Saturday, October 17, 2009

What Passes for Fall Break Around Here

We got Thursday and Friday off for fall break. I hardly noticed, as I teach Monday-Tuessday-Wednesday this semester (calculus is MW and my seminar class is Tuesday only). I do have stats class on TR, so I did get something off -- just not much. Not really sure where the time has gone. Well, except for the time that I spent at the yarn store and the fabric store. Bought some patterns. Opted for this dress instead of the vintage one, as I am sort of hoping that it will be easier to alter. I have finally reached the point where I can make a reasonable guess about what clothes will be flattering without having to try them on, and now I have this crazy idea that I will learn how to alter patterns to make clothes that actually fit. I am absurdly pear shaped -- probably multiple standard deviations away from the measurements of your typical ready-to-wear fit models -- and I have a really hard time finding clothes. I'm hoping that I can use fabric from my stash to make some of the patterns that I bought today. Had I realized that they were having a sale on patterns, I would have bought more.

And it has been dark and rainy, so I have spent a lot of time doing absolutely nothing, which is what I do when it is cold and dark and wet.

In stats we had an exam on Tuesday, so there is no stats homework over the break. From what I can tell from the grade break-down that he emailed out, I scored one point lower than the highest score. There were 10 (out of 33) students who scored from 90-96, and I got a 95 on the exam. Alarmingly, there were four people in the class who scored below a 70 on the exam. I really wonder about them, as they must have absolutely no test taking strategies at all. I'm pretty sure that even if you didn't know much about statistics that you could rack up a substantial amount of partial credit by answering in ways that match the formats of answers to examples done in class. Yes, we can use this test because the distribution seems normal. We can not conclude that the two data sets have the same mean. We are 95% confident that [name of statistic] is in this interval. I mean, come on, people. The exam was open book, open notes, and open laptop. It's not a challenging class. My knowledge of statistics at the beginning of the semester was indistinguishable from zero. I spend most of class time catching up on my email and working on other stuff, and I don't do the reading. I didn't study for the exam.

Speaking of classes, I'm trying to figure out what class to take in the spring. Picking a spring class is a bit trickier than picking a fall class because nearly everything is part of a fall-spring sequence (hate that about this university), and I have lower registration priority than just about every single undergraduate, so I can't sign up for anything remotely popular among undergraduates. I was thinking of perhaps not taking anything in the spring, but we got a scary email from the dean's office about major layoffs in my job category when the stimulus money runs out, so I'm thinking that building up some marketable skills might not be a bad idea. As I have a month until I'm allowed to register (via the online web client for students -- I probably could add myself to classes now using the text-and-menu-driven client), I don't need to decide soon.

And from the denial files: Have not done any house cleaning this weekend even though my parents are coming to visit (and staying here!) on Friday the 23rd.