Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's time for the calculator

This past span of 4 days has been all about statistical manipulation. Bring me a data set and I'll force myself to calculate the area under your density curve! After getting woken up at cat o'clock, feeding the animals, and taking the general for a stroll, I was sitting on the edge of my bed holding my noggin in my hands trying to figure out how to relieve the pressure on the inside. My roommate came in and asked why I had such a long face.

"I've failed just about every math test I've ever taken." I replied. To which he countered,
"But you can explain this stuff to me! If you can do that, you'll be just fine! Besides, you're the professor!"
In reality, I almost got teary eyed; there it was again - that inherent faith that people have shown that I'm on the right path, and I have no idea what I've done to instill that in them. I told him he was right, and I went with the warrior spirit mentality - ichi go, ichi e - one chance, one opportunity, right now, immediate victory.

I managed to get through the initial run through the exam with minimal hang ups, then went back through to check the math at least 4 times. I reworked one problem set so many times I had to stop myself from doing it again after I was convinced it wouldn't yield a separate result. At the end, I was more than 95% confident that I had done a reasonably good job.

I walked out of the class amphitheater with a wave to the professor, and proceded downstairs to sit out in the sun on the patio outside of the vertical campus. As luck would have it, that was also the man travel path for everyone else exiting the exam, all of whom wore faces summed up in an excellent Spanish word: extraviada. The first to come out was C.C., and she appeared nearly on the verge of tears, but after a few minutes of discussing the problems and a few lighthearted jokes, we got back to feeling more positive. About half an hour later, the remainder of the cohort - roughly a dozen folks - swarmed out of the building en masse. A scarce few seemed to have better feelings, and several began invoking a higher authority.

If I've managed to do well on this exam (and, judging by my score of 80% on the first homework, and having done the second one also in a similar fashion,) then I will have finally conquered, for what it's worth, the computational arrhythmias inherent in my linguistically predisposed mind. That's got to account for something, no?

"Masakatsu agatsu"
True victory, is victory over self.

No comments: