Friday, November 4, 2011

Time out for Comic Relief!

It's been a while since I posted on this blog. I am in a time of my life when time management skills are needed more than ever before. I have started going to school to get my Master's Degree in Professional Counseling. I decided to change from my normal "serious" heart-issue posts to share some comic relief I had in the middle of an otherwise very stressful time of statistics homework.

Before I decided to get my Master's Degree, I found out I had to have statistics as a pre-requisite before I could start my degree. My daughter, Amy, took AP Statistics last year. She told me, "No problem, Mom! I'll help you!" Yeah, right! What she didn't take into consideration is that she is just as busy as I am, so to find 15 minutes of her time is quite difficult. So, I've been doing most of this stuff long hand...just taking formulas the book teaches and plugging in numbers. I have no earthly idea what the formulas really mean or how they came about coming up with these crazy formulas, but give me a formula, and off we go!

I got a graphing calculator from a friend, but Amy couldn't help me with it, because it's a Canon, and she learned on a Texas Instrument from school (of which we do not own, because we didn't think we had $100, so she used one from I know it is definitely worth $100!) Finally, I got another friend to loan me a TI calculator thinking I could get Amy for at least some time to help.

A couple of nights ago I was at the frustration threshold when the formula I was using was for calculating the correlation coefficient (r) they come up with r for that, I have no idea! These problems have 2 sets of numbers: the x column and the y column; n = the number of pairs of numbers in the problem. The formula that I had to do long hand is...are you ready for this? r = n times the sum of x times y minus the sum of x times the sum of y divided by the square root of n times the sum of x squared minus the sum of x squared (yes, that's different! the sum of x2 - the sum of x squared) times the square root of n times the sum of y2 minus the sum of y squared. I said, "You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!!!"

I think Amy heard my moaning and groaning so much that she had pity on me and came to help me learn how to do that on the graphing calculator! YAY!! I can't even begin to tell you how complicated the calculator is, but Amy had me take notes on what to do. She said, "Press On; press 2nd; press 0; scroll down to diagnosticON; press that's just for if something goes wrong!" At that point, I busted out laughing!!!!!! I was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face. How was I supposed to know if something went wrong? To me it was all wrong!

After I got a hold of my self, I let her continue...long story short, it worked! Now it takes about 2 minutes to enter all the information and find out the r (the correlation coefficient) when it was taking me FOREVER before, and the number was so big on the y column, the number didn't fit in the calculator anymore! So, I said, "OK, now, let me try a problem by myself before you leave so I can see if I can do this." I did it and plugged my answer into the online homework problem and checked it....on popped a message that said "FANTASTIC!" I belted out a holler, "HUHHHH!" Amy said, "Mom, you just woke up the house!" About that time, Bill came out of the bedroom half asleep trying to rescue whomever was being attacked! He said, "WHAT? WHAT HAPPENED??" Of course, Amy and I busted out laughing again, and I had to apologize to him. He was NOT happy!


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