Last Tuesday, July 3rd, I took my 2nd test in Math 526, Statistics for Engineers and Scientists. I got an 81, and was quite happy with that. Prof. Stahl doesn't rank us, but he does list how many students are in each 10% bracket: 3 in the 90's, and 4 in the 80's. So two students dropped below me compared to the first test, and I climbed from 2 points below the class average to 8 points above it. I still see little chance of getting an A in the class, but a B no longer looks like the long shot it appeared to be last week.
I went into this one feeling fairly positive and came out feeling a bit negative. I was still pretty sure about my basic 60%. I had finished 3 of the 5 problems without a hitch, assuming no silly mistakes. As it turned out, I made no silly mistakes, and all three of them were given full points. The other two were a bit tricky. One hearkened back to our first or second homework. I put together the framework, but wasn't sure about how to actually give him the answer he wanted. Fortunately, that framework was worth 16 out of 20 points. Not too shabby. And the last question hit me pretty hard. It was in two parts. Since the test I managed to figure out how to do the first part, but the second is still beyond me. I don't even know how to start. I did overhear a couple of students (sorry, I mean 'classmates'. Old habits die hard.) talking about it. One said that it involved a method that the professor said wouldn't be on the test. I still haven't looked into it. I'm planning to go talk to Prof. Stahl this coming week, since we have another test this coming Friday.
Maxine is getting closer and closer to that elusive structure we call a sentence. Two-word phrases are becoming very common, like "Amma drink" (mommy's drink), and "no poop" (I don't need to translate this, do I?), and the occasional three-word pops up, pleasing me to no end.
It brings to mind my friend Jay Giesler, who kept a list of three-word expressions that he found entertaining. It started as a list of words that just would go together, like "jumping or sauce", and worked its way into the bizarre, like "element oh pee." (You have to read it out loud to get the full effect.) Jay was a fascinating guy, one of the few I've met with a sense of humor that worked in the same direction as mine only further out. Some of his jokes I found funny in spite of myself, and some were just... out there, capable of making me laugh under the right circumstances (i.e. drunk as a skunk) but otherwise just... out there.
Back to Maxine: we've started using Time-Out as a punishment. We have a hard-wood bench in our living room that is boring and uncomfortable. When Maxine breaks rules that have been clearly spelled out for her, or disobeys after repeated being told to do or stop doing something, she gets two minutes in time out. Sometimes she sits through it quietly, looking as though she appreciates the chance to sit and have a rest. But sometimes she cries most pitifully, as though her dog had died and her man had left were with the bills due and four hungry mouths to feed. I make a point of ending T.O. with a reminder of why she was there, telling her I love her, and collecting a kiss. I also get her to say she's sorry if the situation warrants it.
Horyon accused me of enjoying it too much. I can't help it, sometimes. She acts as though it were the end of the world, when I would be happy to have a chance to just sit and do nothing for two minutes. When she was younger, I would occasionally spank her. The prime spanking offense was taking my glasses. I could think of no clearer way to make her understand that it was unacceptable behavior. Now she is older, and capable of some reasoning, I think that T.O. covers most situations.
I just don't want to raise her to think that hitting someone is a way to solve problems. I don't think that there are absolutely no situations in which a spanking is OK, though. If I catch Maxine doing something dangerous, like running into the street, I may spank her right there on the spot, together with explaining why. If any of you out there have opinions one way or the other on this, you are welcome to share them here. I promise to read all and scoff at none.
That's all for tonight.