Enjoying Economics (and Nevermind the Anthropology)

A couple weeks ago, more as a note to myself than to any reader, I wrote an entry describing my course schedule for this, my final semester as an undergrad.  In a twist that really suprises me given my initial expectations for this final semester, I have made several moves that sacrifice diversity of interest for depth in the field I most enjoy: economics.

I dropped Existentialism:  Fascinating but far too time-consuming this semester.

I dropped Symbolic Anthropology:  My interest in the field begins with discussion with my anthro major friends over coffee…. and apparently ends when I actually have to read and discuss the impenetrable stuff that is ethnography.

To keep me (and my financial aid status) full-time, Professor Greenlaw was gracious enough to take me on today in what is technically the third individual study I will be completing this semester.  Informally titled “Readings in Advanced Macroeconomics,” I’m actually looking forward to both readings and discussions a great deal. 

The switch means that I have three economics courses and an upper-level stats course, which is a far narrower educational agenda than I initially planned.  Why the switch?

I think the predominant part of the decision has to do with my realization that I enjoy nearly all aspects of the study of economics.  It is a field that contains several diverse and comparably powerful frameworks that allow you to elucidate whole swaths of human phenomena.  All you need to start out is curiosity and a good teacher, and I happen to have lucked upon several of the latter at the University of Mary Washington.

But I think the best part about studying economics is that I get it.  And I mean I really get it – as if it came natural to me.  Even better, my professors know that I get it, and I think it excites them that I desire, under their guidance, to dig ever-deeper.  I think it becomes a feedback loop, where the lights keep switching on in my head and, encouraged, my teachers start trying to flip even more switches.

Experiencing such vibrance in one’s mind is addictive.  This, I think, is what many college kids miss out on, and it is precisely what I would have missed out on if I had returned to school any sooner than I did.


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