Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Senior Spring

It's my last semester of college and I couldn't be more excited. Here's one last chance to dwell in this web of 18-to-22-year-olds with a lot of ideas and a lot of interests and a lot of stress, all contained in our bubble of Cantabrigian brick with 70 different food options served to us at every meal and the gym and laundry right around the corner.

I'm especially psyched because I'm finally studying the things that I set out to study when I chose this monster of a major (Economics). I'm also taking my last college Latin class (and it happens to be on one of my top two favorite authors), after a 12-year career as a student of the Classics! Below are my courses, taught by a cast of all-star super engaging professors.


Environmental Economics | Provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of environmental and natural resource policy. Combines lectures on conceptual and methodological topics with examinations of public policy issues.

Race in America | This course examines the causes and consequences of racial inequality in America and evaluates the efficacy of various market and non-market solutions. Topics include: the racial achievement gap in education, the impact of crack cocaine on inner cities, racial differences in health, crime and punishment, labor market discrimination, social interactions and the effects of peer groups, affirmative action, and more.

Economic Justice | Capitalism organizes society around individual pursuits of material gain. But there is much discontent: inequality is growing globally, and many worry about the future in an increasingly economically divided society where access to technology richly rewards some to the exclusion of many others. Capitalism is also closely associated with what is arguably the biggest policy problem of the 21st century: climate change. So how can we justify capitalism? And what are feasible alternative ways of organizing society?

Ciceronian Oratory | The focus of this course will be a careful reading of two particularly significant speeches of Cicero, with an aim towards understanding their full meaning: as both virtuosic literary texts and as rich documents of a vibrant—and dangerous—culture of legal and political speech. While the course will explore issues of Cicero’s Latinity, structure and presentation, and ancient rhetorical theory, our guiding thematic thread will be invective—vehement personal attack, a mode of speaking that dramatizes the intersection of Latin oratorical style and the Roman culture of public censure.

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There is also a range of non-nerdy reasons why I'm supremely pumped for this semester. I am so so looking forward to marinating in the friendships that have created for me the four years I've had here. We also all know that I've always had a tricky relationship with transitions -- the whole premise of this blog was that I needed a little more space to celebrate a big next step with some time and some thought before diving in.


So my plan for this semester is to devote the appropriate amount of gravitas and ceremony to the culmination of a titillating tizzy of a college career while looking expectantly and excitedly toward the future.

And my plan for the future is to have no fear. A lot of us have something that the parallel version of our self would be doing -- the thing that excites us and troubles us and wakes us up in the middles of a lot of nights but that is too risky or too immature or too unprofessional or too whimsical to consider doing as a sensible next step. My plan is to figure out (or own up to) what that something is for me, and then do that. If there's one thing I hope college will have equipped me with, it's the courage to be able to do that.

Cheers to senior spring!

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