Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welcome to SAIS! Now, Learn Economics.

Look at this book.






















Now, look at this book.






















These two texts have been my life for the past two weeks. I got into DC after a fun, but very tiring trip to the Bay Area and started school immediately the next day. Although I hadn't even gotten around to buying a notebook or pens, our professors got down to business by tilting our heads back and pouring in economics.

This is SAIS's pre-term economics program, advertised to students as a way to knock out some of the intermediate economics requirements and get back into the swing of school before classes start in the fall. Being overly confident, like I usually am, I decided to take both offerings: Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Microeconomics. How hard could it be?

Hard. Tidal-wave hard.

I am pretty much taking the equivalent of a year's worth of intermediate economics in the course of a month. Every day since I've been to DC, I've woken up early, trekked to the SAIS campus studied econ for two hours. Then I've attended 2.5 hours of macroeconomics lecture. Then I've studied more over lunch. Then I've attended 2.5 hours of microeconomics lecture. Then I've run off to 1-2 2 hour TA sessions. Then I somehow find time to complete problem sets, study for midterms and read chapters for two classes that are both going at a pretty accelerated pace. I then leave the SAIS campus around midnight, sleep on a couch, and repeat.

I'm surviving, kind of. Pending the results of my macroeconomics midterm, which I should get tomorrow, I think my head is just barely staying above water. I definitely have 5 people to thank for that:

1. Joe, who is also taking both macro and micro with me (we both have come to terms with our poor choice in class scheduling)
2. Rachel, who talks with me through every micro problem set and keeps me working
3. Amber, with whom I've formed a symbiotic relationship of macro studying, work-checking and sarcasm
4-5. My Mt. Carmel pre-calculus and calculus teachers. I'm drawing a blank on your names right now, but I'm going to find my yearbooks and send you hand-written thank you notes. Somehow, all the math I learned 8 years ago is still in my head and I am extremely thankful for that.

I only have two weeks of this yet, and on the other side of that tunnel is Bologna, Italy...