For a class that does not take attendance, I am surprised with myself that I actually came to every lecture. In previous semesters, especially freshmen and sophomore year, I missed many classes, most likely because I felt that it was not worth while. But with this class, I started attending routinely because I really enjoyed the first lecture (third lecture for you because I joined late). The atmosphere was very different from the norm. Despite the small number of students, I felt that I was being taught something. A lot of the things you said made me think, "wow, I never thought of it like that." And it was evident that you truly care about our learning experience. Through the lectures, discussions, Excel homework, blogging posts, and other miscellaneous means, I was able to learn concepts of Economics with a unique but valuable perspective.
At first I was worried about the blogging since I feel that I am a horrible writer. I dreaded writing essays ever since middle school. It is usually tough for me to formulate my thoughts and make them flow. I would sometimes spend several hours on these posts, but most of that time, I was thinking about what to write and how to start writing about it. After that obstacle, it was a bit easier. Despite the difficulty, this was actually my favorite part of the course because I was pushed to make connections between my real life experiences and the economics behind it. If a professor were to just teach me topics like transfer pricing and the Shapiro Stiglitz model with definitions and graphs, there is no way I would recall the material several weeks from now, but bringing it to a personal level in these blog posts really helps with absorbing the concepts.
Furthermore, I really enjoyed the structure of the class and the fact that it was discussion-oriented. Although I never talked, I felt engaged in the topics discussed and I was able to absorb a lot of information aside from days when I did not get much sleep the night before. You may have seen some "glazed" looks from me those times (I apologize for that). Moreover, the reason why I did not chime in as much as other students is because I either felt that I could not relate or was too shy to contribute. There were multiple times when I had wanted to but remained silent because I have a fear of being wrong in front of people even in the most trivial situations. This is due to a somewhat traumatic experience that happened in the past, but I am getting better! And hopefully I will continue to do so in the midst of searching for full-time jobs.
Concerning the Excel homework, I admit, for the first couple, I rushed through them and ended up not fully grasping the material. Thus, for the next several ones, I committed to reading everything that was written and watching any videos that came along with it. The videos themselves were a good supplement to understanding the concepts. I do not think I have spent more than an hour or two on average for the homework. There were of course a couple questions that held me back but I eventually got them after reading your explanations more in detail.
Reflecting on my overall performance, there was definitely a lot of room to have done better--on exams especially. For the first midterm, I did not anticipate one of the questions and was thus completely unprepared. It was the same way for the second midterm also because I really thought you were going to ask one certain essay question but it ended up being something else. However, all these things were my fault. And in terms of improvement, I honestly do not really have anything. I always have believed the expression "you get out what you put in." Thus, I feel like I am the one who needs the improvement.
Thank you for your lenient deadlines and your thoughtful teachings.