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Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The classes are selected. A few books are bought - though not many...too expensive! Folders, paper, notebooks, Chinese dictionary, etc etc. The only thing I'm missing as grad school begins is a trusty lunch box. Do they still make those, like the kind I grew up with. The metal ones with bright pictures of Transformers and The Incredible Hulk?
Today, which would be a logical day for classes to begin, is actually a day of tests. I have a placement exam for Chinese. Some people will be taking tests to pass some of the core classes (we have to pass exams in two of these four classes: American Foreign Policy since 1945, Comparative National Systems, Theory of Intl Relations and...well, I'm drawing a blank on the last one.)
I will not be taking the core exams yet...plan to do that at the end of this semester and the beginning of the next. I will be plenty busy though. I happened to notice while glancing at the syllabus for my Macroecon course, which is tomorrow, that we are supposed to read chapters 1-3 of the book plus an assortment of articles. I think I will be getting well acquainted with the library.
My second class will be Thursday, International Trade Theory. I'm a little bit nervous about this one. The professor did not get great reviews (although everyone says he is very nice) and a few people said point blank "Do not take it." However, it is a required course, and the other sections conflict with my schedule. I have faith that it will work out well. And if not, I can always learn a lot reading on my own.
The classes I am most excited about (ie non-Econ courses) come Monday. One of them is at 8 AM, Contemporary Chinese Politics with David Lampton, who is supposed to be a great professor. I'm really looking forward to this course not only because of Lampton, but because there will be a lot going on in China this fall with the Communist Party having its once every five year meeting to set an agenda for the coming years and to reshuffle the Politburo / Standing Committee). The other course on Monday will be Global Climate Change Policy.
On Tuesdays, I will sit in on Comparative National Systems with Francis Fukuyama of Neocon / rejection of Neo-con fame. Im not sure about when my Chinese courses will be, but they should meet 2 or 3 times a week.
The moral of this particular post is that in the coming weeks my eyesight is going to worsen dramatically as I get used to reading 8 + hours a day. And now I must get started...Grad school is beginning and I'm wondering what I have gotten myself into.


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