New Zealand VI: The Roof is on Fire

July 22, 2002

School has been pretty interesting this past week. My macro economics course is terrifyingly fascinating, and one of the kitchen stoves here in the hall turned itself into a blow torch.

The fire was poorly timed. There’s nothing quite like waking up with a raging hangover to the extraordinarily loud clanging of the alarm. I thought it was another drill, until I saw the kitchen belching black smoke. Pretty cool. The last fire I was in near was also at a school, when a fluorescent light fixture caught on fire in my elementary school. Interestingly enough, a fluorescent light fixture blew up when I was in preschool. Speaking of things blowing up, some guy a few blocks away from where I used to live committed suicide by turning his house into a big propane bomb which leveled half a block of houses.

My fascination with things that go boom may have it’s roots in my childhood. Hmm.

Anyhow, we’ve been eating Pizza Hut and ordering in food for the last couple of days, while the dining room and kitchen are decontaminated. Yay.

My econ class is particularly cool. Right now we’re covering the basics — supply/demand curves, absolute advantages, comparative advantages, free trade, and other such things. It’s quite simple in theory at this level, but I can see how it would spiral into a serious mess. I’ve already got questions about how academic and social inertia effect efficiency calculations, to which my econ professor replied “hmm, sounds like thesis material. hang in for another four years, and maybe you can tackle ‘em.” Go figure.

I only wish I had taken this class last semester. If I had, I’d probably be passing my math class. I seem to have difficulty studying things in a vacuum, but as soon as they have relevance I love ‘em. Chances are I’ll have to retake the math class next year, if I want to continue studying economics. Frustrating, but I think I can handle it.

Elections are coming up here in New Zealand. They’re pretty interesting — there’s actually several parties in the running for all positions, and the ballot system looks incredibly simple. It’s definitely not a two party system like back in the United States. On a short hike to the nearest mall, I’ve spotted posters for the Labour, Green, National, Progressive, and Alliance parties .. it’s nice to see a selection, even if I can’t vote.

.. and that’s the news from the Land o’ Peat.

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