Tuesday, April 29, 2008


graph paper

one of the tasks on my to-do list for the month of may is:

Figure Out What You Want To Do With Your Life.

i mean, roughly.

this obviously includes a few sub-tasks, but one of the prominent ones involves decisioning about graduate school. and without going into the whole rigmarole, i'll just state that i'm trying to decide how to reconcile interests in economics, sociology, and environmental sustainability into a reasonable academic path, and in the process necessarily trying to gauge my relative interest in long-term study of each field.

the one of these that i'm least sure of is economics. i've been in love with economics as an academic focus since my junior year of college, and i think it's crazy interesting. but! it's also kind of, well, hard. as in: it was hard to get A's in when i took upper division courses in it. also as in: other things (like sociology and environmental studies, for example) are easier. so i go back and forth.

and in the meantime, as i continue to not make decisions about anything having to do with the aforementioned situation, i've been reading and learning about fun ways of using economic frameworks to think about life. i've also become aware of my tendency to think about things in terms of data points, summed quantifications, diagrams, and graphs. i've also noticed that i adore thinking about correlation and causality. ...and i've taken these various pieces of information and observation and thought aimlessly about whether they mean i should go take a bunch of hard classes with lots of math in them.

WHICH IS ALL TO SAY: i really appreciate this post in the nytimes freakonomics blog, and am happy to be reminded that this site exists :)

i find economics to be fascinating in a very view-from-10,000-feet kind of way (which is why i so appreciate the Freakonomics blog because damn they are good at oversimplifying!), but yes, the theories and math parts are really hard. econ was the only class in college i ever got a B in.

i sometimes think i'd like to make a decision about grad school, but then always realize that the only thing i'd ever really want to study are totally useless outside of academic realms, and i don't want to be an academic, so..... yeah. i understand that graduate school should be more career-focused than interest-focused, but i also don't really want a career, so.... yeah.

good luck to you. i wish i could help. :/
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