Thursday, December 4, 2014

Final Post

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.


  1. What a delightful last post. The writing certainly flowed here.

    Shyness is tough. Believe it or not, I am quite shy and in novel situations will revert to form. I'm now pretty comfortable in the classroom, but that's come after years and years of teaching. At first it was actually easier for me to teach graduate students than undergrads, because I didn't worry with the grad students whether I was making sense or not. Like what you said near the end of your post, if they were getting it, they had to improve. But in my undergrad teaching, I often knew I wasn't connecting and it was me talking over their heads. It took quite a while to overcome that.

    If your are interviewing for jobs now, good luck with that. Sometimes an interview is valuable even if you don't get the job, because it gives you a better sense of what its like to have an interview. The emotional part of that can't be simulated in advance, It is easier to prepare on the questions the will likely ask you, but to be ready for the questions yet seem natural in your responses takes a lot of work.

    1. Sorry about the late comment. I forgot until you talked about in class today.

      It's so surprising to hear that in previous years you were not so comfortable speaking in an undergraduate class. But I know what you mean. I am not shy whatsoever around people I know. So I guess it's just a matter of becoming comfortable with your audience. I'm hoping to make that same improvement as you had, especially in the working field.