Just a little ray of sunshine

Just a little ray of sunshine

Saturday, January 7, 2012

See ya Kronos, Y-time, whatever you wanna call it

Well, with finishing my degree at BYU came my final days as a Stat 121 TA. I will say that I am sorta sad that I can't still be one now that I'm not a student! This job had many perks and funny moments. Some may include, not in any particular order:

1. The flexibility of when to work and where to work. An hour here, an hour there... at home, in the lab, in the library at the ease of my laptop. Awesome.

2. Wearing that stylish XL vest I got to wear in the open lab (on very rare occasions I ended up with the medium, and who knows where that small went that I got to wear when I first started working there. Some small girl probably hid it somewhere... curses), with my bent name tag. Probably bent because of my doing. NBD. I wish I had a picture of myself in this garb to show you all... oh wait, no I don't.

3. Doing homework and getting paid for it. On a few occasions I was literally alone in the lab!

4. Always knowing someone that was taking the class. There were friends, cousins, ex-boyfriends, you name it... everyone takes that class. I even got to grade homework for a couple friends and write secret messages for them on the assignments.

5. Making friends in the lab. There were definitely the regulars that I got on a one on one basis. Then there were the others that I helped a number of times and would later see me around campus and say "do I know you?" when I had no idea how I knew them. Then they'd ask, "did you take stat 121 this past semester?" and I'd say "oh no, but I was a TA for it" and then the "ohhhh, that's it, you helped me a few times in the open lab!" Sometimes it still didn't click for me and that's when I felt like how teachers do when they have a million students who know them and could never forget them, but the teacher can't keep everyone straight.

6. Funny student responses. Oh man, there were a number of occasions that I laughed so hard I almost cried because of some of the stuff these students came up with. There are so many I can't remember, but here are some examples:
a. Spinning off some crazy answer and then writing "statistics doesn't even make sense anyway!"
b. "Ahhhhh, it's almost 11pm (the deadline), sorry!!!!" - sorry, but that is not the correct answer to the definition of p-value.
c. "My professor didn't go over this very well, so I don't know the answer" - tell the professor, not me (don't worry, I just thought that in my head)
d. Coming up with an experiment about how chewing gum helps you make free throws - what the? A lot of students got reeeeally creative on that assignment.
e. I had this exchange in the open lab with a few students: "I just can't say whether the p- value is less than .05 or not..." "well if it's greater than .025, but less than .05 then it's....." "ooohhh, then it is less than .05"
f. probably the best one of all time: there is the dreaded written assignment near the end of the semester where the students have to follow the 4 step process and at the bottom of the assignment one kid wrote "The Trevor Company Homework Productions 2011. Any reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited and is subject to many harsh retributions. Can't touch this." - I have to admit I gave him extra credit for making me laugh so hard haha

7. That time a student used a homework problem to hit on me. The assignment had to do with job grade among men of different marital status and one question was about job grade among single men, where he so casually threw in "well you know, I'm a single guy...". Better luck next time Cassanova. Let's not forget the time a freshman was getting pretty flirty until he found out I was a senior and said "Aw dang!" You might wanna hide how you feel a little better next time buddy. He proceeds to tell me about this senior guy friend he has and asks about the statistical chances of me and that friend working out... oh brother.

All of this aside, this isn't to say that the job was total bliss! It is hard to repress the 5738459735 times I got kicked off of Statsportal while trying to grade. Statsportal, you will not missed in the least bit. I also can't forget the days in the lab where I got asked the same question 100 times. For the record, the mean of the sampling distribution of x-bar IS equal to mu. See for yourself.

Now I'm on to a real job in the real world. I start working at Chrysalis on Monday working with individuals with disabilities. I am pretty excited! Hopefully this job brings just as many perks and funny moments. :)

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