New Directions

It is the first day of the semester, and I was really stressed and anxious. [What a great way to start the semester!]  But, I got through it, and I’ve decided that I really need to start using my time wisely.  I got to stop with the Buzzfeed videos and start being more productive by doing my readings, practicing my Vietnamese, and actually investing my time in the things that I want to do: blogging, reading for enjoyment (hopefully), and spending time with friends.

I’m taking really interesting classes this semester, and I think they’re going to give me insight on what I would like to do with my future.  But, I’m not going to put those high expectations on the semester just yet (it just started!!).  Here are my classes:

  • Anthropology 189A: The New Humanitarianism
    By “humanitarianism” we mean intervention into problems of living at home and abroad.  In debates on humanitarianism, an early focus on human rights is expanding to include the intervention of humanity as a target of political action.  The new humanitarianism is fundamentally about the government of threat and care, and the abiding tensions between transnational virtue and situated/national forms of claims and protection. (Taken from the syllabus description!) Sounds like a very GPP course.
  • Vietnamese 1B: Introductory Vietnamese
    Self-explanatory, but I am nervous about it because my Vietnamese sucks.  I got to study it these beginning weeks more intensely so I could catch up to the rest of the class.
  • Economics 174: Global Poverty & Impact Evaluation
    Rather than simply describing the causes and symptoms of global poverty, this course will explore the variety of tools available for rigorously measuring the impact of development programs. Through weekly case studies of field research, the course will cover impact evaluation theory and methods. The course will culminate with a final project in which each student will design an impact evaluation of a policy or intervention. (Taken from the course description.)
    This class is kind of like applied econometrics.  I am really glad that I took econometrics last semester, but I hated econometrics… so, I don’t know… Hahaha.
  • Economics 131: Public Economics
    This course focuses on the role of the government in the economy from a theoretical and empirical perspective. The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the reasons for government intervention in the economy, analyzing the merits of possible government policies, and the response of economic agents to the government’s actions. The course covers the analysis of tax policy, social insurance programs, public goods, environmental protection, and the interaction between different levels of government. Special emphasis is set on current government policy issues such as social security reform, income tax reform, and budget deficits. (Taken from the course description.)
    Taught by Emmanuel Saez, and I’ve been following his research on inequality for a while. I’ve been waiting to take this course since last year.

So, if you know me well enough, all these courses make sense.  You can kind of intuit why I am taking these courses: they focus on poverty, social justice, inequality, and Vietnam.  Those are all things that I’m thinking about right now, so I really hope for a good semester.

But, besides classes, I am Head Coordinator for Project SMILE, still working in the Scandinavian Department, and GPP advising.  I am going to be busy, and I am preparing for hell.

However, I really want to be on top of things this semester, and I feeling that this semester is different.  Everything that I am doing is meaningful to me.  I live with great roommates.  I am learning to think more positively and I believe that when I do, it will translate to better self-confidence and better working habits.  I have faith.

With that said, I am going to change the direction of how I have been treating this blog too.  I am now in my second semester of my junior year in college, which means I am at the crux of when real life starts to happen.  I am most likely not going to talk about my Practice Experience anymore, but I may have an update of what’s going with CECAD from time to time (I’ve been meaning to write a post about an update).  Now, I want to figure out what I want to pursue in life and find things that will make me happy.  I am going to start writing about my professional endeavors and things that I learned myself.  I am going to still write about my classes, but how that may translate to my interests and possibly, my future.

This is a very scary time in my life because I am not choosing security.  If I did, I would have taken financial economics or accounting.  I am choosing a path in which I pave the way, and I am crossing my fingers that it all works out in the end.  There are a lot of things that I want to do in life, and it’s about time that I start doing.

Earlier tonight, I watched President Obama’s State of the Union.  I tweeted the whole time.

It's a screenshot, and I'm sorry that it's so blurry.
It’s a screenshot, and I’m sorry that it’s so blurry.

Even though President Obama wasn’t referring to me doing my schoolwork, I felt motivated by what he said in his speech.  It’s time to put in work, and I must always remember this even when times are hard.

I’ve already thought that President Obama was a great speaker, and he’s making huge strides a president.  Here’s a Washington Post opinion piece that I think you should read.

Overall, being in school is a special time.  Even though it may drive me crazy and give me tons of anxiety, I emerge stronger because of it.  So, I am slightly changing the direction of the blog, and I hope to write more about what I actually do (versus just reflection) and what I learn about myself.

Wish me luck for the semester!

Over and out.

PS. Did you know that I made a reference to Glee? I hope so!

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