Cameron LaPoint

Nov 2019

Review for Fall of 2018. Weinstein is an interesting lecturer, and it's definitely a solid class. I wouldn't recommend it to people just to satisfy a global core and an econ elective, as I made that decision and generally felt a little out of depth and kind of regret it a year later. Not to say this class isn't great, it is to this point my most interesting econ class, just to say I would have probably preferred something a little easier and more humanities-based for a global core. Although the 8:40 time is a drag, Weinstein posts great slides that make it so you don't really need to show up all the time (although you ought to most of the time and Weinstein's voice is quite calming). I would also categorize most of the reading as optional, and you definitely don't need to buy any textbook--his lecture is comprehensive and only a few of the articles are really completely necessary, although other articles are interesting. Weinstein also brought in a guest lecturer who was a former Minister of Finance for Japan, very cool, although he was a little hard to understand. Overall, I found the class very doable but I was out of my depth (I scored bad enough on the diagnostic exam that they asked to meet with me ahead of time) and it made the class harder than I hoped. Take it as a junior or senior, not a sophomore, but know that it is a class that will reward your effort (especially if the TAs are Cam and Tanya and you work with them). Tanya was a major bad-ass TA. I was a sophomore who was out of my depth when I took that class, and Tanya was there to throw me a life jacket when I was about to sink. She genuinely cares about her students, she will make an amazing Professor someday if she so chooses. If you see Tanya as one of the TAs for any of your Econ classes you really ought to choose to go to her (although luckily this section had two very strong TAs, so I alternated between her and Cameron!). Tanya literally went out of her way to find me individual data for my paper on a Japanese only language website the night before the paper was due because I realized that I mistakenly thought a secondary source was a primary source. She cares that much; she literally saved my paper. Because of her (and Cam!) my hard work got me an A in the class, despite my inexperience with economics! Amazing TA! Cameron was another very great TA. As I mentioned, I was a sophomore out of my depth. Cam helped me brainstorm some ideas for my paper, evaluated some of my ideas along the way, and really came in clutch for the final. When I asked what to expect, he made sure that I reviewed the historical concepts, and then, at my suggestion, made a historical concepts practice booklet. I basically only studied from this booklet and the slides, and because of his suggestion to focus on history, I found the final a total breeze. The midterm was noticeably more economic focused, and people ended up doing worse on the final because I presume they only studied econ while it shifted to a more historical nature. If they had gone to Cam they would have found the final to be a much easier test than the midterm. As a result, I went from slightly above average on the midterm to scoring 12 percent higher on the final, while the class average dropped slightly (as most people likely only prepared in-depth for the economics portion).