From Dickinson College
Here is the mail I received today morning. I hope Zayed will soon join us in a SKYPE conference sometime this week. Now have a look at this slightly edited mail.
I know you told me to keep you posted with works right after orientation but certain developments prevented me from doing so. I hope you will keep this from my parents but I had high fever for the first two weeks of college but everything is fine now. I did all of my classes in that feverish state and never skipped a single class. I think that has made me even more confident in what I am capable of. Now I'll first tell you about the academic side of things. The past two weeks have been extremely eventful for me and you'll see why.
This semester I am taking Contending Political Ideologies (A 200-level Political Science course where we discuss the development and evolution political ideologies from their conception to the present. So far we've done Liberalism and are now working on Conservatism but I would really like to see what our Professor has to say about Socialism.), Introduction to Philosophy (So far we've covered Plato's Apology, Aristotle's Metaphysica, Descartes' Meditations and a re now doing Van Inwagen's Metaphysics), Single Variable Calculus ( which is basically what we've been doing since class 8 but with a ton of theory. I need to take this course so that I can take intermediate Microeconomics in the Spring Semester) and my First-Year Seminar on London and Multiculturism. This is a writing intensive course and the professor in this course seems to have a very high opinion of my abilities. We've become quite close and she even invited me to her house during Fall Pause. But those are just the boring details, one of the most interesting thing that happened last week is that I declared my major! I got to do so because I had credits from A Levels for the introductory level courses and I should them I was making sufficient progress toward the major because I have a Calculus class this semester. It was apparently the fastest in the Economics Department's history and I took the opportunity to show both my adviser and the department chair my research proposal. The Department Chair, Prof. Farrant is a very interesting man who sometimes reminds me of Farzeen Bhaiya when it comes to passion for the subject, approved of it right away and said I should make this a 300-level independent study instead of a 200-level one which basically means that I'd get more priority in utilizing the college's resources. My adviser, Prof. McPhail was equally enthusiastic and spoke along your lines. He said that this could easily be a career making venture and my age was definitely what gave me the advantage over most other economists and the novelty of the topic and the location of where I planned to do this research immediately blocked off potential competition. I am also looking into several institutes such as the Becker-Friedman Institute and the Santa Fe Institute, on his advice in order to look for openings into workshops that would help me rub shoulders with the who's who of contemporary academia. At the same time, I dropped my name in the roster for research assistants for the spring semester so that if any professor is looking for an assistant, I might get a chance to work with them. All of this is preparation for the chance to get published before graduation which will be a huge boost for grad school and a Research Masters’ program.
I had the interview yesterday and now I am patiently waiting to see if they take me. If they do, I begin training from the Spring Semester and will start work from Fall 2017 (it is a paid position so that means I won’t be making sandwiches at the campus cafe anymore. Thank God).
Sir I'd like to thank you at this stage but I already know how you would take it. So I want you to know that I am definitely not straying from that goal which we set back in Dhaka and after everything is done, I will definitely return. I have become part of a group of friends and I do enjoy their company so I won't say that I am unhappy here socially. In fact I'd rather say I enjoy a little too much during Fridays and Saturdays and I am planning to not do so on Saturdays because that puts a lot of strain on my Sundays for all the homework due on Monday. I have all of my classes on Monday and no classes on Tuesday.
If had to give any advice to the students of your class, it would be this: read as many complicated books as you can from authors from around the world and different eras. I am attaching a link with this email containing an article that lists all the major texts used in the top colleges of the US. Something tells me that you may look this with derision because it does not contain many Eastern names but that's fine, you'll still have some use for it I believe. And I almost forgot to mention, my adviser specializes in economic history and is currently working on texts which pertain to economics from across different cultures. He had very little idea though about the Eastern and near-Eastern traditions of economic thinking and as such he was very interested about my half-complete research paper and the notes I took on Al-Muqaddimah. He wanted to see both and thought of these as new leads to what he's working on. I'm just glad I got to build a rapport so early on and I am doing so with as many of the economics department faculty members as I can. Tomorrow I will probably visit the Professor who specializes in Econometrics. I will probably declare my second major in maths this time next year. If any of your students wish to study economics at the undergrad level and are truly passionate about it (because Prof. Farrant actually said that he could sniff out passion) they should definitely consider it. And online I think there is a list of schools that give out Davis Scholarships and I noticed that I got rejected from all of those who do. You should be wary of these colleges because most of their Internationals (who are seeking financial aid) are UWC students. Dickinson on the other hand isn't a Davis School and neither was Villanova. Although Grinnell was. As was U Chicago. I should let you know that the U Chicago dream hasn't died yet and I am definitely going to give it a shot at grad school.