Archive for May 12th, 2009

I think I’m starting to drink the INSEAD Kool-Aid. Instead of studying, the Singapore folks made lots of videos of themselves screwing off. One of those videos got posted around facebook recently. In it, all of them are dancing in various tropical locations (and the Tanoto library) – in the geeky dancing style of Matt (of where the hell is Matt youtube video fame).

The first time I saw the “Where the hell is Matt” video, I found Matt’s exuberant joy incredibly annoying. Come to think of it, it might have been the ex-boyf who initially shared the video with me – thereby discovering the source of our major conflict that would eventually drive us asunder: my inability to share in the unbridled joy of a fat dude doing an awkward dance all over the world. (I mean, let’s face it. That Matt dude is kind of a twat…)

Then the other day I found myself watching that video from Singapore and finding it absolutely adorable! Which makes me think that I’m starting to drink the cool aid.

It’s not all so hunkey dorey though. I think I may owe my new found positive outlook to the fact that I can now take ALL my negativity out on a certain professor and his unbelievably frustrating, entirely unnecessary, obnoxiously antagonizing cold calling. At the end of his lousy class, I’m left feeling completely exhausted of all negative energy. His manner is “you’re crap and I’m awesome for teaching you Solow’s growth model like I came up with it myself.”

What exactly am I learning when he calls on people in order to catch them off guard for not listening? I COULD be learning if he actually called on people who cared to participate and had an interesting insight. Instead, he gets some sick joy from calling on people and then not giving them two moments to think through the question. Are we supposed to be intimidated by his superior Berkeley intellect? Is this style of teaching going to force us to be more intellectually engaged?

“Blah blah blah blah blah blah. I said two IMPORTANT words in that sentence. What are they?”


I took Macro with (2008 Nobel Laureate) Paul Krugman back in college. While Krugman wasn’t a terribly compelling professor, the guy was famous. We were taking the course during the Asian currency crisis – with Krugman flying back and forth to consult to the Japanese government on monetary policy. So, while I can’t say I learned the fundamentals of Macroeconomics, I found it fascinating to be in the presence of something important that was happening in our time. Paul would come back from his trips, perch himself on the edge of the desk and talk about the meetings he had just had. Professor Krugman didn’t feel the need to antagonize us or put us down, or show to us how much smarter he is than all of us. (That was pretty evident anyways). Maybe Andy’s got his own Nobel in the pipeline, but then why would he need to flex so much in front of a bunch of kids.

While it’s not constructive to be sitting there seething, the class seems to allow me to work through my daily allowance of negative emotion, and then I’m happy as a clam the rest of the time.


Read Full Post »