Midterm Week

Midterm exams are next week; it’s hard to believe these classes are 8 weeks old already. Those intimidatingly thick textbooks bought a few short weeks ago are read halfway through already. The library is jammed with people, much more so than last year. There are rarely open computers to use, even though they have hundreds for student use. The nice cherry tables are usually taken so I must study in the tiny cubbyholes that line the walls and fill the back rooms and upper floors of the library. The increase in students using the library is probably partly from increased enrollment, partly from the library’s campaign to get students inside the library. The lines in the food court are always long, which makes eating in the cafeteria and off campus more attractive options. Construction is happening all over campus; it’s hard to notice the alleged budget crunch with $100 million dollar buildings springing up all around.

The week’s headlines: Windows 7 is expected to be the dominant operating system following its October 22 release. A large share of corporations and institutions are still running XP, and, if Windows 7 proves itself to be the trustworthy and productive OS that reviews claim, they will be upgrading. Microsoft will get the product onto campuses with its $30 student price.

Wednesday, Amazon lowered prices on its Kindle by $40, no doubt a move in anticipation of bookseller Barnes and Noble’s e-reader release sometime next month. Rumors are circulating about Apple’s e-reader that will be better and cheaper than all the others, but no facts or figures have emerged yet; nobody seems to know whether Apple is even working on one.

Gold prices are still climbing, with the dollar now surpassed in value by 14 other currencies. The Dow leveled in the past week as investors bought gold and other commodities to hedge against the inflation everyone fears. Many stocks are priced well above earnings but DJ continues to creep up toward 10,000 anyway. Third quarter earnings reports this week were better than expected, although few can explain why. Unemployment is still high, but increasing at a smaller rate than last quarter.

Next week is the big Career Fair here on campus. I applied for several internships to happen during the summer in Washington DC and Baltimore, but missed the deadline and did not get any interviews this round. Oh well, now I know to start working on those apps several months in advance next time. I’m hoping to pick up a tax or other accounting related job in the spring to try out this line of work before getting into bank and corporate audits.

It’s time for me to head off to class. I’ve got a ton of homework to do this weekend. Fall retreat is this weekend; the LAA club is heading out for a weekend for some R&R before hosting Homecoming next week. So, not sure when that homework will get done…