In the Worst of Times, Our Best

Monday night’s panel on the economy, organized by the History Department, was Andover at its best. It is a shame that students and faculty rarely interact on that level outside of the classroom. To the panelists – Ms. Sayall, Mr. Perry, Mr. Henningsen –, well done. The night was a testament to PA’s excellent faculty, who were engaging and insightful without condescending to the audience. Instead, they delivered comprehensive analysis in accessible language. Mr. Perry, summing up the answer to one question: “You don’t want the government rewarding bad guys willy-nilly. On the other hand, you want an economy.” On the behavior of rating agencies: “I don’t know how they missed this. The air must have been hallucinogenic.” Right in SamPhil, Andover offers a veteran international banker, a political commentator on Vermont Public Radio and a brilliant young mind who demonstrated that economics is not just for old white men. And on the whole, students’ questions were thoughtful and well-put. The Phillipian encourages other departments to take this event as precedent and organize more like it in the future. While some may argue that the meeting was an imposition on students’ and teachers’ already-busy evenings, the discussion was infinitely more rewarding than a night of routine homework, SAT prep, or reruns of “The Office.” It should not take 777-point drop in the Dow to inspire students and faculty to sit down and talk about the world around us. We hope opportunities like this panel will become routine, not the exception to the rule.