introduction to my academic schedule

Sorry about that! It’s been a weird time. I think I’ve mentioned DIS mostly in passing on my official DIS-endorsed student blog.

I’m taking five classes this semester, which is one more than I usually take at Macalester, but the workload has been pretty light for all of them. They (and the acronyms I’ll use) are:

  • Core Course: Globalization Economics (GE)
  • Behavioral Economics (BE)
  • Urban Economics (UE)
  • Danish Language and Culture (DLC)
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Economics

Econ classes at DIS: not math heavy! Who knew! I haven’t looked at a utility function in months. All the graphs are jotted down in passing. Odd. Maybe that’ll change, though. Lately we’ve been doing readings and reading research papers that also have no equations on them, but they use concepts that we’re familiar with as explanatory tools. I think using econ as the social science it is to describe and understand the real world isn’t done enough at Macalester sometimes, so this is a nice change of pace.

BE is a 3-ish hour class with two professors who alternate. It feels like a combination lecture, seminar, and lab. We do behavioral experiments and presentations during class, which breaks it up nicely. There haven’t been too many classes yet, so I actually haven’t seen one of the professors (Toke) for an actual class.

UE is just an hour twice a week and there are two professors who alternate lecture days, Angel specializing in urban studies and Ed specializing in economics. We went on a field study last Wednesday to Helsingør, which is this former industrial shipyard city that’s transitioned to a cultural landmark oriented city.

Aaaaaand Globalization Economics! We’re going on our Core Course Week with GE next week to Flensburg and Åarhus in Western Denmark, visiting companies (Sydbank, Arla, and Fleggaard Group) and museums (guided tours at ARoS and Moesgaard) along the way.

My group researched Sydbank and I’m actually really interested to hear about their company now because they’ve followed suit with some other financial institutions in Denmark and implemented negative interest rates on deposits, and I want to know more about why they’ve decided to do that and the effect negative interest rates (on deposits and in some banks, loans) will have.

We’re traveling for three days and then the two days after are recap. (side note: my birthday is right in the middle of the travel portion, so that should be fun to navigate)

Not Economics

Danish is split up into a language portion and a cultural portion, which I’m pretty sure is the standard at DIS, but my understanding is that professors have pretty free rein with what they teach for the cultural segment. Right now my professor is mostly building the framework and background for talking about Danish national identity, which is going by pretty slowly but will probably pick up. My one thing with Danish is that I wish we did more practice speaking Danish in class, because I feel like it’s necessary for me to solidify what I’m reading, writing, and hearing by actually producing sentences. I’m making up for it a little bit because I can practice (reaaaaallly informally) with my Danish-speaking friends, but class time would help a lot.

To my surprise, GIS is my all-time favorite class so far. It’s Friday mornings, 3 hours, and grueling. ArcGIS is tedious as all get-out but I’ve always wanted to learn it and I really enjoy throwing myself in the tasks we have. Today we just cleaned data and it was SO satisfying. I think I mentioned it before but Rasmus is a delightful instructor, and he also brings in coffee and/or snacks for a very much appreciated mid-class morale boost.

And that’s school so far! Updates will come as things happen or change, but this is a good start.

stay tuned for…

  • i got a volunteering gig at a cafe and had my first shift yesterday! might add another one on top of that. will elaborate later
  • students of color at DIS (sort of an orientation week student org?) dinner tonight
  • roskilde (viking museum, cathedral, etc) day trip tomorrow
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