Friday, January 8, 2010

The Calculation of a Lifetime

By Peter Boettke

When it became apparent to Dr. Sennholz that I was an enthusiastic student of economics in my sophomore year at Grove City College, he told me I should consider becoming a professor. He told me that you only had to work 12 hours a week at the college and the rest of the time you were free to work on your own projects -- whether that be writing or consulting. That 12 hours was lecture time.

That started me thinking. I had already visited FEE, but Sennholz encouraged me to visit FEE again, and he even arranged for me to get a summer internship at FEE, which unfortunately I had to turn down because I had already taken a summer job working at a tennis camp. When I told Sennholz that I couldn't take the FEE internship, he just shook his head and I think registered that I wasn't the serious student he thought I would be. Nevertheless, in my junior year I was invited to join his 'graduate seminar' in economics. Sennholz continued to encourage me to go to graduate school upon graduation, and he got the other professors at Grove City College to start encouraging me to follow that path. The twist was that Sennholz recommended Law School as the path, not graduate school in economics. Well, a bit more complicated -- he wanted me to attend graduate school in economics with him at GCC through the International University (a correspondence school where he was a tutor) and then Law School. Law School he told me was only 3 years and didn't require a dissertation, and more importantly would enable me to avoid studying Keynesianism and studying mathematics.

When I talked to Sennholz about going to traditional graduate school in economics, he told me simply "you will become a Keynesian". Anyway, I graduated from GCC and took a job as a tennis professional at a club in NJ rather than head to Law School or graduate school in economics. But during that summer I realized I couldn't help but go to graduate school. I actually spent my breaks reading economics books at the pool and even thought about economics when I was trying to teach tennis to kids and their moms. I had to go to graduate school because I couldn't imagine otherwise.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like Sennholz was unsuccesful in grooming his boy for office. No matter, he found his way off the straight path anyway.