Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Early Birthday Present

Today is my birthday! Yay! Wahoo! Yippee! I'm now 23 aww....

    Now that's out of the way we can get down to business. Yesterday, my birthday eve if you will, I was walking out the door to go coach my team (you didn't know I was coaching? well I am) I flipped through the mail on the table just to see if there was anything there for me, and I found there, on the table, three bills for my student loans (yikes), which I felt I could leave for when I got home later. But also on the table was letter for me from ETS and the GRE. They were my scores. And they weren't supposed to be here until today. I got them a whole day early! So needless to say I opened the envelope right then even though it meant I was going to be pressed for time.

So here are the results:
    Verbal Reasoning: 163 (93rd percentile)
    Quantitative Reasoning: 157 (77th percentile)
    Analytical Writing: 5.0 (87th percentile)

     So basically I did really well. My scores in the verbal part jumped up the most, followed by writing and then math moved up a little bit. I feel really good about the verbal and the writing but I was hoping for more from the math side of things since that's more important to econ programs.

      I felt more confident today about my scores because I got an email from Harvard Business Economics PhD program (more birthday presents). So I think they may have jumped onto my list now. To be honest I am quite giddy about it, that Harvard might be interested in me.

Officially an older bachelor,

 To Do List:
  1. Write my CV
  2. Write my personal statement
  3. Apply
No reward today. You guys can give me gifts.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Putting the Wheels in Motion

     I have actually started applying to schools. I don't yet have my curriculum vitae (CV) or my personal statement finished yet but I figured it doesn't hurt to start applying to schools anyways. So far it has only been filling out information like my name, address, and social security number. Just the basics. That way I can just plug in everything else (my letters of recommendation, my personal statement, and my credit card number).

     This is taking me back to the fall of my senior year of high school when I had to apply to undergrad schools. But as my boss would say it is, "the same thing but different." This time I am employing the bird shot approach. You know, the one where you apply to tons of schools and hope that one accepts you. Last time I applied to just two and got into both thank you very much (100% acceptance rate BABY!). I'm doubting I will be as successful this time around though. But that's okay just as long as I make it into one (with funding). It's going to be way more expensive though. I think last time I was applying for schools I didn't have to pay anything, since applying online was somewhat new and they were trying to discourage paper applications. Now I must apply online, there is no paper option, and I have to pay a minimum of $50 per application. And since I'm applying to a lot, I'm going to be even poorer. I will have to pay a at least $500 for all of my applications.

     I am also in the process of finishing my personal statement and my CV. I hope to have those done by the end of the week. So it looks like I will have a busy week ahead of me.

Officially a bachelor,

To do list:
  1. Finish my CV
  2. Finish my personal statement
  3. apply to more schools
  4. get letters of recommendation
your reward:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Good School Hunting

     I know I have been talking a long time now about how I need to do all of this research to find which schools I would like to attend and to which schools I would like to apply. This whole time that researching schools has been on my to do list I have been looking but with no real direction. Now I finally have something to report back on.
     Looking for a grad school is different than looking for an undergrad institution. With undergrad schools you have a good idea of what schools are good and where you want to go. But having a good undergrad program does not guarantee that that school is a good graduate school, let alone a good econ graduate program.  Then to make matters even more difficult, a good econ program may not have the concentration you want, or if they do may not be very good at that concentration. So this is why my search has been slow, drawn out, and not very obvious to all of you who read this regularly (all 4 of you).

   On my own I was able to find some schools that I am interested in and schools which have good labor economics programs (If I haven't mentioned it before, that's the area of concentration I intend of studying in grad school) and sometimes I was able to find some schools which were both. I accomplished this mainly by googling "econ grad school rankings." Through this I found that Northwestern, UC Santa Barbara, Georgetown, and Washington are all good schools. They even have good labor programs but that was more by coincidence when I first found these schools. But these schools might turn out to be too good.

     The next problem I had was that I didn't know (still don't really know) what schools I can get into. Grad schools don't have a set minimum requirement that you have to meet in order to be accepted to the program (well they do but they don't like to tell you what it is. instead they prefer to say here are our averages but it all depends on the person). When I was applying for undergraduate schools I had a better idea of what grades I needed in school and what scores I needed on the SAT and what types of extracurriculars I need in order to be accepted. There aren't really as many guidelines out there for getting into grad schools.

     Guidance is something that I have desperately been needing, so I made a trip back up to PLU during to talk to my capstone adviser. I asked him about what would be some schools that would be good for me. Specifically, what schools can I get into and find funding? We talked and said that the schools I was looking at were good and then he gave me a list of 8 schools to look at and which would be good for labor. He told me to look into Cornell, which apparently has a guy who anytime  media people want to know something about the labor market they talk to him. UNC and Duke are also good schools but I have reservations about them because I don't know if I could go there due to my basketball prejudices. I was also told to look into PennMississippi StateOregonUSC, and SUNY Stony Brook. I then went home to research them further.

     I can see myself at all of these schools. I have even come around to the idea of attending UNC despite how I feel about their athletics, and I might even set aside my prejudices and give Duke a serious look. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments.

To Do List
  1. Write personal statement
  2. Write my CV
  3. Apply to schools
Your Reward:
   A correlation VS causation comic

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Take Two!

So a couple of weeks ago I took the GRE for a second time. I took at the end of August, so it was the new and "improved" (and improved means not as good) test. I did however save 80 dollars since the GRE was trying to get people to take the new test by offering a sale on it. That's is the biggest improvement I noticed, since now I have paid a total of $240 on tests alone (so that doesn't even include other costs of driving, study books and opportunity costs, check your econ 101 textbook for that one).

My test was at 4pm and I was told to expect it to take 5 hours meaning that I could expect to get out of the test around 9pm! I had to leave my house at 2 because the closest testing center is all the way up in Puyallup (I'm currently in Olympia) and the traffic around Ft. Lewis sucks and I didn't want to be late like I was for the first test.

I got there about half an hour early and they let me start the pre-test rituals right away. I had to right out this statement saying that I won't cheat or share any of the test questions with anyone... in CURSIVE! The last time I used cursive to right anything besides my signature was probably in the  fourth grade when my teacher made us right in cursive. No one uses cursive anymore! So that took a while since I was out of practice. After that I noticed changes to the test right away. Before I could enter the testing room I had to be scanned by a metal detector (to make sure I don't cheat or something) and the locker system was different. You can't take anything in with you besides your locker key and your photo ID.

Then I got to start the test. I started with the writing sections and then unlike the old test I didn't get a break after writing two essays. I had to take the first math section. At least it wasn't more words. Then I got a ten minute break. I tried to use up as much of it as possible by walking around, getting a snack, getting water, anything to get me out of the room. Then I went back and had to take four more sections with only a minute break in between each one. And one of those non-writing sections doesn't even count but they never told my which one it was. I think it was a math one because I had three of those.

Finally it was tine to send off my scores. I sent them to the same schools that I did last time. UW, UCSB, Georgetown, and Northwestern. then after all of that I finally got to see my scores. Now the new test is on a new scale, but since the scales are supposed to be based of percentiles the new scale isn't in place yet. So they gave me a range of scores on the old scale which my test fell into. For the verbal my range was 650-720 and my math section was 720-800. So I definitely improved my verbal which is good, I was disappointed  with my score last time (530), and I didn't do any worse on the math section. Then as I was leaving I was informed that my scores will be sent out on November 8th, my birthday. So now I have to wait and hope that these scores are good enough to get me into a good school with funding, because again with the new test the rules have changed once again. Before with the old test you could take it once a month and no more than 5 times a year. With the new test you still can only take it 5 times a year but now you have to wait 60 days in between tests. So if I wanted to take the test again my scores wouldn't be sent in time to make it for this application cycle and I wouldn't be attending school in the fall of 2011. So this will have to do.

Officially a bachelor,

To Do List: 1. Find a Job
2. Look for schools
3. Start Applying for schools
4. Blog about it 

Your Reward:
From Economists Do it with Models; from Modified Rapture
The Top Ten Lines for Hitting on an Economist
1. You’ve got the curves to supply my demand!
2. Let’s go to bed and try to disprove the law of diminishing marginal utility.
3. You’re my very favorite kind of moral hazard.
4. I have a feeling you really understand the “nature of the firm.”
5. Baby, I love you so much I’m willing to forgo my exit option.
6. Wanna talk about our private goods?
7. You’re an economist. I’m an economist. How about a little horizontal integration?
8. Now those are some tangible assets!
9. I’ll reveal my preferences if you will.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Life Goes Fast

Wow it's been a long time.

Well first things first. It is the first duke. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, look it up in your history book. And by history book I mean check the last post.

Anyways on to real business now. A lot has changed since the last time I wrote. This should come as no surprise to you because the last time I wrote a post was a little over six months ago. I have been slacking here but I assure you that I have not been slacking in the real world.

So let us start where we were last time I was just starting my last semester at PLU and I had a hard schedule. My prediction for my math classes was correct. Calc was way harder than Proofs was. I ended up pass/failing it but I did get the pass so it will show up on my transcripts for grad schools to be impressed with. I also passed capstone which means that I graduated! I did a labor topic: The affects of private high school on the rate of return to education. And let me say this. I absolutely rocked the presentation (and that's not just me saying that, friends and professors told me and my adviser that too).

Then I graduated and was thrust into the cold, hard, real world. I had no job right away and I had to go back to my former job as a soccer camp coach. It's a good job, only part-time though and it's only for the summer. So now as kids are going back to school, I'm running out of work. So now I have to find something new and since I'm planning on going back to school I am not looking for a career just yet. So lately I have been pounding the pavement and looking for work and walking into places asking if they're hiring.

Then I took a large step forward towards my goal of Econ grad school: I took the GRE. I took the old general test in July and I did okay for only having prepared for the week before I actually took it and for my first try (It's like the SAT. No one just takes it once). I got a 720 in Math 530 in the Verbal Section and 4.5 on Writing. Decent marks for my first attempt but not good enough for the schools I am looking at. So that means I had to take the "Revised General Test" and buy a new book to study with, but that will be a different post where you will hear more about that.

Sorry once again for being so absent from my own blog, but I'm back and I'll do a better job of updating all of you out there who care.

Officially a bachelor

To Do List:
1. Find a Job
2. Look for schools
3. Start Applying for schools
4. Blog about it

Your Reward:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Last First Day(s)

So yesterday was the start of a brand new term. Spring 2011. My last one, my last first day. And let me tell you it feels weird. Knowing that I will graduate and that I won't have another first day in the fall is daunting and ominous, especially since I don't know what I am going to be doing yet for the following year. But, I know one of you out there is currently playing a sad song for me on the world's smallest violin, so lets get on with it.

I actually kinda, sorta, missed my first day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have my capstone class for economics and I thought that it started at 1:45 but in actuality it started at 11:50. Oops. I found out because a friend in the class texted me asking where I was which made me panic and check when the class actually was. Low and behold I was wrong and I missed class. At least I got to watch the 4-4 barn burner of a match between Newcastle and Arsenal. Once the class was over I met with the prof and found out what I missed and what I needed to do for Thursdays class. She understood and was fine with it. It pays to have already had her for class and we were friends there. It turns out that I need to figure out my topic and find my data by Thursday. Yay!

The good thing about college is that not all classes are on one day. I had two classes today. Didn't miss either of them. Good thing for second chances. Both math classes. One is multivariable calculus and the other intro to proofs. And yes both are prereqs, which I did not have for the math class from last semester. I'm more worried about the calculus one because I have not had calc since fall of 2007. Proofs should be kinda like linear in the fact that I had to do proofs in linear so I'm feeling better about that one. Plus I absolutely rocked a logic problem in class. I'll let you guys try it for fun.

The five Dukes of Earl are scheduled to arrive at the royal palace on each of the first five days of May. Duke One is scheduled to arrive on the first day of May, Duke Two on the 2nd, etc. Each Duke, upon arrival, can either kill the king or support the king. If he kills the King, he takes the king's place, becomes the new king, and awaits the next Duke's arrival. If he supports the King, all subsequent Dukes cancel their visits. A Duke's first priority is to remain alive, and his second priority is to become king. Who is king on May 6th?

Post your answers in the comments section and I will let you know the answer after some time has elapsed. Maybe next week.

So that's how this semester will be shaping up. It's only twelve credits but I will be plenty busy with those three classes.

Ever getting older; ever getting closer

To Do List
1. Graduate
2. Get Good Grades

Your Reward:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Greatest of All Terms

As I mentioned last time, I am currently enjoying J-term. It is the best term ever created. For those of you who don't know (though really I'm pretty sure all who read this know what it is given that most of you are either family, or friends from PLU) J-term, Jan-term, is short for January Term and it is a one month term where you take one class basically. The classes are usually three hours long unless it is a PE then its only and hour or so. Oh yeah, and they're four days a week. Three day weekends every weekend.

If you were able to avoid the spoiler from last time and you aren't aware I am taking bowling this J-term and nothing but. It is the greatest class ever. All I do is show up and bowl three games everyday and then I'm done. The class is an A/Pass/Fail and the way you get an A is to bowl a single game of 200 or more or average 140 or above. I'm not close to the average yet last I was informed I am averaging 128 but I am improving. In fact this past Friday I bowled a 182. Which is my best yet with five, count 'em five, strikes in a row (it's like a turkey... but on steroids). So that should give me a better chance to get that 140 average and if I can replicate that game but only a little better I'll get a 200. No problem right? right?

So other than going to class I have been working at the gym and working out. I need to stay active now that I'm not playing soccer everyday of my life so that way I don't get fat. I know someone who won't be very happy about that. And I play FIFA 11 all the time. I'm working through a career mode as a goalkeeper (because that's what I was) and I am now with Schalke if anyone cares. Though maybe I should be doing something more productive like studying for the GRE or preparing my capstone question or at least looking for a GRE prep course. Meh I figure now's the time to enjoy life because next semester is going to be metaphorical Hell.

Oh yeah and this month marked another change. My house is full again. Two new housemates moved in and it has been a blast so far. I love hanging out with the guys in the afternoons after class and ranting about sports and bandwagon fans. It has been a lot of fun and it has really improved the house (and they clean up after themselves which is a bonus). All in all life is pretty good. Just doing what I can to have a good time and enjoy my last J-Term.

UPDATE: I bowled a 200 on the second to last day of class!

Ever getting older; ever getting closer,

To Do List:
1. Bowl 200 or average 140

Your reward:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

Another semester has come and gone and I am still alive. I know it ended a while ago but I got busy with the holidays and needed a break from writing since I had to do a bit of that near the end of semester for not fun reasons, like getting a good grade and finals. So lets recap what has happened since last time.

I got a new follower with the last post. I am now up to 4, not that I'm keeping count but I know you guys are interested in that sort of thing. Once I get enough I will have to come up for a name for you guys. Mark Titus already has the Trillion Man March so that is off the table. I am open for suggestion in preparation for when I have a respectable following. (That sounds cult-ish).

Finals happened. I had three finals. Two were on Monday, my hardest and most important ones of course. They were Labor Economics and Linear Algebra. One would think that it would be better to have finals on Monday because then you can study all weekend, but what really happens is on Friday you say, "I don't need to study today because I have all weekend to do it" and then on Saturday you say, "I have sunday and I can spend half the day on one and the other half on the other" and finally on Sunday you say "Shit, I should have studied." That happens every time... guaranteed... to everyone. They went well. And then on Wednesday I had my Public Policy final. Two weeks before I had turned in a research paper on unemployment (kinda a double dipper for this and my labor class). I had the option to write a longer paper and skip the final but I opted for the final. It turns out this wasn't a popular option and after taking the test I'm wondering if I should have taken it anyways. The final was the most BS final I have ever taken in my college career. This class is about public policy and what makes good public policy and how to make it. Instead, the test was about knowing facts like "According to CDC how many Americans are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection?" Worst class ever. I did well on the short answer portion though. It was actually applicable to what little we had learned.

Then I had to wait for my grades, and wait, and wait and wait, and now you're getting the idea. I ended up doing well actually. I got a P in linear which is what I was hoping for and I am not even curious to what I would have gotten without the Pass/Fail (because I know it would've killed my precious GPA). Then I got an -A in Labor and a B+ in Policy. Which all averages out to a 3.5, which would be good enough for Dean's list but alas I Pass/Failed Linear. It brings up my GPA to 3.41 now. Small improvement but improvement nonetheless.

Now all I have left is J-Term, which I will write about later (Spoiler Alert: bowling) and another semester. Seven down... One to go.

Ever getting older,

To Do List:
1. enjoy J-term

Your Reward:

Q: How many economists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One to hold it and then the world revolves around him.