My 27th Birthday

It is that time once again to reflect on my life and the recent events that have constituted the previous 12 months.

In no other period of my life have I learned and progressed so much in the field of academia. I understand now what it takes to write a paper and what it means to be an academic. Unfortunately, not everything I've learned about the practice has been positive. The fact that there is a lack of passion in the field is a serious shortcoming. That said, this has not discouraged me from pursuing a profession in it and certainly has not made me reconsider getting my PhD. Regarding the MA program itself, I have to say that I was generally satisfied with it; the content of the material was excellent and the teachers were very smart. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that we only met up once a week. I would have preferred to have dove deeper into each topic and to have had more time to speak with the course convenors.

My favorite part of the entire program was, of course, writing my dissertation. I couldn't write about natural diversity before because we weren't allowed to write about the same topic twice so I had to write about other less interesting things for my other essays. But for the dissertation, I was finally writing about my theory, which is what I was looking forward to doing the entire year. I loved waking up every morning and going straight to work. I loved seeing the fruit of my labor materialize in front of my eyes. It was truly a fulfilling process. In the end, I think I did my theory justice. I said everything I wanted to say and I made the best argument that I could for it. It is surely my best piece of work to date.

Since I've been very passionate about my theory and completely convinced of its importance ever since its conception, I was very happy to hear that my proposal to present my work at the conference in Indonesia was accepted. At first, I wasn't too sure whether or not I should go because it was so expensive, but now having attended it, I am very happy that I did. I made very good contacts there (including Martha Nussbaum), but more importantly, it reaffirmed my belief that no one else is writing about natural diversity.

While I'm on this topic, I should say a few words about the trip. First of all, I have to say that it was way too hot and humid. It's very hard for me to understand why anyone would choose to live in such a climate. Fortunately for me, I spent most of the time inside at the conference. Another thing I should mention is that almost every Indonesian person I met there was extremely nice. They were certainly nicer than the Chinese people I met while I was in China. Regarding the participants of the conference, they were also very nice, and international, which was good. The downside was that most of them were economists and were not too interested in the philosophy side of the capability approach. In fact, only 10 people showed up to my presentation. I was a bit disappointed in the low turnout.

Another recent event that I should mention is that UNICEF accepted my paper proposal for an upcoming global thematic consultation on addressing inequalities in the post-2015 development agenda. I didn't expect my proposal to be accepted so I was overjoyed to see that it was. It seems that my academic career is taking an early start. Hopefully, I can even publish something before I start my PhD program.

Overall, I'm very happy with my previous year and I can't wait to see what next year has to offer.