Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vocab #3

Here is the latest mass of new words (feel free to notice that the list is no shorter than last week)

chattel- movable (non-land) personal property
to promulgate- to publicly make known; to declare
abecedarian- (adj) pertaining to the alphabet; basic, beginning level; arranged in alphabetical order
         (noun) a person who is learning the alphabet; a beginner
scion- descendant, progeny
bivouac- a military encampment of improvised or makeshift shelters
spar- a nautical, support pole (such as for a mast)
rookery- a breeding place for gregarious animals
gregarious- fond of company; living in herds or flocks
encaustic- painted with colors that are burned in (such as wax colors fixed with heat)
insouciance- lack of concern; indifference
intransigent- inflexible; refusing to compromise
to gall- to chafe severely; to irritate greatly
bellicose- aggressively hostile; eager to fight
to gull- to trick, cheat, or deceive (transitive)
thrall- slavery; one who is enslaved, transfixed (this is obviously the root of enthrall)
berth- a shelf-like sleeping place (as on a train or a boat); a job or position
prepossessing- favorably impressive; engaging or attractive
terminus- the endpoint, farthest (or furthest) extremity (I can guess the root of this one)
bower- a leafy shelter; a rustic dwelling (Is Jack Bauer a bower?)
to card (as in wool)- to comb fibers of a material, to produce a sliver in preparation for spinning.  The tool that is used is called a card.
distaff- a staff used for holding wool when spinning by hand
to comport- to behave; to conduct (oneself)
temerity- reckless abandon
to deign- to find fit for one's dignity; to condescend
to curry- to dress by soaking, beating, etc. (as in tanned hides); to rub and clean a horse with a currycomb
diatribe- a harsh criticism, denunciation
knurled- gnarled, having knots
sycophant- a self-seeking flatterer
to rebuff- to abruptly, preemptively refuse
to dither- to act without resolution; to vacillate (I think this word might put the dilly in "dilly dally", the latter portion coming from to dawdle)
to excoriate- to strip the skin from; to severely scold
vaunted-praised boastfully or excessively
expiate- to atone for; to make amends
antipode- an exact opposite
sagacity- you can guess what this what means: sage-ness, just like it sounds.  I was just impressed that it exists
internecine- mutually destructive; pertaining to a conflict within a group
to balk at- to stop, as at an obstacle, and refuse to proceed

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Different Approach to News

If anyone is wondering why I have not posted more links to interesting news articles, I will tell you.  I discovered Google Reader.  If I come across news that I like or what to share,  I will now do so via Google Reader and if you are following me there, you can access these articles.

I also added a new section on the bottom of this blog.  See it?  It's down there on the right.
This section will give you links to recent articles that I have shared on Google Reader.  Enjoy!

School Update

School is relentless this semester.  I was relieved when I learned that I would not have to create near as many written compositions as last semester, but now I have to complete more reading assignments.  I am also working 20 hours each week and participating in an internship with a local Internet advertising company (I am learning great things at this internship about online search engines and about HTML, which is one of the main languages behind the Internet--by the way, does anyone know whether Internet is supposed to be capitalized?).  Luckily I have been able to find an equilibrium level of work per day, which allows me to get most of my needed work done while also being sustainable over the entire semester.

The most exciting news in my life is that I finally decided what I want to do for a living, and how it may be possible to achieve this.  I am taking four 400-level economics courses and I love it.  I love the discussions and the research.  My brother is taking BYU's introductory class to econometrics, and while talking to him I realized that using STATA to run regressions of large data sets is like a game to me.  I finally decided that I really do want to stay in economics the rest of my life and I am eager to discover what I will be able to contribute to the academic discussion.  I want to get a PhD in economics.  I want to be an economist--for those of you who think that I already am, I want to be a real economist.

In talking with some trusted professors--which action  I had woefully neglected until recently--I discovered that my economics resume is fairly thin.  As such, I plan to continue with my campaign to get a master's degree in public policy (MPP); I will learn about various policy implications and I will have a chance to take more in-depth economics courses and complete some original research that will prepare me to apply for a good PhD program.

I thought that I had missed the deadlines to apply for MPP programs, but I was fortunately mistaken.  I have probably missed any opportunity to be considered for fellowships or financial aid, but I may still apply to several decent programs in the country.  My main focus now--when I find time after work and school--is to complete the necessary applications.

I honestly do not know why it took me this long to make the decision.  I have always loved academia--in its purest form--and economics.  It is strange to think that I ever considered a career in the corporate world;  no offense to my friends in the business school, but I have always known that was not the correct path for me.  Now, for the first time in my life I have a clear end attached to my educational goals.