Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I fought Tuesday, and Tuesday only sort of won

You know my Tuesday schedule--I posted it in yesterday's entry, Praise Okuni!. Anyway, like I predicted it would, it kicked my tush. Majorly. It was a great day, though, to be fair. I'm excited for my classes--especially International Economics and the Modern Non-Western World. And I'm also taking Science, Technology, and Citizenship. It's certainly not fair that my hardest classes are on the same days of the week, but I suppose I chose them, so I have no one to blame but myself.

Me. Pooped.

We watched a movie in Science(...) lab today. It's a 1989 educational film in which this guy (who of course has a British accent) predicts what global warming will do to Earth by 2050. It was interesting for two reasons: some sequences were shot to make him appear as if he was in a "Virtual Reality world," which really just looked like he was in the film Tron, except with way worse graphics--but it was fun to tease. Secondly, some of his predictions were nearly spot-on. Now, being a studious disciple of communication studies, I am, most would argue rightly so, a non-believer in the inherent accuracy of predictions. After all, if thousands, maybe millions of people make consequential predictions throughout time, some body's predictions will end up being "right." So I was not surprised that some of this British guy's predictions turned out to now be a reality--yet, they're still worth noting, if only for fun's sake: he predicted that we would go to war in the Persian Gulf in 1999. While this is not technically true--as we're at "war"/occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, and those started only after 9/11 and the year 2003, it was still interesting that he picked that particular region of the world. His more incredible prediction was that the world would enter a recession, starting in 2000, and the recession would last for ten years. And again, this isn't entirely true, as his dates are a little off, but it was close enough to make my eyes open wide and a small, amazed giggle to escape my otherwise respectfully quiet lips.
But seriously: don't be surprised that somewhere, some one's predictions may come true. They are coincidences, OK?

Anyway. The Modern Non-Western World was waaaaay interesting, but I can tell it's going to be waaaaay hard. Guess what my homework for Thursday is? Read eight chapters in a novel! Poop. And then, as Prof. Gustafson warned us, we'll have a pop quiz on the material. I haven't had pop-quizzes since my junior year of high school. I hate them so much. From my experience (which is, admittedly, limited), pop quizzes test one's power of memorization--many times on obscure points. And frankly, I am much more talented when it comes to conceptualizing new ideas than I am at memorizing dates, names, and other information that has no direct consequence on my existence.
Still: this class will be mega-neat. I can tell I'm going to learn a ton. I already have! I already know more African geography than I ever pretended to in high school.

International Economics being a three hour night class may not bother me like I thought it would. This class (the people in it), it seems, is fairly receptive to discussion on controversial topics--which I like to think of as a natural part of Augsburg--and that makes time pass quickly. Like the Modern Non-Western World, International Economics will be very hard. Especially because I have no idea how I got a 4.0 in Microeconomics, which was only a 100-level course--and International Econ is a 300 level course. I seriously doubt my ability to maintain my 4.0 this semester. But encourage me! I will try.
Anyway, tonight's class was pretty cool. We haven't gotten into the more technical aspects of international econ yet (models, equations, and the like). Instead, we talked about some article my professor (the same professor I had for Micro) liked: it described the "waves of globalization," which, according to this article, were from 1870-1914, then an inter-war period, then 1945-1980, and finally, 1980 to the present. We did a lot of talking about the implications of European colonization on less-developed countries. How did their colonization affect the economies of these countries? Well, very, very simply put, it helped some and worsened others. The countries whose climates were conducive to European migration ultimately had better-off economies (for a number of reasons which I won't name, because I'm already getting really deep into this) than the countries whose climates were not conducive to European migration.

So, as is probably obvious, I learned a lot today--and although Tuesdays will continue to be hellishly tiring, I can tell it will be a constructive semester.
Onward, Wednesday!

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