Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Quips, Quirks, and Quiet

I'm running out of new and creative ways to describe how I woke up in the morning, let alone that I woke up in the morning, but that's what I did. Unfortunately, I narrowly missed the breakfast-serving interval at the cafeteria and quickly picked some up from our friendly neighborhood Starbucks. 

I'm starting to realize that Professor Mesznik likes to do and say and connect things out of the blue. One moment he'll be talking about baboon experiments and the next moment it'll be attempts at beach "ownership" by buying out all the nearby parking spots. Although I always found it amusing and pleasantly off-the-cuff, it was also only today when I was made aware that some people found it slightly off-putting. It's always interesting to hear how other students besides myself study and how they want to be taught. At the same time, I feel like it makes it that much more difficult for the professor to try and get all the students to fit under their specific teaching umbrella. In a nutshell, teaching is hard. 

Speaking of buying things for large amounts of money and doing difficult things, Professor Mesznik explained leverage buyouts to the class by summarizing the RJR Nabisco buyout in 1988. What happened was RJR Nabisco was worth around $16 billion and so the management attempted to buy the company in what was appropriately called a management buyout. Once this information got out, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. made an even higher bid. Following KKR's bid, everyone went crazy and RJR officially went for sale before finally being bought by KKR for an insane $25 billion. From there, Dr. Mesznik saw a timely opening to bring up bank loans, bank runs, and banks in general, since many buyouts were mainly funded by bank loans. He explained that the point of a bank was to take your money, promise to keep it reasonably safe, and give it back to you when you asked. In the meantime, it made money by lending your money to other people although if a bank over-lent they wouldn't be able to pay anyone back. This led to bank runs, where people demanded their money back and spread the word that the bank wasn't able to pay anyone back and so everyone literally ran to the bank to try and get their money back, ultimately leading to the collapse of many banks and a need for some government regulation. The afternoon session went by slower than it usually did and we re-covered the compound interest formula that we talked about for a bit in the morning sessions with Dr. Mesznik. In addition, we covered other accumulation and interest rate formulas and their application examples. 

After class, I walked back to my dorm with Tiara, content with doing nothing in particular for the rest of the day, and met her friend Tomas on the way. We also stumbled upon Jason and Santiago, other students in our Intro to Business and Economics class, namely, the afternoon class. As a commuter, Tomas had to leave to catch his bus, but not before we chatted about temperature changes and weather in great detail, with him being a former southern California (for a good 5 years). On top of that, he took the time to show us his exceptionally difficult looking math homework, as his class was Modern Mathematics, and explained that he derived Snell's Law in class today! Since I conducted an experiment on reflection and refraction in Physics, I had done some research on Snell's Law and was excited to hear about something I was at least somewhat familiar with. 

Later, Santiago stuck around to hang out with Tiara and I in our dorm lobby and he, originally from Colombia, told us about his hobbies and how different it was in California. We all mutually decided to go try this special bakery place (whose name I'm forgetting) with red velvet pudding per Tiara's recommendation before Santiago left for a Yankees game. 

The rest of the night was spent in solitude and peace. I enjoyed it thoroughly. 

1 comment:

  1. It's so nice to have a night when you stay in and get up with your thoughts and also get caught up on sleep.