Typically, students who are keen on majoring in theatre and have an interest in minoring in film studies don’t leap at the prospect of studying economics. But when said student happens to join an econ course by accident, they may have their preconceived notions about the subject turned on their head.

I am in a class called Incentives & Society. It is a ConnCourse, a new type of class here at Conn which specializes in interdisciplinary studies and subjects that might not fit within one label. It is listed as an econ course and this happens to be a main point of study for this class. However, the class uses the HBO show “The Wire” to understand how incentives in organizations are influenced by politics and motivations within the organization. It has been altogether fascinating so far and has taught me, above all, that it is possible to learn something once viewed as mundane in a fun, creative way.

In addition to using “The Wire” to understand incentives within our society, we have been supplementing our viewing with selections from “The New Jim Crow” and “The Org.” Both of these written works provide important context for events that happen on “The Wire” and allow the class to approach the show from a more academic perspective. It has been pretty awesome to get to discuss the show in detail with my classmates as we attempt to understand how history has affected drug organizations, police departments and even the FBI.

The most important thing I have learned from this experience is to approach class registration with less trepidation. It is imperative to step out of your comfort zone, whether it is in a new subject area, a new ski mountain or a new career path. No matter what new thing you are trying, understand that the best thing about it is that you are trying it at all.

 

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