Thursday, June 28, 2012

Introduction to Reality

I wish waking up was one of my natural talents, but it isn't. I put my alarm on snooze for the first time since I've been at Brown. My hours of sleep are slowly getting to me. I dashed down the stairs with my books in my hand and met up with Avery, Piper, and William under the stop sign. We got to the dining hall, but I decided to sit with Tayler for breakfast instead. We walked into the empty class ten minutes earlier. Today, we talked about the different types of money/currency and how the bank system works in terms of loaning and investing. 

My favorite part in Macroeconomics class is always when we relate the lessons to real life applications. Today, we talked about the risks of Obama's health care plan, why it had to go through the Supreme Court, and what economists were worried about if the plan would be passed. (It passed, obviously.) Two important terms to understand are adverse selection (how only people who really get into situations need insurance) and moral hazard (how people act after they get their insurance). With Obama's new health care plan, everyone gets to have health care, which solves the adverse selection problem, because now, you get health care whether or not you really desire it. Since everyone would have health insurance, more people would be paying, and the fee would cut down into smaller portions. On the contrary, it raises the moral hazard rate, because now, more people might act badly since they have insurance to cover them. One example Professor Coleman used was buying speeding ticket insurance, where the insurance company will pay for your speeding tickets for a monthly fee. In terms of adverse selection, only people who speed a lot would need to buy speeding ticket insurance. However, once people get speeding insurance, they might (statistically) feel protected enough to speed even more than usual because they know that their insurance would cover it. 

These lessons give us more of a reason why we study these courses. A lot of students always say things like "Why are we learning about triangles? We're never going to need to use this in life." or "What's so important about science? I'm not even going to be a scientist." Students aren't able to relate so much of the stuff they learn in school to real life applications so they feel that an education is a "waste of their time". With Professor Coleman, this is never a problem. Once a term is related to a real life application, you'll always remember it, and start using it in your daily routine. I can't deny the fact that I sometimes use the idea of supply and demand unintentionally. It's true that you won't be calculating the area of a triangle anytime soon in life, but one day, you might want to be a painter and you might need to know how much paint you can fill your board with. It's true that science might not be your career path, but science is all around us. Knowledge of gravity, the rain cycle, and our how we are able to breathe are things that we take for granted all the time. How many people have actually learned how rain is produced outside of school? This is one of the more important aspects in an education, and it's something that I can experience in my "Introduction to Macroeconomics" class. This is what sets this class apart from my classes in high school. 

Blog party!
I spent the rest of the day finishing up my homework with Nick, Emily, and Tayler at the Rockefeller Library. Ying-An tagged along with us so he could get a head start on his work as well. I left the library around 3 PM and headed back to my dorm. I took a few minutes of rest and decided to call up my friend Avery so we could finish the rest of the homework together. We lost track of time trying to figure out the AP Macroeconomics question in the end, and missed dinner. So instead, we walked towards the aroma of the food trucks and got Korean BBQ for dinner instead. I ended the night with some good food, good weather, and with my good, old, and reliable blogging group. I couldn't ask for a more amazing day. Tomorrow will be Friday, and then my last week at Brown will begin. I don't think I'm ready to leave yet...

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