Thursday, January 22, 2015

Two Narrator Piece (original)

“You got a letter.” Dave entered the living room and tossed it onto my lap. For Jessies’s eyes only! Was written on the front in large crooked print.
“Who’s it from?”
“How should I know” Dave said savagely.
“Sorry I was just asking.”
I opened the envelope and pulled out the paper inside.
We are writing letters to our future selves in class today. Hi! Whats up? Congrats on being 25! I have so many questions. What are we? Are we a balerina, or an archeologist like Lara Croft? Did we finally save enough for that trampoline? Are we married to Jeremy Sumpter? If not that’s okay I understand. Do we ever get a puppy? Whats his name? How tall are you? Mrs. Kirkman just said she wants me to write something meaningful so are you happy?
I thought to myself, “No, I’m not.” Just then Dave came up behind me and looked over my shoulder.
“God who wrote that?”
“I did.”I replied.
“Why?” he asked.
“It was a school assignment when I was nine.”
“Were you retarded as a nine year old, because that hand writing is awful.”

As he left the room still chortling about his own joke, I drafted and response to my younger self on the back of the letter. Never Grow Up. Then I scratched that out and instead wrote It’s never too late. Find the courage to start over. I rose from the couch went into my bedroom and started to pack. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Angry Letter (original)

Dear she who will not be named,
            We became friends in the sixth grade. Not the school-grounds-only kind of friends either. We were the sleepover-every-weekend-eat-junk-food-talk-about-boys kind of friends. This meant that you knew me well, better than most people in fact. Which meant you should have known one of the most elemental things about me: I love to read. That is not a trivial fact, an attribute, or a piece of my pie. It’s the whole damn pie. I am heart and soul a bibliophile. I would rather sit in my front yard and read a good book than do almost anything else. I have a Pinterest page titled, “Books <3.” My bookshelf is always pristine, and I care for my books like a mother cares for her children. So, because you were my friend, I assumed you would care for my book in the same manner to which it was accustomed. What made your crime so horrific was that it wasn’t just some book pulled from the bottom of my shelf. It was one of my favorites. One of those books I hate to lend people because I might spontaneously get the urge to read it for the xth time, and be unable to get my fix. However, I could not in good conscious keep you from the reading the glorious book that you requested; so I lent it to you. When you received it, it looked practically new. No one would have been able to tell just by looking at it that I had already read it five consecutive times. When you rudely returned it to me three months later—I mean seriously, three months; it wasn’t exactly War and Peace—it was mangled. The protective cover was bent in several places, it had a black mark on the back, and it had scratches all over it, and the first half of the book had water damage, or should I say mysterious red liquid damage. There were also mysterious grooves on the first couple pages that looked like you took a fork them. When you handed me back my fallen loved one I was torn between wanting to cry and wanting to backhand you. If someone asked me why we are no longer friends, I would probably say something along the lines of “We’re different kinds of people now” or “Because I have standards and integrity” In reality, this is not the case. I refrain from divulging my true motivation because it would sound petty, and let’s face it completely crazy; but the truth is I may never forgive you for what I have titled The Book Debacle of 2011.
                                                                                                Truly no longer yours,


The Probability of Madness (original)

The Probability of Madness
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 do that for 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, and he receives a score of zero. 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.
Why can’t I just write down the answer? What’s with all this complete sentence crap? It’s statistics not English. I miss pre calc. 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.
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 answer? 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 keeping junk food in the house. I’m trying to be healthy. Whatever, popsicle for dinner I guess… God, I’m weak.
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)
                                                                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.
                                                                Two problems and an eternity later…
1.54 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.

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

A Modest Proposal

America is facing an epidemic in its schools today—apathy. Students have lost their love of learning. What school work they do is not in the interest of learning, but is done rather merely to get the good grades that are required for one’s future. Some students are so apathetic that they do not even bother trying to get those good grades. Children’s loss of the love of learning is a terrible tragedy that needs a solution. Luckily I've come up with one.

The answer is desensitization. Students just need to get more exposure to school work, so that they stop dreading it and adjust. How do we desensitize them? The answer is simple, homework. Kids these days are too distracted by extracurricular activities. They hang out with friends, play sports, exercise, have jobs, eat, and want to sleep. We need to replace these activities with homework. If teachers assign endless amounts of homework that consume the children’s every waking moment and even limit their sleeping ones, then children will have no choice but to adjust to learning and will, perhaps, even learn to love it... eventually.

Desensitization has many benefits. Not only will it help students develop an appreciation for learning, it will also save schools a lot of trouble. Instead of teachers worrying about whether or not their class is actually benefiting their students. In fact, they don’t even need to worry about respecting their student’s time and energy. They can just assign any random assignment they can think of, which will save time on actual lesson planning.

Some might object that this plan is insensitive to the needs of teenagers. They suggest that teenagers need to eat, exercise, and sleep in order to be healthy, but is it more important to be healthy or to learn? The other objection, that teenagers can’t handle the level of stress that that quantity of homework puts on them, is false. Sure, they might have a mental breakdown, but at least they’ll have learned something.

Overall, learning desensitization will make teacher’s lives easier and help students adjust to the educational process. Some have suggested that in order to decrease student’s apathy or sometimes even dread of school classes should put less focus on grades and more focus on teaching the students to appreciate and value what they are learning.