Monday, September 15, 2003

The Great Debate

it's past due for an update here, i figure =) so here goes -- it's been a busy couple of days. janice is indeed back from el salvador with the remnants of stomach upsets and a cold, and bug bites and bruises; and alex is here! though he sleeps at weird hours and spends most of the day wishing he could be asleep. -grins- so we've been hanging out doing a lot of eating, planning what to eat, and where to eat, and cooking and eating..sense a trend? =p which has left me with little inclination to blog, since no one wants to hear about our food exploits.

this morning, however, i woke up and starting thinking about -drumroll- what classes i'm going to take in the fall. [i know: i'm a U of C geek. what can i say in my own defence? nothing.] and immediately ran smack into the great divide between political science classes and economics classes. as far as the actual content of the classes goes, there is no real huge conflict. class scheduling, however, has seen fit to put two classes that i want to take -Intro to International Relations and Intro to International Economics- at the same time. which means i have to make a choice.

there's a greater metaphysical meaning to all this, of course, than simply having to pick between two classes. it's not just which of these is worth taking. both sound interesting, and have to do with my particular area of interest -IR for polsci, international trade for econ- so it's not like i can just randomly throw one away. but the one i pick this fall sort of symbolises which academic path i have chosen -- to call myself an econ concentrator doubling in political science, or the political science concentrator doubling in econ.

so i choose, in the end, to take the IR class. for a variety of reasons -- i can put off the econ electives until my senior yr but it's idiotic to take intro to IR after a whole bunch of more advanced IR classes, yadda yadda yadda...but ultimately it comes down to this: i'm more interested in/excited about the IR topics than the international trade ones. and that's sort of disturbing, becos it indicates to me that i am choosing to be a polsci concentrator doubling in econ, which is totally not what i intended to be when i first signed up to come here. [here i justly lay some of the blame for this transformation at the door of one paul staniland, who is successfully starting to turn me to the dark side...away from the rational light of economics -grinning-] still, i'm not saying that i want to throw econ out the window - though once i graduate that's precisely what's going to happen; you're not going to catch me going back to grad sch for an econ degree!- but rather that the focus of my interests has changed. perhaps it is a good thing.

it all goes back to what i said i wanted to read in my UCAS personal statement all those donkey months ago -- that i'm interested both in economics and history, and how the two intertwine. maybe i no longer believe i can change the world, that i can be a 'mover and shaker/of the world it seems', but it's still good to know that over the years some things still remain constant. =)


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