Featured post

Educational Philosophies Compete Within College


My feature story for the May 2014 Central Circuit issue.

Originally posted on The Central Circuit:

By Josh Kelety

What is the role and purpose of community colleges? Are they educational institutions, providers of workforce training, or both?

Here at Seattle Central differing educational philosophies are abundant, giving off the impression that our school is in the middle of an identity crisis.

The Mission (and mandate)

The Seattle College District (SCD) has a very clearly outlined mission statement and vision for the role Seattle’s community colleges will play in society. “It’s the workforce mission, it’s the transfer mission, it’s the basic skills mission,” says SCD Chancellor Jill Wakefield.

According to Seattle Central’s mission statement, the college provides “opportunities for academic achievement, workforce preparation, and service to the community.”

All community colleges in the State are defined in almost identical terms, with the Washington State Legislaturerequiring, since 1991, that all these institutionsoffer comprehensive education in the form of transfer degree education, workforce training, and…

View original 3,235 more words


Prabowo the Kid, the Vote Count, and “Revolusi Mental”


It’s Lebaran and my boarding house is quiet. The florescent lamp overhead flickers and lines of ants march single file across the stained white walls. I’m full to the brim with Jamu and feeling both drowsy and rejuvenated. Now, unlike the last time I vomited ramblings all over this patch-work blog while rushing to publish a post before I was booted out of the office and (more importantly) off the Jakpost wifi, I actually have a moment to think and to reflect.

So here we go.

In short, Jokowi won the Indonesian General Election Commission (KPU) “Real Count” with around 53% to 46% of the popular vote, surpassing the original quick count predictions. While Prabowo continues to say he is gathering evidence to take the KPU verdict to the constitutional court, claiming rampant voter fraud amounting to around 8.5 million votes (votes, if handed over to him, would conveniently close the margin between him & Jokowi), the rest of Indonesia and the world seems happy with the election result. The Jakarta Globe keeps proudly touting how positively financial markets have responded to Jokowi’s win, while at celebratory rallies the president elects’ campaign volunteers and general supporters call for a new era of self-empowerment and active civic engagement among the masses to keep the populist momentum going. With two different portions of society who have opposing self-interests both hailing the electoral success of the humble furniture maker from the riverbank slums of Solo, we’ll have to wait and see which way Jokowi swings as time goes on.

Flags at Proclamation Monument Jokowi rally

Flags at Proclamation Monument Jokowi rally

Continue reading

The KPU Reiterates its Neutrality Amidst Election Fraud, Unclear Electoral Law


A somewhat dense and unclear, if out of context, Jakarta Post report on the KPU reaction to reports of voter fraud and manipulation coming out of various parts of Indonesia. A few scattered quotes were contributed by yours truly.

West Jakarta City Administration Heroically Battles Poverty (for TWO whole days every year)


Coverage of an annual corporate and government sponsored two-day discount market which supplies basic food materials to low-income residents in Jakarta.

Clean Water a Luxury at Pluit Low-Income Housing


My latest brief write-up for the Jakarta Post, touching on water quality issues at Pluit low-income housing projects and poor communication between the City Administration housing management and tenants.

Empty water jugs outside Pluit low-income housing projects

Empty water jugs outside Pluit low-income housing projects

Jokowi greets a crowd at a Bandung rally

On the Trail with Jokowi: Notes and Election Synopsis


It was the last week of the legally sanctioned month-long campaign period for both presidential candidates Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, and I had the opportunity to assist a Jakarta Post reporter cover the final stretch, which amounted to a blur of stump speeches, an absurd amount of tobacco consumption by the nicotine fiends which make up most of Jokowi’s press following, and waiting, so much damn waiting. Only to be swiftly punctuated by the candidate’s unpredictable schedule of leaving or arriving at various destinations, transitions always accompanied by hyper-energetic mobs of people clamoring to get even just a glimpse of Indonesia’s favorite and only (to my knowledge) rising populist reformist politician.

Jokowi greets supporters in Sukabumi on his way to meet a influential religious figure

Jokowi greets supporters in Sukabumi on his way to meet a influential religious figure

Continue reading

Homeless for Ramadhan


Last Sunday the Jakarta Globe reported that a massive electrical fire had ravaged homes in the impoverished area of Muara Baru in North Jakarta, leaving hundreds homeless the day before on June 28th. The coverage was brief and stuck to the immediate facts, stating that the number of houses destroyed was around 500. Assuming there were families in each of those units, a huge amount of people had been displaced in the span of several quick and destructive hours.

Homeless Muara Baru residents outside of PMI provided tents

Homeless Muara Baru residents outside of PMI provided tents

Continue reading

The Central Circuit is leaving a legacy

Originally posted on hello.:

I’m writing this for my personal blog. As of yesterday, I am no longer an employee of the Central Circuit and Seattle Central College.

While this gives me some more freedom, it also limits my blast range – the Circuit’s content creation cycle technically ended a couple of weeks ago, actually, after the press date of our June issue. I don’t know how firm this restriction is, but I’m holding to it for better or worse.

Part of my duty at the Circuit was to leave a legacy report for my staff advisor and next year’s staff, to assess my learning and growth over the course of the year and help the new graphic designer get a head start on some of the issues they’ll face in creating a professional, quality publication in a hostile environment. At first I put this off because there were other things to do—finals…

View original 3,155 more words