### Grant McDermott

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Economics
University of Oregon

# Service, interrupted

You may have noticed that blogging's been a bit slow around these parts, lately. Please accept my apologies, but it's a hard thing to rectify given my current circumstances.

Last week I began what was ambitiously labelled a "refresher" pre-course in Maths and Statistics. I feel a more accurate meme would have been "SHOCK AND AWE".

Of course, there's some stuff that I can recall through the hazy fog of undergraduate memories $$-$$ how could I forget an inequality named after Chevy Chase?? $$-$$ but much of it is entirely new.

 You can call me Al?

I don't know whether it's a cause for optimism, but I take cold comfort in the fact that my new classmates all claim to be pretty much in the same boat. [Side note: I once heard a piece of musical folk wisdom to the effect of "Playing the Blues isn't about making yourself feel better... It's about making everyone else feel as bad as you."]

This coming week, I'll have to juggle the second half of this intensive Maths/Stats malarkey alongside the start of my core modules from the first semester: Microeconomics and Econometrics. In addition, I'll starting my TA duties for the Master's econometrics course. My only hope is that the Big Lebowski kills me before the Germans can cut my dick off. At the current rate then, I'm really just aiming to successfully make it through these first few weeks and pass the compulsory exam early next month.

Some more cheery academic news from the past couple days is the "completion" of paper that I have been working on with my supervisor. We've tweaked the theoretical model quite a bit and got the key findings down into a workable, 20-page format. At the moment, the paper is sitting with an external colleague of my supervisor for comments, but hopefully we get to submit it (with whatever changes are recommended) for journal publication early this week. Then, I suppose, the process of response and revision will begin in earnest! Still, nice to get it out the door in it's current form.

In sum: Busy times.

Hopefully I get round to some semi-regular blogging activity in a couple weeks. In the meantime, you folks stay classy.