“A bird chirps, a dog barks, and a cat goes…”

When I decided to enroll in the MLHR program at the Fisher College of Business, I knew that I would be required to take a “few” statistics classes.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love math especially algebra and calculus.  On the other hand, geometry and statistics were not my favorites.  For whatever reason, my teeny tiny brain couldn’t make the connection between cylinders, bell curves and probabilities.

The MLHR 2012 class has done a fantastic job of working together to ensure everyone who doesn’t understand statistics can get help from those who do understand it.  A 12pm (noon) Wednesday stats study group was started at the beginning of the quarter and I feel a lot of my fellow classmates (including myself) have greatly benefited as result of it.

Once you begin the MLHR program, you will soon realize that you can draw off of others strengths.  Some of your fellow classmates may be better with statistics (i.e. SULTAN who is a mini-Einstein) and this will provide you with a great opportunity to connect with them as well as get some much needed help in the areas that you aren’t strong in.  If you haven’t been doing this, I suggest that you do.  It has been extremely helpful for me.  FYI:  Check out a picture of our stats group at the end of the blog.

As I close, I am reminded of a statistics joke my twin brother, Adam, shared with me about a month ago.  Needless to say, I’ve never heard this before and I’ll have to admit, its kinda corny – so brace yourself.

About a month ago, I was talking with my brother about statistics and how I’m “asi asi” on the whole class right now.  My brother, in a generous attempt to cheer me up, says, “Hey, I got a stats joke for you.”

So here it goes, people:

“A bird chirps, a dog barks, and a cat goes…μ”

I hope I didn’t lose anyone on that one 🙂

Stay the Course

It’s hard to believe that the month of October 2010 is more than half-way over.   Eerily enough, it seems like yesterday when I started orientation at OSU.  But, in all actuality, it’s been well over 30+ days.  Now, I am definitely “not” going to be cliche’ and blurb, “oh time sure does fly when you are having fun!” because that would just be completely inaccurate – and that’s just not me.  In the wise words of fellow MLHR’er, Shawn Henderson, the more appropriate – and timeless – quip would be:

Get Ready to Live, People.

For me, the last 30+ days has been a test of sorts.  A test of my time management skills; a test of imposing my will over my fleeting emotions (i.e. watching “American Pickers” and “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel vs. studying for a BUS 863 quiz); a test of not eating my weight in Adriatico’s pizza at “every” employer informational meeting; a test of not hitting my “panic button” during statistics because it’s been ten years (yes, T-E-N) since I’ve calculated anything that’s even worth mentioning in this blog; a test of keeping a cool head in the midst of a hot storm; a test of how to take bad news and “still” keep a good attitude; a test to faithfully study all the reading material even when my hearts not in it.

For me, it’s easy to get caught up in every OSU social event, be a part of every clique-club-group or even “activity myself to death”.  This past weekend, I had to have a sit-down with “me” and talk to “me” about staying the course.  Staying the course is paramount.  I know the commitments I made to Ohio State Unversity and the Fisher College of Business’s MLHR Program.  Literally and figuratively speaking, I know I am facing tests of all kinds and I fully intend on passing every one.  Will I do it with a smile on my face?  C’mon, I’m a realist…No.  But I’ll still pass them, nonetheless.

One of my favorite movies is the 1994 drama film, “The Shawshank Redemption”.  The film portrays the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who spends nearly two decades in Shawshank State Prison wrongly imprisoned for murdering his wife.  During his time in prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis “Red” Redding, who is a man who “knows how to get things”.  Towards the end of the movie, Andy is roaming the prison yard with Red just before he’s about to break out of prison.  With his head hung low, he depressingly states that he’s either going to… “get busy livin’ or get busy dyin'”.

I plan on “gettin’ busy livin'” while I’m at OSU all the while remembering to stay the course and finishing what has been set before me.

Facing Our Fears

MLHR students come from a variety of academic disciplines: art, music, business, economics, psychology, film, and journalism, just to name a few that I have heard during the past few weeks. Some have recently graduated with bachelor’s degrees, others have been out for a while, and there are a handful who are jointly tackling the program as undergraduates.

We all seem to have at least one class that intimidates us, though. And, in my completely unscientific, un-HR approved random sampling (aka overhearing classmate chatter), it seems like statistics scares the heck out of a lot of us. Maybe “scare” is too strong of a word, but there is an intimidation factor.

As an editor I worked with other folks who had journalism or English degrees. In my last job, “I’m an English major, you do the math,” was our group motto. Not exactly cheerleaders for statistics and probability. And yet, I get geeked looking at data spreads in the newspaper, or when I would compile the business review for our department. I don’t know how to reconcile this fear of stats class with my nerdy need to, as they would say in J school, “follow the numbers.”

Alas, statistical analysis is part of the MLHR curriculum and I understand why it is so important. Our professor is quite cognizant that some of us get nervous around numbers and does his best to “leave no man behind.” I appreciate that. After taking statistics 135 as an undergraduate in a large, sterile setting that only ignited my fear of scary numbers, I understand better the importance of a professor who genuinely wants us all to do well. For that, we thank you VB!

So as we all came together this week to turn in our first homework and take our first quiz, I could see that some of my classmates were just as nervous as me. There’s a strange comfort to that. Thankfully, the quiz was not the nightmare of my undergrad stats class, and I actually gained a little confidence. Now…what’s the probability that we’ll come out of this statistical success stories? I don’t know, but I think it’s pretty high.

Total and Complete Confusion

Well, week 3 is officially half over. Happy Hump Day! Right now, as I sit in Statistics, I am for the first time in 5 years, totally and completely confused. This is a very new feeling for me, especially in stats. I spent 2 years of my undergrad degree as a math major – I went through the 500 level of math. I should be able to do this!

Who knows what's going on here?
Who knows what's going on here?

So, after discussing this single slide for a good 20 minutes, I barely understand what’s going on. My advice: ask questions, and continue to ask the same question, even if it’s not answered the first time.

My game plan from here: get my stats notes from my other stats classes I took in undergrad and review them. It all made sense at one point, maybe it will come back to me. Jaimie tells me my game plan should include getting an MBA to help me. Maybe I’ll do that, or a 2nd year, or call my dad.

I suppose it could be worse. In other news, I did not get the internship/job. Apparently it is coded for an undergrad and there’s no wiggle room. No worries here. I have since applied for two more internships and I have two others on back up should they fall through as well.

Hope everyone has a great night! Good luck to all those who are struggling with stats or other classes!

Nerves are setting in…..

Everyone has said that Stats is the hardest class. I don’t know if it’s the hardest class, but it’s definitely the most nerve wracking. Homework #2 was due today. Well, Dr. Bendapudi wanted students to write their work up on the board. He was asking for someone to do #6 and I asked him to repeat which one he wanted done and he said “oh come on Amanda, you can do it” and of course you can’t say no to your professor, so I wrote my 5 step problem work up on the board. Waiting for him to finish looking at it was the most nervous I’ve been yet. My work is up on the board waiting for someone to tell  me I’m wrong made me so nervous. But…my answers were correct – yay! – But it did strike the most controversy about how to go about doing the problem. Multiple ways to do the same problem = confusion.

Anyway, here’s the picture of Dr. Bendapudi inspecting my work with my fearless group mate debating a different way to do one of my problems. Go Elle!

Look! There's all of my work in blue on the right! Woot Woot!
Look! There's all of my work in blue on the right! Woot Woot!

That’s all for now folks. Happy statistics! Exam next week. Don’t forget to study 🙂