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Extending an olive branch
Topic Started: Jun 10 2018, 01:34 AM (337 Views)
VaŤscent
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The Westering Sun

Yes, yes, thank you. Please calm down. No, I havenít come back to start a fight. Iím here in the spirit of the peace and reconciliation, and to introduce myself as a quasi-new member.

Where to start? Iíve, for a the lack of a better statement, been an indignant thorn on the Templeís side for much of my Kradenette career. Itís complicated and itís why I havenít been around for the past year and a half. I wasnít sure when or if Iíd ever return, but I have for selfish reasons, in that I donít want to be remembered in purely antagonistic terms. Although we may continue to disagree, my hope is to foster an air of mutual understanding. Acknowledging differences and understanding where each of us are coming fromóour ďpositionalitiesĒ in sociological termsó, is, in my view even more important than agreement. Positionality, the practice of delineating our position (i.e. race, class, gender, age, education, location, and other dimensions of our social identity) in relation to a context, is something we constantly address in my graduate program and what I hope to be open about here.

Speaking of graduate school, Iím an aspiring scholar. I focus on seemingly unrelated topics, from environmental justice movements and watershed ecology to Asian American history and South Asian cultural geography. Iím currently pursing my masters thesis research on opposition to the damming of the transboundary Ganges River of Bangladesh and India and how it may be influenced by debates on legal personhood of rivers. Itís an exciting new chapter of my life as Iím being able to bridge the tender, warm, familial sentiments that characterize my South Asian identity with the intellectual rigor and professionalism of my American identity in such a meaningful and impactful way. Iíve struggled to reconcile the two for most my life, so my familyís as hyped as I am. I hope to continue this work in a doctoral program.

What else? I like reading books, both fiction and non-fiction, but they tend to be on aforementioned subjects since those own my life. My main source of non-academic pleasure is probably watching anime, although knowing me, I find ways to relate themes to radical pedagogies and world peace. Iím currently watching Fairy Tail and the clash of magic guilds and their ideologies of family and society reminds of the inter-clan conflict here awhile back and the inter-state conflict, social-ecological views, and activist responses Iím exploring in my masters thesis. Its folk metal soundtrack makes it all the more enjoyable. Mystical folk, whether it's based on Asian, American, or European traditions, is probably my favorite type of music. Bengali Baul songs are the best.

Speaking of Bengali, Iím currently learning how to read and write in it. Itís the seventh most spoken language in the world due to the incredibly high population density of its native region of Bengal (Bangladesh and neighboring West Bengal, India), the area where my family and field research is based. There are more Bengali speakers then there are Russian, German, and Japanese speakers, but itís rarely taught outside Bengal given that thereís relatively little demand for it. Not that it's necessary for me to be literate (English is used in most business and academic circles, thank you British Raj?), but I want to since thereís so much art and culture that I donít have access to as a result. And more than anything, it's my mother tongue, the prism that has shaped the first notions of the world to me as a child. Many words and concepts I initially learned via my Bengali speaking household. We were the only ones in town, so there wasnít a demand here to be schooled in the written language. I was so jealous when I found out that Vancouver offers Punjabi language immersion programs in their schools.

Am I missing something? Oh yeah. Iím a closet advocate of Kradenís scholarship. Have been so for years, but unfortunately, heís not too credible in academic spheres outside the Golden Sun fanbase. :thinkkraden:

*carves a 'V' for Vaescent into a flyer and uses a :rose: to stab it onto a surface*

(Do olive branches grow in the Temple? I think this is close enough. :rose: )
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Saturos
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heart-under-blade

I never thought of you as either a thorn or an antagonist, Vaescent, so it's good to see you again. =) I've been kind of following your progress via your FB updates, and I'm glad things are going so well for you! That definitely sounds like a worthy Master's topic indeed, and I'm glad you've found so much meaning in academia. ^^
I definitely know the tendency to academize anime and the media consumed outside of it, I just wish there was more of a platform to actually express that, haha.

Learning your mother tongue sounds awesome! =O And I'm really glad your family is supportive of the progress/path you've chosen. ^_^

Stick around if you like~!
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Dreaming Sun
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HI VAE
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UltaFlame
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Thanks Poui.

You're cool.

Helloooo
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Crystallux
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I was super inactive for a long time so I have no idea who you are, and don't give a shit what you think you've done in the past. That's just it: the past. You've got a clean slate. I'm not here to judge you.

Also your masters topic sounds really interesting! Glad to hear that everything is going well for you!
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King in the North
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I don't know what everyone else is talking about, I've always known you're actually Doctor Doom

Posted Image
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VaŤscent
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The Westering Sun

*sends an escort to collect Kit's existence*


I'm sorry, did I hear someone cry out my name?

Oh, hi Insul and Ulta!

Really, Crystallux? I remember you well from last year.

Re: my masters thesis, its genesis can be traced to conversations with my relatives about the state of our rivers. The dam I'm studying is situated eight miles upstream from the India-Bangladesh border and a major source of conflict between the two countries. If you're not familiar with the geography of South Asia, the Ganges river flows from the Himalayas in India (the country which hosts the dam), has tributaries coming down from Nepal, and forms, along with the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, the vast Bengal Delta of Bangladesh (the downstream country). The combined river system includes Bhutan, Tibet (China), and is a lifeline for millions of people (see map). My hope is that my reasearch will support the river advocates participating in it (i.e. literature for their organizationís newsletters and reports) and will be disseminated in South Asian and global academic spheres.

Saturos
 
I definitely know the tendency to academize anime and the media consumed outside of it, I just wish there was more of a platform to actually express that, haha.
Same. One of the things I've always liked about the Temple was the ability express anime and other media influences in my thinking. It helps that this is a Golden Sun forum. I can't say the same for academic and activist spaces I'm part of, even my Facebook feed. I'm wondering if it's a generational thing or a broader cultural phenomenon.
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Poui
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VaŤscent
Jun 10 2018, 01:34 AM
legal personhood of rivers
I... have never encountered this concept before

What sorts of media would you say are fair game to draw influence from in academia? Is all fiction out or is it fine to talk about say, classic literature or film?

also hi it's nice to see you /o/
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Kiki
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Kiki Martius Chantico

I don't remember anyone getting into any beef with you. Glad to see you again!
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