Friday, September 26, 2008

I think I'm getting it! ("It" is statistics.)

Right now I am learning about Joint and Marginal Probabilities. This was all learned back in 3rd grade-- it's fractions, decimals, and conversions. Math reduces everything to the most simple form. The problems are interesting: the book uses situations that are real life, such as weights and batting averages of baseball players on a certain team (it helps when I recognize names and I do not know why this is because I don't care about baseball.) Or they use horse race statistics and since I have a friend who breeds race horses I find myself thinking that I understand it better. It rates physicians by gender and specialty, then asks questions. Everything is "real." It is still a struggle because I am not used to doing this kind of thinking, but the relevance makes it tolerable. One of the stats classes that I failed used basic tables and wasn't current. For all we know, in two years the book that I am studying from will update with statistics on the present election.

Right now every spare moment is spent studying with a few where I get out and have some fun, but I get back to hit the books. My husband helps me more than anything, but since the house is quiet at night, I look forward to him being gone so I can spread my books all over the bed and stay up 'til 3AM working on them. I don't think that I have been this busy before, even when taking more classes. I keep thinking of the goal to be reached at the end-- as soon as I pass my second test in stats (there are three tests,) I will apply to grad school for the spring.

I feel like I can accomplish so much right now with this one class-- I don't know that I will be pleased with myself as in "I am so proud of me!" but there is a sense of pride with it. I knew I'd pass the English classes, the social work classes were a joke, but stats is another story. If the other classes that I have had have been sometimes tough, like steep hills, the statistics class is a cliff and I have a 50 pound pack on my back. Yes, I have to pass it with my husband's help and I don't like that I need his help this much, but it is getting DONE. I understand why this class is important for the degree even though my majors are English and psychology. Every time I work on it, I stretch my muscles a little more and I am better and stronger for it.

Having my husband teach me statistics is like him teaching me to drive-- I don't know why it is so personal and I get so emotional. I've always considered myself a math illiterate and it's embarrassing, but the more I do and further along in the book I go, the more I realize that I am not as ignorant as I'd thought.

1 comment:

Ropi said...

Well, congratulations, good tasks are always helpful.