Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oh, the Humidity!

My day started off the same as the last two days, and just as I'd expect my remaining weekdays at Brown will start, with a shower and breakfast at Vernon-Wooley, where I have healthily been starting my day with an apple for 3 days straight (who knew healthy things tasted good? The lesson, as always, you learn something new every day at Brown). 

We kept on progressing in Macroeconomics, moving into the supply portion of supply and demand, and learning how a change in either or both affects the price and quantity produced of an item. While I did understand that prices and amount of an item that was made would change as the supply and demand did, I had no idea that you could calculate where those values would end up at, the market equilibrium. The market equilibrium, as one might expect, was the point where the supply equaled the demand, and that is where prices on goods are usually set. Our teacher Nick went through many great examples again, until every last one of us felt that we understood everything there was to know about supply and demand, only to learn at the end of the class that we finally understood the basics of the economy and that tomorrow we will be moving onto the more fun and Macroeconomics-specific material. 
Our class' building, Smith-Buonanno
Usually, no matter how much sleep I get, if I had done anything strenuous the previous day I'm exhausted the next, and can barely function until 2 PM. After working out at the gym for the first time in many moons, I was afraid that today would be my first of those days this trip and that I would have to struggle just to keep my eyes open during the class. I underestimated, however, just how powerful genuine interest in a subject can be. Not once in the entire three-hour class did I even start to feel tired, since I couldn't believe just how little I knew about the economy and how math-specific economics can be (I always considered becoming an engineer solely because I enjoy math, so to find that you don't have to be a math major or engineer to use math in college has been eye-opening for me).
The Sidney E. Frank Hall For Life Sciences,
right across the street from our building.
After a lunch at the more appreciated every day Vernon-Wooley dining hall, the ILCers headed off to Starbucks to meet with Ms. Kaplan. It was great getting to meet with Ying-An and Kelly, both of whom I never see much of thanks to slightly different eating schedules. I learned to appreciate my class and Nick our teacher even more after hearing just how complex DNA Biotech is, and how hard it is to follow everything the teachers say. Not that I'm saying Macroeconomics is an easy course, but that thanks to our teacher even the most frustrating of ideas (like the fact that a price floor is above the equilibrium, and that a price ceiling is below it) become simple and easy to grasp. It was nice getting to check back in with Ms. Kaplan, but I finally found my first flaw with Brown. 
The Brown cohort at Starbucks
Don't worry, this wouldn't actually be a problem if I were actually attending the school, since not too many people stay during the summer, but as someone in the summer course, the humidity is pretty ridiculous. I was glad to find that I wasn't just being your usual sheltered Bay Area kid who never felt anything near the dramatic highs and lows the East Coast deals with every year when I saw many New Yorkers upset with the heat. The fact that Jon Stewart even mentioned the insane weather on his television show also helped reassure me that this is not normal, even for the East Coast (don't worry, I haven't been watching TV while here, not even the Finals, my mom just wanted to let me know that Jon Stewart said it was hot, just in case I couldn't figure it out myself). Despite the weather, it was another great day at Brown, and I can't wait for the next one.  


  1. Nick,

    I know all about supply and demand. I demand a lot from people and they often refuse to supply me with what I want. Thank goodness this years Brownies are supplying me with a great source of enjoyment with their blogs--filled with great photos. I thank you all for that.

  2. Something else, Nick: Exercise actually keeps you more wide awake. Even though it might be strenuous and tiring at the time, and even though your muscles may ache the next day, usually you’ll be more awake and attentive when you keep your body active.

    This is one of the main problems with our schools cutting out mandatory PE. PE provides a lot more than an excuse to see naked people in the school showers (do they still have those?)

    Aside from keeping you mentally active, PE helps teach you how to work as a team, to bond with others and to master your hand-eye coordination.

    Plus, it can be a lot of fun. Of course, here I am telling this to an all star athlete who knows as much about this as I do. [This was mostly for our fans reading the blogs in Botswana, Estonia and The Seychelles.]