Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Back To School

Last week I was given the opportunity to take in a few classes at Grant MacEwan Community College here in Edmonton thanks to my close friend Jessica who was rather timid about attending the first day of classes alone. So as a service to my friend I told her that I would go with her for her first day of school to keep her company. I reluctantly agreed to actually physically sit in on two of her afternoon classes that day: a comparative literature class and a statistics class.

The comparative literature class was, as one would expect on the first day of classes, a snoozer. The professor of the class, whose name I really never bothered to learn since I'm not a GMCC student, basically gave a run-down of how the class would be conducted for the rest of the year. At one point, the prof asked one of the students in the class to count off the number of bodies in attendance. There were 31. He remarked that that was odd since the class was only supposed to have 30 students. Naturally, I felt guilty about being the phantom extra body, but because I did not just want to bail on my friend I kept my mouth shut. Towards the end of the class a questionaire was passed out asking what kind of backgrounds in English we had at our disposal and, given my natural perpensity to brag about my glorious history garnering a Batchelor of Arts Degree in English, I told the truth. However, since I was the phantom student I made up an alias and made up my student I.D. number as well as a fake email address where I could be reached. The kicker was that when the question was asked if there were any suggestions for how the class should be conducted for the rest of the year I made a comment along the lines that the room we were studying in was rather cold and while it would be impractical of me to ask the professor to turn the heat up with natural gas prices being through the roof it might behoove him to provide his students with complimentary blankets and/or varsity sweaters from the lost and found (gently worn of course). So if you are attending a comparative literature class at GMCC and you have found an abundance of sweaters and/or blankets awaiting you each time you arrive for class: You're Welcome! And if you're the professor of a comparative literature class who found himself at a loss when it came to explaining why there were 31 students on the first day of class and now there seem to only be 30 it's because I dropped the class when I found out that since I am not a student at GMCC I don't actually get credit for going to your class.

The statistics class was a lot easier for me to blend in and not get noticed as it was significantly larger in size. Just to be sure to blend in, though, I did take notes and as a service to all of you out there currently enrolled in a statistics class and who may have missed the introductory class I will now transcribe my notes from said class as a benefit to you. Now remember kiddies, if I wrote it down in my notes then it has to be true.

My Notes From Statistics Class by: Michael Appleby

Statistics: What the fuck is it, man?
-what the fuck you can say about shit that's like diarrhea because it's all fucked up. I mean you can't even see corn or peanuts, but statistics clears all that up and you can almost see the whole fucking colon.
-the stool that makes you feel most relieved when you get off the toilet.
-statistics is the science of:
1.) collecting shit.
2.) analyzing shit.
3.) applying shit. (i.e. find out how many brits think that Posh Spice is the most unnecessary celebrity in existence as noted here)

Statistics: Why the fuck would you do that?
-so you can be up-to-snuff on porn purchases including abnormally large sex toys and garish lubricants with names like Fric-B-Gone
-making wiser porn purchasing decisions [author's note: there was a whole story that was told to back this up, but it was rather long and I was trying hard not to laugh myself into convulsions since I had no idea that statistics was such a dirty thing, but relaying the story now would prove to be a very painstaking process, but suffice to say it ends with somebody grunting like an ape before rolling over to take a nap]
-evaluate porn from a mathematical point of view. (i.e. decibels of moans, quantities of astroglide, etc. etc.)

Misc. Notes
-there can be more than two variables, but never three because three is a non-existent number in theory. It has been demonstrated time and time again and the number three was officially revoked by the International Council of Weights And Measures in 1918. The campaign to put an end to threes was spearheaded by one Sir Walter "I Hate 3's" Douglas, who had four children, officially, by unofficially it was 2+1
-For example, if you told me to meet you at the pornography store for some official statistical analyses at 3 p.m. what you are actually supposed to be saying is "meet me at the pornography store at one hour past 2 p.m." Never say three. It's completely wrong, statistically speaking. Being wrong makes you look dumb. You don't want to look dumb. Hey, is that a squirrel?
-Also, what is up with neck beards? I mean they're everywhere. Dungeons and Dragons 2+1 edition geeks wear them instead of scarves. See also: tit beards.
-Statistical pirates ruled Belgrade between A.D. 1237 and A.D. 1417 at which time they were ousted by a band of calculus barbarians. Damn barbarians. I said 1237 because three was still considered a real number back then. The 1930's, on the other hand never happened unless you say "1929 and 1+[whatever year in that 10 year span you wish to talk about]"
-Radio stations are dumb, statistically speaking. Possible term paper topic: Why I hate modern radio and all the on-air personalities who have the collective I.Q. of last night's rump roast: a statistical journey of whimsy and delight.
-A sample is what the urine test is so that you can't do drugs and drive and ambulance for a living.
-Nonresponsive people are the ones who don't answer any of the questions in your stupid polls. Punch them in the neck, it's in the name of science.

[author's note: the class ended at this point and I was relieved to be out of there because I forgot how boring it was to take notes]

Okay, I have to admit that towards the end there my eyes could hardly stay open. But now you know your shit for the midterm. I can't avow to how much of this information, if any, will appear on any of the upcoming tests or, dare I say, the final, but it's always handy to have around in case you find yourself cornered at a Hooters Restaurant by a bunch of statisticians and they want to make some sort of "conversation" with you on the topic of introductory statistics.


otherwise known as anonymous said...

You need to go back to the class and ask the teacher guy for help. Nearing midterms start fretting about your average and ask for extra help. Waste the mans time to the fullest.

Michael said...

That would be funny...

"Um, Dr. What'sHisFace, I need some help because I'm getting kind of panicked about the upcoming midterm. You see, I was in a tractor accident about a month ago and I was unable to attend class, though I did get notes from the lectures and I did read the required texts as per your handsomely written syllabus, but I really need to ask you a few things so that I am finally prepared to write your test. First off, what is comparative literature again?"

Anonymous said...

hello there you fellow poet from the backroom that is no more well all good things must fucking end

I really enjoyed your entry Mike it was really funny

I used to sit in on art history lectures I paid once to audit and then after that it seemed silly so I asked to sit in once in a while I mean why pay fees when you are only going to drop in once in a blue moon
but I would give the instructors sketch books ha ha to show my gratitude haha it was cool and fun

the other day I heard this woman talking on her cell phone to her friend she was speaking so loud that the entire bus must have heard she was saying well I am going to an art history lecture with my friend tonight they will never know I am there and she is laughing her head off

hey Mike I could have two degrees I am short a course in statistics I didnt realze that statistics could be so interesting after reading this post I think I will pursue ha ha

well I do blog occasionaly so I will drop in again sometime

you are a cool writer mickey dont ever quit hey

love and light

a rose by any other name would still be called anonymous said...

The thought of taking statistics makes my eyes bleed. My heart does go out to poor poor Jessica. She might want to bring a knife to class. You know so she can cut herself every now and then just to make sure she is still alive.

Michael said...

I don't envy Jessica's having to take that class either. Just sitting in on that one introductory class made me want to stab myself with a pen. I mean, okay, maybe some of the notes I took were clearly fabricated, but still if you read through those notes you're probably putting yourself at risk of wanting to stab yourself repeatedly.

Selina said...

Hmm...does getting a B.A. in English teach you the art of sarcasm or is it that sarcastic people get B.A.'s...? I think I was sarcastic first...how about you??