Saturday, March 9, 2013

Strategic Studies Dramatis Personnae Revisited

Last semester, I posted about my instructors and peers. All of the folks I described in that first post are still around. We're no longer receiving instruction from E, but we still run into him from time to time - plus, I think we're basically all in the Facebook group for his course to third year undergraduates. Anyway, here are the new folks. Let's start with the new instructor.

  • Critical Mass: Critical Mass has her PhD in Nuclear Deterrence, and teaches PI 5517, Strategic Nuclear Doctrine. Like the Director, she's pretty unapologetic when she thinks that something is nonsense, which is pretty refreshing. She's a very engaging instructor, and instead of assigning a ton of books that I'll never have any hope of reading during the course of the semester, she's been great about assigning actual policy documents that are available online and easy to get through and discuss.

    Four the second semester, the Strategists have been divided across four courses, but everyone but GBU-16 is in Global Security Issues, and GBU-16 is in SND. We've also gotten six new folks.

  • CN Conquistadora: Conquistadora is Romanian, and a postgraduate in Politics and International Relations (PIR). She once joined us for a pub crawl. She's pretty quiet in class, but an absolute sweetheart.
  • CN Wanakum: Wanakum is Sri Lankan, and a postgraduate in PIR. She once joined us for a pub crawl. She's pretty quiet in class, but an absolute sweetheart.
  • CN Herr: Herr is from Köln, and a postgraduate in PIR. He's dating Fraulein, and once joined us for a pub crawl. He's been fairly quiet in class, but as we've gotten to know him, he's demonstrated himself to be a pretty cool guy.
  • CN Fraulein: Fraulein is from München, and a postgraduate in PIR. She's dating Herr, and once joined us for a pub crawl. She's been pretty quiet in class, too, but she's quite the firecracker outside of class. Apparently, we live in the same building, and only found it out a few nights ago.
  • CN Agricola: Agricola's from Barbados, and a postgraduate in Rural Development. He also happens to be one of my flatmates. He's quiet in class, but he's a good guy, and good to have as a flatmate because he's very courteous and, like me, keeps to himself.
  • CN Delta: Delta's from Nigeria, I think he's studying PIR, and he happens to have the same first name as CN Templar, which can be a little confusing since they're both from sub-Saharan Africa. He's been the most apt to speak up in class, and like Templar, we appreciate his outside perspective in an otherwise Eurocentric group.

    It's great to have a slightly larger group this semester.

    In addition to the additional students, and the new instructor, I've met a few new folks who merit mention.

  • CN Bones: Bones is CN Warden's better half. Total sweetheart. She's nicknamed "Bones" because she's studying to be a doctor. She's just spent the last couple of months doing an internship or residency or something in Australia, and we're all thrilled to have her back.
  • CN Governor: CN Governor is CN Warden's flatmate. He's half Irish and half Welsh, quite posh, and was born about seventy years too late. He works at the conveniently located bookshop, and he's engaged to an extremely eccentric French woman. He was in last year's class of Strategists, and is currently working on his PhD in something obscure. I think he may actually feel really depressed whenever he's not hunting foxes, or drinking gin, or leading bayonet charges against the Jerries.
  • CN Baltic: Baltic is CN Ness's long-time girlfriend. She's Latvian, spent a good deal of her formative years in Ireland, and has been in Aberdeen for a number of years, and she's a fourth year undergraduate in (I think?) PIR. she's a total sweetheart, and has a tendency to look out for the well-being of others, which is quite endearing.
  • CN Beirut: Owing to our experience, E sent a German fourth-year to meet with CN Odin and myself to advise her on her dissertation about the Human Terrain System. She wound up seeking a lot of input, particularly from me, before she finished it up and submitted it in early February. She continues to pop up every now and again. I'd probably describe her in comparable terms to the phrase used to describe Earth in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • CN Silverback: CN Silverback is an Irish guy in his mid-thirties, and he won't be offended when I say that he drinks like a fish. A few weeks ago, I got a text from him at 5:32 on a Tuesday morning, and he was still out drinking - that's a Monday night! That said, Silverback's a great guy, and I've had a great time getting to know him and, occasionally drinking with him.

    So, expect some of these folks to pop up in one story or another over the next few months.
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