Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Father's Love

7 pounds and eighteen inches. When that nurse handed me that little pink bundle, I was astounded that in one moment, someone so small could become my whole world.  A lump rose in my throat, and tears sprang to my eyes. I have cried exactly twice in my life. Once when I first held my beautiful baby girl, and the other when I thought I’d lost her. A week ago, when I heard a knock on the door, I’d assumed it would be my wife, home from picking Clara up from school. She was always losing her house key. Why she didn't keep it on the ring with the key to Chevy, I never could understand. When I opened the door, I was shocked to find a police officer standing on the front stoop. He had a grim look on his face and had trouble meeting my eyes. He talked in low tones that I suppose were meant to be soothing, but I didn't hear a word he said. I was too focused on what he was holding in his hands; a plastic bag marked evidence. Inside it laid a stuffed elephant with an ugly red stain across its belly—Ellie. 
Clara had gotten Ellie for her sixth birthday, with a portion of the check her Grandma McMillen had sent. Right as we entered the mall, Clara started tugging on my coat sleeve and pleading to go into the Rainforest CafĂ© gift shop, where there was a large display covered in stuffed elephants. I suggested she wait to make a purchase until she visited a couple more stores, to which she responded by bursting into tears. So I took my puffy eyed daughter into the store, where she carefully examined each elephant to decide exactly which one would be her new best friend. When I remarked that it didn't matter which she chose because they all looked the same, she stuck out her chin and crossed her arms. 
I laughed and said, “Okay, you’re right it does matter. Continue.” 
She finally chose an elephant on the right side of the stand and gave it a very long hug, and said,
“I think I’ll name her Ellie.”
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Ellie was the Hobbs to Clara’s Calvin. Clara never went anywhere without Ellie. She would even buckle the elephant into the seat next to her on the way to and from school. So, when I saw Ellie coated in what I could only assume was blood, I felt sick. The office kindly escorted me to the hospital where my wife had been admitted with a few broken ribs, a fractured ulna, and a concussion. The doctor explained to me that she had been lucky; the rear passenger side had taken most of the impact. He actually said that. “Lucky.” No, that wasn't lucky. Lucky would be a car accident where no one got hurt. Lucky would be not sitting weeping beside my wife’s hospital bed. Lucky would be getting to see my baby girl again. When I returned home the next day to shower and pick up some clothes, I realized that the doctor was right. I was lucky, because Clara’s room was open as I walked by, I saw Clara asleep in her bed. I didn't even think anything of it at first. I was so accustomed to seeing her little sleeping form. But the words of Officer Panetta rang in my head, as I raced back to her room.
“I’m sorry sir, there’s been an accident. Your wife has been taken to Lake Forest Hospital, but your daughter was dead on arrival. I’m so sorry for your loss”

The police were wrong. The paramedics were wrong. My wife was wrong. I had been wrong. Against all odds we were all wrong. We had to be. Because as I entered her room I looked down at her bed, I saw her sound asleep, with her arms wrapped around the neck of that damned elephant.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Probability of Madness (Revised Final)

1.27 Joey’s first 14 quiz grades in a marketing period were
86           84           91           75           78           80           74           87           76           96           82           90           98
(a) Use the formula to calculate the mean. Check using “1-Var Stats” on your calculator
Wow that’s an easy one. I hope she doesn't want me to show my work, I hate when math teachers make me prove my brilliance step by step on the simplest problems. Where’d my calculator go? I swear I had it like five seconds ago. Oh, there it is.
A) 85.
(b) Suppose Joey has an unexcused absence for the 15th quiz, (Ooooohhhh, playing hookie again Joey. Bad seed.) and he receives a score of zero. (Well! That's a little harsh.) Determine his final quiz average. What property of the mean does this situation illustrate? Write a sentence about the effect of the zero on Joey’s quiz average that mentions this property.
How does this affect his quiz average? Right now, I'm far more worried about the effect that this will have on his emotional health, given his fragile condition and propensity for missing important quizzes in school... and why can’t I just write down the answer? What’s with all this complete sentence crap? It’s statistics not English. I miss precalc. Ms. Nastri never made me write complete sentences.
B) 79, this illustrates that the mean is not resistant to outliers. The zero is an outlier, and lowers Joey’s quiz average by 6 percent and will likely lead to a life of crime given that his every error is hurled in his face and announced to the world in math books across the country. 

c) What kind of plot would best show Joey’s distribution of grades? Assume an eight-point grading scale (A: 93 to 100; B: 85 to 92; etc.). Make an appropriate plot, and be prepared to justify your choice.

What if I don’t want to justify my choice?  Can’t you just take my word for it? This isn't my only class you know.

C) A stem and leaf plot, because it’s a medium amount of data, it will put the data in order, and allow me to access the original data from the plot.
7     4,5,6,8
8     0,2,4,6,7
9     0,1,3,6,8

2 problems and half an hour later…

1.30 Last year a small accounting firm paid each of its five clerks $22,000, two junior accountants $50,000 each, and the firm’s owner $270,000. What is the mean salary paid at this firm? How many of the employees earn less than the mean? What is the median salary? Write a sentence to describe how an unethical recruiter could use statistics to mislead prospective employees.

I’m hungry, but I don’t have time to cook. Screw you, Stats Homework!! Ooooo... Popsicles! I thought I talked to my dad about not keeping junk food in the house. I’m trying to be healthy. Whatever, Popsicle for dinner I guess… God, I’m weak... but then again, they are made with real fruit. They can't be that bad for you; they're practically health food.  

Mean= 60,000, 7 employees earn less than the mean. An unethical recruiter could present the mean to make people think that they would receive more money than they actually would, because the mean is greatly affected by an outlier—270,000. Is the recruiter really responsible for someone stupid enough to think they are going to rake in 60 Gs as a mail boy? 

Two problems and 1 hour later…

1.40 Which measure of center and spread should be used for the following blah blah blah blah blah blah blah?

I think this work is actually making me dumber! I CAN FEEL MY IQ PLUNGING. Fortunately, my starting point is so high I can take a 30% loss and still be sitting pretty.

Two problems and an eternity later...

.54 The mean and standard deviation measure center and spread but are not a complete description of a distribution. Data sets with different shapes can have the same mean and standard deviation. To demonstrate this fact, use your calculator to find the mean and standard deviation for the following two sets of data. Then make a stemplot of each and comment on the shape of each distribution.

I think the shape of each is deplorable. They are pudgy, pale and in desperate need of a few hundred hours on some gym equipment. A better diet wouldn't hurt either... Knock off the Twinkies, Boys!

Unfortunately, the quantity of remaining homework > the amount of time left in the day. I JU-UST WANNNA TAKE A NA-AP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You Say Obsessed Like It's a Bad Thing (Test)

I’m pretty much your average, everyday, sixteen year old girl. I spend way too much time on my hair and makeup, have several social media accounts, and have even read and watched the entire Twilight Series (Go team Jacob!). See? Totally normal, but my friends and family don’t seem convinced. According to them, I’m “creepily obsessive” about books, movies, and television shows. I prefer to think of myself as passionate, but they refuse to see it that way. When my brother walks into the living room to find me re-watching a film, instead of being impressed at my ability to glean endless amounts of enjoyment from one movie, he condescendingly says, “Really? This is the third time you’ve watched this… today.” I’ve become accustomed to hearing remarks like this whenever I revisit one of my favorite books, too. I don’t understand why they’re so concerned. So what if I’ve memorized Meg Cabot’s entire Mediator book series! The fact that I can recite the screenplay of Pride and Prejudice —the Kiera Knightley version, of course—doesn’t mean I’m obsessive; it just means I’ve developed a higher vocabulary than most.
They think that my infatuation with Jesse, Alex, Jack, Christian, Tucker, Augustus, Peeta, Gale, Finnick, the Doctor, Johnny, Mr. Darcy, Malcolm Reynolds, Sebastian, Aragorn, Jag, Four, Robin Hood, King Arthur, Gwaine, Lancelot, and various other fictional characters is somehow “unhealthy.” Okay, so fine, maybe I’m a little boy crazy; most teenage girls are. Does it really matter whether or not those boys happen to be fictional? My family and friends seem to think it does, since they’re constantly saying things like, “You know you can’t actually be in love with a fictional character?” I always have a good laugh about that one… of course you can!

If you ask me, they’re being unreasonable. Case in point, my sister’s reaction to my already planned nuptials was totally melodramatic. During the course of our conversation at my cousin’s wedding shower, I happened to mention my extremely detailed wedding plans—It’ll be a rustic country theme, with bouquets and center pieces made of daisies, baby pink bridesmaids dresses, and the song “Come to Me,” by the Goo Goo Dolls, playing as I walk down the aisle. Yeah, I know the song doesn’t fit with the theme, but it’s my wedding, I can do what I want.—To which Bekah responded, “Let me guess, you’ve picked out the groom too. Is it the tenth Doctor? No, he’d regenerate into someone else. Peeta? No, that was your seventh grade obsession… It’s Jesse, isn’t it? …It is! God, Lakynne, that’s so creepy; he’s not even real.” Alright, so the groom happens to be fictitious…and a ghost. Who cares? Certainly not me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Raft Assignment 2

Heel toe, heel toe, elbow bent at ninety degrees, fingers gently curved. You must not waste any motion that does not translate into speed. The track runners think my sport is ridiculous, and often jest that “Those who cannot run, walk.” To them it seems simple, easy, but I can assure you it is not. I spent years training, practicing, and perfecting my form all with hopes of obtaining the gold. It is my life. I mean, it was my life. I spit upon his name in my heart at the very memory of his thievery… him and that accursed blue mini-cooper.
“Three metatarsals were fractured, and your cuneiform is completely crushed.” Doctor Tyler informed me.
“Does this mean I won’t be able to compete in Beijing?”  I replied.
He frowned. “I am afraid with this kind of damage to your bones you’ll never be able to compete again. In fact, you’ll be lucky if you can even walk without the assistance of a cane.”

A life spent training, and in the blink of an eye it was over… or should I say in the roll of a tire over a curb. I prance in place during my training waiting for the signal to let me pass and he bends to catch his tumbling coffee. Perhaps I was lucky he didn't run my whole body over, but in the end he may as well have. The first time I’d realized my dream was shortly before my six birthday, when my father showed me the medal he had won at the Montreal summer games in 76’. He told me it was the only thing he’d ever done that he was ever proud of. I don’t think he was exaggerating, because he certainly wasn't proud of marrying my mother, or having me, because a week later he ran off with a twenty year old stripper named Candy. Neither I nor my mother ever heard from him again. Despite my hatred for my father, I never forgot what he said about his medal, and I became determined to win my own. This is why I refused to accept that I would not be able to compete in the summer games. I knew I couldn't participate in my original event, so, I penned a letter to the board of directors of the Beijing games, begging for a new event to be included in the upcoming games. I suggested that the event be a race in which the participants are required to walk on their palms. It was a Hail Mary and I knew it. As expected, the board wrote back to inform me that it was impossible to add an event to the games on such short notice. Events could only be added after years of careful deliberation. Consider this my note. I hope it is enough of an explanation for you. Not too long ago I took half the bottle of Oxycodone Dr. Tyler prescribed me and chased it down with a bottle of whis