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Friday, June 19, 2009

I beg to dream and differ

The Micro exam was this morning.

OMG. I love Micro.

The exam was like a long blissed-out trance. It was slow, being my only three-hour exam, and having been inexplicably cut to four questions from the anticipated five. And it was fun, being full of interesting problems to solve.

There was one part I couldn't do. Unlike in my other exams so far, I couldn't do it because it was hard, not because I hadn't prepared for it. It was one-third of the last question, making it one-twelfth of the exam. On a strict numbers basis I only needed 80% in the exam to get an A+. I might just be home on this one.

In the two days since my previous exam, the university has come all heavy on swine flu. They're preventing sick people from sitting exams with the rest of their class, and the exam supervisors have been given antiseptic wipes to add to the vast pile of stuff they have to take to every exam. (Our supervisor seemed slightly bemused by this, and I don't blame her. What are we going to do, infect our exam papers?)

A more worrying development is that the supervisors have also apparently been instructed to take in all the question sheets at the end of every exam. This is something to do with swine flu suspects sitting the exams at potentially later times; apparently the class can't be trusted not to show such people their question sheets. (Wouldn't most students avoid a suspected swine flu case for the sake of their studies? Just a thought.) This raises two issues. Firstly, there are people sitting exams under special circumstances every single exam period, and this has never before warranted the seizure of question sheets from the rest of the class. Secondly, when the entire class is in the same exam room at the same time, as with my exam today, the supervisor should be given the all-clear to let them keep their question sheets.

I've kept every single one of my exam question sheets since the start of university. Now the collection is incomplete. Oh, sure, I can download the 2009 exam when it appears online at the end of the year, print it out and file it with the others - but it won't be the original, and I'll know it. Thank heaven I hadn't written any notes on it that I would now have lost for ever.

Tonight an old friend phoned to whom I hadn't spoken for ages. This filled me with joy and hope, which I shall endeavour take with me into the preparation for my last exam - Metrics, on Monday. The real world is still out there, and it still gets in touch now and then.


gliderguider said...

Do you remember a very long time ago, I think before your first university economics class, we had a discussion about micro and macro?

I would most likely have said something along the lines of macro being handwavy bullshit, but micro Just Making Sense.

fibby said...

Oh, I doubt it was before my first economics class. I didn't know you in 2004, and didn't even start using IRC until around September of that year, by which time I would have been well under way. I also probably didn't know the difference between macro and micro at that stage.

It could well have been before my first 200-level micro class in 2005.

Either way, I still agree with you - but it's still not clear to me whether micro is contributing to the world at all. It's beautiful in a vacuum, whereas macro is messy in the real world.

gliderguider said...

Yeah I imagine it was in 2005. So you hadn't got to the split yet.

Not that I've ever officially studied economics, but a good few of people's economics (and finance) textbooks passed through my hands when I was employed in stockbroking companies.

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