Saturday, December 8, 2007

I'm almost done!

Sorry for the lack of blogging, but this was both the last week of classes and the week where almost everything was due. I had my biology lab practical on Tuesday, I handed in my economics senior paper proposal on Wednesday, and I've spent the week working the kinks out of my econometrics project.

Economics has been a very stressful course of study for the last few years, and there have definitely been times when my sheer determination was the only thing getting me through. One particular area has really tested me this semester: data availability. Originally, I wanted to conduct my senior research about the wage gap in East Germany before and after unification, and there was a great data set with thousands of life history interviews of East and West Germans. Unfortunately, this data was also coming from Germany and it was $125. In the beginning of the semester, I had mentioned that I wanted to do this project and wasn't prepared for how difficult it would be. A week and a half before my paper proposal was due, I heard from the econ department that they couldn't pay for my data. If I had known earlier, I would have tried to find the funds or search for a new project, but this put me in a real crunch to find a new project. I eventually found one after much stress and wrote the proposal. Last week in our final seminar, my econometrics partner Olya mentioned that she had the same problems I did- her data cost $100. During that seminar, Olya said that her parents were buying her the data as her Christmas present, and our professor said he could help pay for it. I was frustrated and sad, because I had been put under so much stress and had to find a new project when it seemed like I could have kept my old one. After the seminar, the professor emailed me to apologize and explain, but I wish I hadn't had to go through that experience. My new project is going to examine the economic consequences of divorce for women.

Now on to my econometrics project- what a nightmare. I have changed topics FOUR times due to lack of data. Finally, I ended up looking at Okun's law to examine whether that was historically consistent in the United States. I couldn't be more relieved that the project is finished.

This last week has also been full of college events and traditions like Holiday Dinner and the Treelighting Ceremony, and completing course evaluations.

Since I spent my Thanksgiving break here working on all my papers, I am leaving on Monday after my only exam in biology. Oh, the joys of self-scheduled exams!


Lydia B said...

I loved having self scheduled exams! Lets hope that stays at Randolph College.

You deserve a pat on the back! Congrats on getting it almost all finished, and good luck on your bio exam!

Laura said...

Lydia- it was so good to finally meet you in Arlington. I hope you are doing great and I'm excited to see you again in January. I know I will talk to you before December 25th so I'll save my holiday wishes for now :)