Getting My Nerd On

It’s been a long few weeks at work, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that I’m choosing to enjoy a quiet Friday night at home rather than going out. (This decision is aided by the unfortunate fact that Mr. Mezzo is going INTO a long week or two at his job, so he’s still in his office as it nears 8:30 PM.)

Still, I daresay my chosen form of Friday night relaxation helps prove me to be the Grade A nerd that I truly am.

And how am I choosing to relax? By digging into the materials for the Coursera class that started on Tuesday but that I haven’t yet had time to look at. (See note above, re: a long stretch of crap at work.)

Some number of months ago, I became aware of the field of behavioral economics.* It became something I wanted (eventually) to learn more about as a way to deepen my understanding of human decision-making and all the ways it functions emotionally rather than rationally. I even bought a book on the topic (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely) that has, to date, been gathering dust on the shelf.

But now Prof. Ariely is doing a Coursera course titled “The Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior,” which seems like a great way to dip my toes into this topic. And it’s being led by the same guy whose book I wanted to read and whose research I wanted to learn about. How cool is that?!

So I registered — it’s free after all — and when the class kick-off emails arrived a few days ago, I just bookmarked them for when this difficult work-week was over.

Which it now is.

So I have saved the Week 1 readings into a Dropbox folder, downloaded the Coursera app onto my iPad, and am about to crawl into bed to start reading and watching video lectures.

I haven’t yet decided whether or not I’ll do another castor oil pack while I’m lying down to “do my homework.”**

* A story for another day.

** Do I live the glamorous rock star life or what?