Wednesday, October 19, 2011

50 years of teaching economics ...

In the latest alumni newsletter from the University of Washington Department of Economics (where I did my undergraduate degree) comes the news that both Yoram Barzel and Judy Thornton are celebrating 50 years in the department. They both took jobs at Washington in 1961, the year before I was born. Suddenly I feel much younger!

I took courses from both of them when I was an undergrad. Judy taught a sort of advanced honors micro seminar course, which had just 10 students, among them my friend Ken Troske, now in the economics department at Kentucky. My main recollections from that class are (1) Judy was really, really enthusiastic about economics and (2) there was an amusing juxtaposition between the loud male (there were females too but they were not loud) students and small, relatively quiet Judy. But much was learned. Yoram taught an upper level undergraduate lecture course on his favorite topic: property rights. I remember thinking how cool it was to have an exam question that was something along the lines of "why does the hotel supply the towels but not the toothbrush?". Also in that class was my friend John Matsusaka, now in the economics department at USC. I recall him reading the student newspaper in the back row, but I also recall him getting a better grade than I did.

Congratulations to Yoram and Judy!!


Jason Kerwin said...

My understanding is that hotels typically do provide toothbrushes and the like but you have to go up to the front desk and request them. I've never tested this, however.

offby1 said...

Don't leave me hanging! Why _does_ the hotel provide the towel but not the toothbrush?