It’s 1:15 PM, 23 June 2006, and I feel so old right now.
I’m at the formal luncheon of the MSMESB Conference, in the Winter Garden of the GSB. It’s mostly statisticians from business schools. It’s not that I’m physically old, at all. I’m one of the youngest; there are lots of balding white-hairs. Yet I belong here. I just finished lunch, where the conversation felt right. I’ve been treated as a junior colleague – people ask about my work, I ask about theirs, they look at my poster. We talk about projects, and they listen. Yes, it’s good work. Yes, it’s strange to be a colleague. I’m not just a student anymore. Yes, technically I’m still not done, but (God and Rob willing) I’ll be done in a couple months. Maybe I’ll become a lecturer, a bank worker, or a consulant. (At least one of those would only be temporary.) In any of those fields, I’m not getting my hand held any more. I love this conference. There are 4 afternoon concurrent sessions and I want to go to three! And I can contribute to them. Welcome to the Grown-up Table, Adam.
That was transcribed from my luncheon notes. I’ll add one other quote here. Steven Levitt received the Harry Roberts Statistical Advocate of the Year award, and gave about a half hour of remarks. He talked about the difference between statistics advocate and policy advocate. I had been seated at a table with Mark Berenson, a true policy advocate; his daughter Lori Berenson is a political prisoner in Peru. He was there last weekend, visiting. There’s one good quote from Professor Levitt. He had talked to a high class Chicago callgirl, who was charging $300 an hour. $200,000 yearly for ten hours a week is good, but she dreaded hearing the phone. He tried to convince her to raise her rates. Later, he invited the callgirl to speak to his class on the economics of crime. In response to a question, her rates were now $400 an hour. As she said, “Professor Levitt convinced me my services were far more valuable than $300.”