Believe it or not, I just started class today! September 25th was the first day of class for me. 🙂 My Tuesday night class is called “Comparative Public Administration” where we’ll learn about public admin in general, but we’ll compare the way different countries have handled different aspects of it. It’s going to be an interesting class for a number of reasons, mainly because I’ll be learning about New Public Management from a non-American perspective (no offense to Drs Pitts and Nigro). I will have a chance to write about a specific country’s public administration and public sector in detail and I’ve already chosen to write on Belgium again! I have many sources from the big paper I wrote for Dr. Hansen and I just think it’s an interesting, quirky lil’ country.
For the MPA degree here, they don’t have to take any statistics or budgeting classes. Can you believe that? NONE! My professor, while speaking on the evolution of public administration as an academic field (?) spoke about the desire of many Europeans to make their public admin research more scientific and rigorous, or more quantitative. I understand that. I thought of Dr. Hansen telling us in France how European research is much less positivistic than American social research. We like to “prove” things with numbers and datasets, where they can “prove” things with the support of philosophy. Very different, huh? The article I have to read for next week has no graphs, charts or numbers. In fact, Dr. Daly asked me to send her some good examples of quantitative research from the states. I had PLENTY to choose from.
I must confess, I had some great ideas for cool blog posts last night. I was thinking of writing about the different currencies, about how I still can’t say “cream cheese” in German (Frischkäse), about how excited I am about the Vegetarian Society meeting on Saturday, about joining the gym and about how I almost had a TERRIBLY EMBARRASSING fall on the way to the washing machine yesterday…but the internet was down after midnight. Apparently I can’t think without electronic devices in operation around me…and the calculator alone wasn’t working. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but repeatedly hit “refresh” on my browser page…for over an hour.
Please remember that I have no car and no tv and no regular cell phone! I was about to pull my hair out!! Whew! It’s working now, clearly, but all those good (Read: psychotic) ideas are gone. 😉
And I think my flat-mate Kamila and I are going to spend a few days in Manchester in November. Jill Scott and Pharoah Monche will be performing within a week of one another! Yay! I remember seeing Jill at Chastain Park in Atlanta after her first album dropped. The show was fantastic!
We may also get to see the Newcastle United team play before Christmas. Tickets are cheaper when they play losers.
And in other news…