I wasn’t a good economics student.

All I remember is that I took the class and that I got a terrible grade. If you asked me to tell you an economic principle I learned (or whatever it is you learn in economics class), I would stare at you stoically until a little tear streamed down my cheek, just like the Native American guy did in the 1970s anti-litter PSA.

To this day, outside of the bad grade I earned (and rightfully deserved), the only thing I remember about economics is a Texas A&M joke my professor once told. It goes something like this:

Two Aggies decide to go hunting for deer one day. Eventually, they decide they’ll bag more deer if they split up. So they do. After a while, one Aggie sees a bush rustling, opens fire into it and out falls his buddy. He rushes his buddy to the hospital and waits and waits. Soon, the doctor comes out, shaking his head, and says ‘You know, he might have had a chance if you hadn’t tried to gut him.’

I bring this up because yesterday I ordered nearly $200 in economics books. Given the interests I will be pursuing in graduate school these next few years, I and my major professor decided it might be wise for me to learn economics for real this time. So he recommended one three-volume work and another book with Prometheus in the title. And if I’m still into it (and eagles aren’t eating my liver…or what’s left of my mind), then my professor says he has even more books to recommend.

This is sort of exciting (says my inner masochist), unnerving and peculiar to me, after spending the past 15 years pursuing a wide — and not terribly disciplined — array of reading and writing interests. But my husband is encouraging, my family is encouraging and my professor is encouraging, so much so that he said “I envy you” when I told him I would be reading those books soon.

It’s not every day that someone tells you that they envy you because you’re about to read thousands of pages about economics. This ought to be good.

The education of young Paige begins.