Oxford / Updates

another tuesday

But noteworthy for a few things:

1. Heading to London tomorrow. This is exciting news! A little like exiting a foreign sea by dropping anchor at some familiar port. Or something.

2. My first economics tutorial today was very, very exciting and enjoyable and enlightening, both on the intricacies of economics and the dimensions of my ignorance of them. It was a bracing exercise, but one I thoroughly enjoyed; I was relieved that my economics problem set wasn’t as bad as I thought, considering how I rushed them out the morning of and then submitted, unwittingly, two hours late, and at the same time so, so grateful that my tutor was sitting there and explaining basic economic concepts to me with a comforting, paternal air and listening to me haltingly explain my own neophyte observations. I don’t even. I felt like I was straining to reach some elusive Economic Truth the whole time, and my brain is not quite equal to the task but the tutorial gave me some reasonable confidence that it will be, with some work.

3. The microeconomics lecture this morning was also very exciting, because my lecturer concluded his presentation by giving us some examples of studies that empirically corroborate GARP (Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preference) – i.e. if subjects consistently made rational choices about their preferences, some of which were very interesting, and it included a study he had coauthored. I am being taught by these figures. It is an awe-inspiring thought and it carries me through my day.

4. To round off this list of what has elicited a near-overwhelming sense of grateful, academic privilege in me, I listened to a talk by Tim Harford (wrote The Undercover Economist) about the ideas behind the 2007 global financial meltdown, where he drew a comparison between catastrophic industrial accidents and catastrophic financial crises. It was an engrossing talk, and then he took questions, and I thought he is talking with us like intellectual equals.

I have never felt the weight of any opportunity like this. It is an incredible feeling of liberation, to feel a genuine enthusiasm for my subject and to realize that every problem I struggle with understanding is an undertaking intrinsically worth pursuing, and almost more (selfishly) important, something I have personally chosen.

5. I also bought a bike today. It worked out very well – a friend recommended a site, I spent 15 minutes checking it out, texted a guy with a £65 bike, he called me 10 minutes later, and we arranged a pick-up for around six hours later. I had to wait around 40 minutes for him because he couldn’t find my college in the dark, understandably (and I also paid him an extra £5 because I … felt bad he had to drive around? I am clearly an irrational economic specimen.) But now I have a bike! And I can stop being antisocial at night because I don’t want to trek 20 minutes across the city to get to where I need to be!

More photos in a few days xx

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