Friday, August 18, 2006

Yo Ho Ho 'Tis the Research Life For Me

I thought I'd share a moment in which I felt as much like a researcher as I ever have.

My new office has a wall on one side which is a two 3.5'x10' panes of glass surrounded by a brushed aluminum frame.

As I was begining to map out the way a foreign pension system works i quickly realized that my white board wasn't even vaguely big enough to hold the data. I took out a dry erase marker and began to organize my thoughts on the glass panes.
Pretty soon, the wall was a flurry of acronyms, various equations, stats, and policy jargon. While I was engrossed in my project, the building manager (F) strolled by.

F: What are you doing?
ZT: Mapping a pension system.
F: You are doing it on the wall.
ZT: Right.
F: Why?
ZT: The white board and pads were insuffeciently large.
F: You are writing on the wall.
ZT: It's nice to have the whole thing on one visual plane. Makes analysis easier. It'll come off, don't worry.
F: Really? Are you sure.
ZT: I used to do this when I was doing economics research, it's fine. It worked for John Nash*.
F: Researchers

*perhaps someday i'll come up with a labor justice equilibrium theory based on nash's work on game theory. it would thematically fitting.


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