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Friday, June 22, 2007

First Test

I took my first test today in my Statistics for Engineers and Scientists class. I think that if I drew a cumulative probability curve, my chances are about 100% of passing, dropping to a zero percent chance of getting an A. (Unless everyone else in the class did as poorly as I, which I seriously doubt.)

It's almost enough to make me feel sorry for my former students. Almost. The thing with taking a summer course is that it's so concentrated, there isn't time for the various formulas to sink in. We've turned in a total of 4 homework assignments so far. My average has been around 88%. At the time I am doing them, I feel fairly confident in my understanding. Some problems have required further explanation from the prof, but in the end I understood what was going on with all of them. I just didn't have all of the formulas memorized. I put together my study guide, three pages of notes. If I had been able to look at my study guide, I would have finished in 20 minutes, instead of using the entire 50. As it was, I had to reconstruct a few things from scratch, rather than just using formulas. And when you do it that way, you run the risk of getting it wrong. Which I did. More than once.

However, his homework grading style was somewhat generous in partial credit. I hope that his test grading is the same.

I went to bed at 1 a.m. last night, and woke up at 7:30. This is about the smallest amount of sleep I can get away with. If it weren't for the bike ride to school, it wouldn't be enough, but huffing and puffing my way up Mt. Oread gets the blood flowing, and leaves me plenty awake for class. Sure I drip some sweat on the desk, but that's the price you pay for quality transportation.

Anyway, I considered staying up to study later, "cramming" more formulas into my head. I'm still not sure if I made the best choice. In my youth I would have stayed up, and it might have payed off. Now I'm not so sure.

I tacked another six miles on to the five mile ride home. I just needed to work out some frustrations. I'm beginning to understand that the decision to "go back to grad school" is not one to be made lightly.

I made up for the extra exercise by allowing my lovely and generous wife to treat me to lunch at Buffalo Bob's Smokehouse. It's always been one of my favorites in Lawrence, and I hadn't been since we returned to the States in April. I had a huge plate of meats (chicken, sausage, ham, turkey and ribs) piled high with curly fries, some coleslaw and baked beans, and a fritter for dessert. Oh man oh man, there is nothing better my friends. No doubt you can feel your arteries hardening just from reading this, but believe me, it's worth it. And I still have a pretty good pile of food in the fridge waiting for me. Calling to me, in fact. It's saying, "Rob? Are you still there? Hey, whada ya say to a late nite snack of MEAT, baby? Oh yeah, U no U want it, so come on over here and git it!"

Fortunately, I'm tired enough to ignore it. It's been a long day. A day that started with an uphill bike ride followed by an uphill test. Time to get to sleep.



1 comment:

horyon said...

Rob, at this moment you're sleeping, I can still hear it calling to you. Do you think I should respond to it? I sounds so pitiful though. Don't worry I'll try to ignore it. Next time, when you want to go there again, it doesn't have to be your test day. Just let me know, oh, and you should let me have money in advance. Love you.

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