Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just Another Unordinary Day at Brown

For those of you who don't know, there is no such thing as a "regular day" at Brown University. Surprises might not appear at first, but they are bound to pop out sometime. Today was one of those days. I woke up to one of these ordinary days, trying to beat everyone on my floor to the shower. Sometimes, I wonder if I could wake up at a later time and still be able to get things done on time. But, I've never been brave enough to risk being late over a silly "experiment". Having a whole hour and a half of spare time, I started folding some of my newly dried laundry and made my bed in case I decide to have surprise guests over. Now, if only I could find someplace to put away all this stuff on my table...

Professor Coleman's REAL $100 trillion Zimbabwe bill
I got to class ten minutes early and started unpacking my stuff. Professor Coleman had some parking difficulties, but he came within three minutes. We flew past his notes of "government intervention in the economy" and the "Multiplier Effect". I found the government intervention thing to be the most interesting lesson of the day. It was the idea of how the government enacts fiscal policies or monetary policies to help shape the economy. Fiscal policies are government changes in spending and taxes in order to change the overall spending rate within the economy. Monetary policies are changes in regards to the number of money in order to change interest rates and to also shape the economy. For example, if the government thinks that the economic demand (things that people are willing to buy for at a given price) is getting low, they will decrease sales tax. So let's say that one jacket costs $50 and the tax is about $4. The total price would be $54. However, if the government decides to lower the sales tax on goods in America, then the tax might drop to $3. This way, buying things seem more appealing and more of a bargain to the people. With more buying, there is more of a demand for goods. Before this course, I never really gave much thought to how the government roles affect our economy. The only side of taxes I saw before was how the government raise their taxes so the nation can get more money into its bank. However, by taking Introduction to Macroeconomics, I've been more exposed to the other, more unknown side, of the economy. I am having the most beneficial three weeks of the course and I've already learned so much within the past seven days. 

John Brown's house on Power Street
Later in the afternoon, we met up with Ms. Kaplan and went a tour for the John Brown "Museum". The museum was basically John Brown's original house. The house was stacked three stories high, filled with fabulous architecture, and amazing furniture. Brown's house was preserved at the most extreme level I've ever seen at any "museum". All the furniture put in the house were the original sofas and desks that the Brown family used during that time. Even the clothes that the representative mannequins were wearing  were the exact same ones that the person(s) wore. Obviously, no photography was allowed or else I would've been flashing my camera at every corner. Still, it was an extremely worthwhile place to visit. One question I have though is why Brown University isn't referring to the museum as one of the attractions that we can go to (because it is literally a five minute walk from our dorms to the Brown house). During our visit though, we learned a lot historical things such as the change from the "College of Rhode Island" to "Brown University" and how the Brown family played a role in that change. It's impossible not to learn something during these tours. I sometimes have half a mind to stop letting Ms. Kaplan take me to these historical sites before I fall too deep in love with Providence and never want to go home. 

Professor Coleman wasn't there yet, so I decided to
teach the class how to draw smiley faces
Later that evening, the Macroeconomics students returned back to Room 101 of the Smith-Buonanno Hall to watch Moneyball. Professor Coleman said that we weren't going to have class on July 4th, so we have to make it up by going movie night. I'm not complaining though. Nick, Emily, Tayler, and I all got pizza before going to watch the movie. I decided to actually save the pizza so that I could eat during the movie. I don't think that the others were so patient with their pizza. Moneyball was so much more interesting with a little economic studies background. I mean, what's better than money and baseball combined? You can stop thinking, because the answer to that is "Nothing". It was a great way for us to end our evening. 

In the end, we had yet another extraordinary and sensational day in Providence, Rhode Island. Every second that passes by makes me realize that my time here is ticking away. I can only hope that there is enough time for me to leave Providence without saying that I forgot to go somewhere or to learn something or to meet someone new. I'm so excited to see what else Summer@Brown has planned out for me. 

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