Actual text message to my friend:
“Hey, what time do you want to meet up tonight? This morning I’ll be hunkered down under the authority of Greek symbols, correlation coefficients, and something called post-hoc analysis. There’s a lot of talk about ‘relationships’ but I’m not fooled. They know I’m cowering under their power to make or break my future career. Haha! Anyway, if I conquer the ANOVA before the sun goes down, I’d love to hang out.”
I’m in week six of eight of masters-level statistics. Whenever I say that word: statistics, pretty much everyone raises their brows, and widens their eyes with a “oh man…. Feel sorry for you” expression. They know it. It’s crammed with obscure symbols, formulas with-sum-of-the-squares divided by something I don’t have enough space to include here, and affiliations between curves.
The truth is, I actually really like statistics. Statistics puts words to numbers. Meaning to otherwise useless figures. Stories to data. Seriously! you cannot go wrong with the ability to put stories to data. If I can conquer this, it’ll give me a super power beyond the normal human!
(For example, I can not only wonder what would happen if I compared the home values of people who ran 2 or more Spartan Races each year, between the home values of people who ran fewer than two Spartan Races each year, I can know whether to do T-test, a Z-test or an F-statistic; I would be able to see if the p-value called for a rejection of the null hypothesis or a fail to reject the null hypothesis; and then I’d be able to tell the world whether or not participating in multiple Spartan Races has any correlation to home value, or home value on multiple Spartan Races -depending on the independent variable, of course.)
Are you still with me?
Seriously though. Statistics is going to be a powerful force in my world!
Here are a couple of other lessons I’ve learned with Statistics that has nothing to do with statistics
- Trust myself to figure it out. If I adhere the butt-glue to the chair, start somewhere, keep searching, search some more, eventually, I’ll find the answer. And it is SO REWARDING!
- If I’m going to whine, I must write notes to describe specifically what I need as if I’m asking a respected professor. Then do some research. Do some more research. And if I’m still whining, get help.
- School is good for so many reasons. It’s not just almost criminally expensive, and it’s not just a gamble with huge amounts of time and no guarantee of the work I expect my degree to be worthy of, it really does teach tenacity in a way athletics does not.