The Economist

Every now and then, I like to freak Mike out by referring to myself as “an Economist.” I did that last night. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but I said, “Mike, I understand all that. You forget . . . I’m an Economist.” He gave me the look of part-horror, part-revulsion he reserves for such occasions. I’m probably not an Economist under the technical definition of the word, since I am not employed in the field, but my second major in college was Economics. That’s a fact that doesn’t come up all that often.

I knew going into college that I wanted to be a Marketing major, and that never changed. But after taking Macroeconomics (which was required for all Business majors) with Dr. Allen (who looks a little odd in that picture), I asked him to be my advisor, and somewhere in there he convinced me that I should add Econ as my second major. It was just five more classes, he said, and since I was enjoying Macro so much, I should do it. So I did.

Mike doesn’t understand this at all. You should have been an English major, he says. And, when I think about it, I don’t completely understand it myself. I should have been an English major. I get a little jealous now when I see the things he’s reading and discussing for his classes, and how much fun he’s having. I would have enjoyed that a lot, but I only took a couple of English classes . . . I came in with AP English credit, so I missed out on taking English. The second major took up a lot of my extra classes, and by the time I had some free space in my schedule, I was taking things like Jogging, not English where I’d have to write papers on top of my massive Marketing projects.

But, the truth is, I really enjoyed my Econ classes. Mostly. For some reason, Microeconomics and I don’t really get along, but I loved Macro, so that was my concentration. And I made some cool friends in those classes, guys who helped explain some of the stuff I couldn’t ever understand and who were nice to me without hitting on me. The guys in Economics tended to be a lot more laid back than the Marketing and Accounting majors – you know the type, tall, scruffy with old brown sweaters, glasses. And there were some cute British guys I had classes with who were pretty fun. The girls, though, tended to be intensely passionate about Economics and pursuing jobs in Washington, D.C. I never planned on getting an Economics job; I just liked learning about the stuff and being able to better understand the evening news.

When the mail came in here at work today, I checked in The Economist. I was happy when we added it to our library at the end of last year. I always enjoy reading The Economist (and, to be honest, The Wall Street Journal), though I tend to keep it pretty quiet. I guess I think of my interest in Economics as a sort of vice that needs to be hidden. But I do enjoy being able to explain things to Mike every now and then about the Fed and what it means with the raising and the lowering of interest rates. I don’t remember it as well as I used to, but I still have a lot of my textbooks.

My second major in Economics is one of those things where I’m like, “Woah, how did that happen?” But then I remember Dr. Snowden’s class, and how he made Economics come alive for me, and Dr. Leyden’s class (where, most notably, we talked about the best ways to cook chicken with beer. He’s also the guy who told me about The Christmas Mystery), and that time Dr. Brod got so mad at us he stormed out of class and then calmly came back with a glass of Coke in his hand, and I think, “Those were some pretty good times, and even if it’s a little weird to think of myself as an Econ major, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on them.”

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