and I'm informed that some of the Director's lectures are already online. I haven't looked at either yet, because there's plenty of time to worry about that in the next few weeks.

As I've mentioned previously, the books I read prior to arriving in Aberdeen weren't relevant to the courses required for the first semester. (Fortunately, a couple of them were useful for exams.) The upside of that is that I've already read most of the books that are supposed to be assigned for Global Security Issues and Strategic Nuclear Doctrine, so there will be some serious review, but I'm not starting from scratch.

I may find myself rereading The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy by Lawrence Freedman. In reviewing for exams, I also discovered that Colin Gray's Modern Strategy has a couple of chapters on nuclear strategy (as does Another Bloody Century, for that matter), so I may try to have a look at those in the next week to get myself into a "nuclear" mindset.

I also hear rumors that one of the topics we'll cover will in Global Security Issues will be the Gulf. As I've mentioned previously, I have some pre-existing experience and interest in the Gulf, so I'm going to try to lay claim to the student presentation on Gulf security. I continue to believe that making Gulf security issues one of my specialties is a safe bet for staying employed, so this is a good opportunity to continue that trend.

The new semester starts on the 28th of January, which gives me another week to screw around before it's time to hit things hard once more. I hate that I'm already a third of the way done. A couple of nights ago, I thought to myself:

"Spending a year in Aberdeen is what I think spending a year wrapped in joy would feel like."
I'm not even halfway done with being here, and I already miss it. Fortunately, the time I've already spent here has been exactly what I'd been hoping for since mid-2010, and that's a wonderful thing.

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