Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What are the chances I'll get through this?

Campus is a-buzz with students again. This is their orientation week and already it feels like the campus is packed.

There are line-ups in the food court (and everywhere) and you can feel the energy zipping and surging around as you walk through swarms of bodies.

Luckily, the gym isn't horrifically packed yet, though I'm sure by next week it will be. I may be back to 6:30 a.m. workouts, just to avoid the crowds.

As for me, I am down to my last required course: Quantitative Research Methods - otherwise known as -- statistics.

I have to be completely honest and say that I'm shaking in my boots about this course. I haven't taken math since grade 12... and even then, I did the non-university math... So... I haven't had much to do with math (in any formal sense, that is) in almost 20 years. Did a Master's in Spanish and have dedicated my career to language teaching.

Now, in the Ph.D. program, I must take this course as a required part of my program. Rather than thinking of it in terms of "Oh no, I am forced to do this. I hate math. Math hates me... It's just not good." I have decided that for the next 12 or so weeks, I will tackle it head on... I am prepared to live, breathe, sleep and eat statistics.... whatever it takes not just to get through the course, but to overcome my fears and get as close as I can to mastering this. (I have no illusions about this... I use the term "mastery" loosely... perhaps even with a language teacher's tongue in cheek.)

Wish me luck; pray for me; send me good energy... whatever it is you do when you wish someone well as they are about to embark on a gruelling journey... mine is about to start.

15 comments:

Badoozie said...

hmmmmm
why are you just jumping right into stats? we had to take finite first.

and THEN, i procrastinated as long as possible, which turned out in my favor. they dropped stats from the requirements of the social work program, and instead just included it with research methods. so i got out of it!!!

i celebrated that day. odds and probabilities make no sense to me.

thanks for visiting my blog, hope to see more of you :}

Sarah Elaine said...

I took the first half of the course (Qualitative research methods interviews, text analysis, etc.) last year. Luckily, there is only this one semester of anything remotely related to math...

runr53 said...

PhD, Wow! Don't you have to do a big paper for that too? Or are you just refering to the classes required? Now sy it with me... Math is our friend, we like math, math makes us happy! Run Good!

Turtle Guy said...

Luck, prayers, energy and well wishes, Sarah.

My path, too, is a bit scary... and I speak the language!

robtherunner said...

I will do all of the aforementioned to help you get through this Sarah. Embrace the journey.

backofpack said...

Sarah,
You are one smart and determined woman and I KNOW you can do this! You know where to get help if you need it, you know how to study and you know how to work hard. YOU WILL SUCCEED! And just to be sure, I'll throw in my positive thoughts and energy too.

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

Don't they have tutors avalible for that? If they do you should get one.

I not too good with math either, but I'm sending you some math energy anyway, here it comes catch it---->*****

Janice~

Ginger Breadman said...

"I am prepared to live, breathe, sleep and eat statistics" you say - I have a feeling you didn't see it that way in grade 12. When your are older and it matters more, education seems to take on a whole new perspective. You'll do fine.

madcapmum said...

Hail Sarah, Mistress of Math, Scaler of the Statistical Mountain!

zouzou said...

you have the most entertaining blog! I live vicariously through you. Does this mean I'll have a PhD in a couple of years? ;) Of course you will get through this one - Stats aren't all that bad once you get to know them. stats are your friends...honest.

olga said...

I bet you already read Craig's "respond vs react" but it seems very fitting here:)
You'll be fine.

D said...

I agree w/Ginger. Who knows, maybe after all this time and after you get over the shaking part, you may find that you actually enjoy statistics....Good luck. Nice new profile photo, btw.

Arrogant Polyglot said...

Pahf! I laugh at your fear and cower from your omnipotence.

You, of course, will do great :D

Sarah said...

You can do it! I'm terrible at math, but I loved statistics. Go figure!

Anvilcloud said...

I have never taken a stats course, but we did get into it a very little bit in one of the high school courses that I taught. While there are equations and graphs to use, it still seemed like a different sort of animal than pure math.