Day 131

Today was a good day.  I liked it and would gladly have another like it.

This morning in Finance we started talking more about annuities.  This time about instances where the payments and interest compoundings occurred at different rates.  This should be interesting.  Things are starting to get pretty overlapped between finance and life contingencies.  I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  I guess I'll find out soon enough.  We're also talking about annuities in life contingencies.  The main differences is that in finance we know how long the annuity last.  In life contingencies, the annuity is contingent upon the life or death of the annuitant.  But since you never know when someone will die.... it makes things tricky.

After class I taught.  Dr. Begum dropped in for a surprise visit to watch me teach.  Well, not completely a surprise.  Yesterday in class she said she might stop in.  And she did.  Today wasn't the most exciting lecture.  Basically we just talked about different ways of determining how to find a "random sample."  I also gave out the extra credit assignment.  I'm having them (if they want extra credit) write a short paper on a mathematician and include things about what that person added to mathematics and also what was going on historically in that person's life.  I'm guessing at least 2/3 of the class will do it.  I don't think many of them were happy with their grade.  This will allow them to earn up to an extra 6% on their test, which is pretty significant.

Then it was lunch time.  I broke another container.  :(  I need to be more careful with them.  After lunch I went for a run.  I think I ended up going about 4 miles.  I really hope I can survive the race.

Let's see.  When I got back I took a shower.  It was lovely.  After the aforementioned shower, I did a little bit of writing.  Just to get some ideas out of my head and onto paper.  It was helpful.  Then I cleaned the kitchen up.  I still haven't tackled my room... that will be tomorrow after class.  Timbo came over to get the notes from life contingencies, since he was absent.  So I explained what we did in class and such.  Then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for his belated birthday.  It was fun.  We just ate amazing food and talked about school, home, or just whatever.  He was amazed that I have never golfed before.

When I got back I thought about studying, then didn't.  Grandpa called me.  I caught him up on school and everything.  He was very glad to hear that not all education had gotten watered down since he finished school.  I assured him that my program certainly was not watered down at all.  I told him a little bit more about what I'm studying, but his guess was pretty accurate already in that it's basically using collected data to predict the probability of survival and using those numbers to price insurance policies.

Yup.  And now it's bed time.  Night!


Day 130

What a day, what a day.  I was going to get up a little bit early to study for stats, but even after nearly 9 hours of sleep I was exhausted.  So I didn't.  I still got up in time to get to work at 10 though.  This week has just been incredibly mentally tiring.

I did some studying while I was at work.  I also got an email from some investment company in Cincinnati asking me about my resume.  They said that I had failed to include anything on my resume about having passed exams, and that as soon as I sent them my updated resume they would consider me for an interview.  I replied and explained that I'm in a class that will help prepare me for exam 2/FM and that I will be taking that exam in February, which is the first time that it is offered after my course is finished.  But I'm not expecting to hear back from them.

I tried really hard to study today.  I really did. I read through a few sections in the book, but I just couldn't do it.  I've been studying for some exam every day for a week and a half.  And my brain was done.  So I just kept trying to read through the book and look at example problems.  Timbo came and we worked on stuff for a while.  He had lunch with me.  He left around 12:30, then Erica came and we studied for a little bit.  Maybe 30 minutes.  Then I came home.  I just couldn't do it anymore.  So I played Team Fortress for a little bit.  Then I studied for the hour before I went to class.

The exam itself actually went pretty well.  I know there are two that I messed up on.  But the last half of the last question... No one with whom I talked knew what to do exactly.  I was clueless.  So... I wrote some stuff down that I knew wasn't close to right.  I drew a graph.  And I turned it in.  Maybe I'm a bad student, but I knew that no matter how long I stared at that paper nothing new would come to me.  Some of my friends worked on it until the moment she took the test up.  But not me.  I knew that I would just get frustrated at myself and discouraged.  So I just turned it in and sat out in the hall until everyone else was done.

After class we were all going to go out to eat in honor of today being Timbo's birthday.  He had gone to workout after the exam and we were going to go when he was done. But around 6:30 people started texting me and asking when we were going because they were hungry.  So I sent a text to Timbo... and he said to just go without him.  I really didn't want to do that.  It's his birthday!  But he insisted that we just go without him.  So I was kinda unhappy.  So I met Dustin, Erica, and Kathryn at Mancino's and I informed them that Timbo would not be joining us and I explained why.  At this point they let me know that they could have waited and that I should have just had them wait until Timbo was done.  I was not amused.  But anyhow, dinner was good.  After a while we started talking about dating protocol.  It has occurred to me that the girls in my group are completely ok with the double standards placed upon men concerning dating.  

I'm going to rant for a little bit here, just a warning.  

For instance: in their mind, men should treat all woman with utmost chivalry, always holding the door, pulling the girl's seat out, offering an arm while walking, etc.  Men should also always initiate a first date and offer to pay for said date.  However, (according to Erica and Kathryn) it is completely acceptable for the girl to use this as nothing more than a free meal.  The same goes for a guy offering to buy a girl a drink at a bar: they believe that the girl has no obligation to talk with the guy.  It would also be creepy if a guy told a random girl that she was attractive.  However, women are not expected to be chivalrous to guys, they should not be expected to ask a guy on a first date (because if they were rejected it would hurt the poor girl's feelings...), and it would be very rude if a girl offered to buy a guy a drink and he simply took his drink and left.  And it's completely acceptable for a girl to tell a random guy that he is attractive.  So Dustin and I went on for quite some time about the unfairness of this double standard.  Erica and Kathryn like to remind us that guys in the south are such gentlemen.  So I reminded them (both being from the north) that the reason guys up here are such jerks is because we have deal with norther women.  So I explained my reasoning.  I don't hold the door for every woman because I've been yelled at by feminists who think I'm trying to show how weak women are.  I don't offer my arm to someone walking because I'm trying to be sensitive to the fact that there are a lot of people how have a personal bubble and prefer that it not be invaded. I would never go on a date with someone if I thought it was only a one time thing because that's expensive and rude to the person paying.  And it's just as hurtful to guys when they get rejected as it is when girls get rejected.  But for some reason in our society, guys are expected to simply take rejection from females as a normal occurrence and then just move on with life.  Basically I told them that I'm not a southern gentleman because I've had too many females tell me that they want equality, so I'm doing that the best that I can.  If a woman wants to be treated as a helpless little flower, ok.  That's fine.  If a woman wants to be treated exactly like I would treat a man, ok.  That's fine.  But there is no feasible way for me to know that prior to having a very deep conversation about who each person is and how they like to be treated.  And that, friends, is what happens when you generalize.

So yeah.  Dinner was good.  I came back and recapped all of that Clifton.  He agreed with me.

Then I talked to Derrick on Steam for a little bit.  He wants to start doing some game development and he wanted an idea.  So I gave him the idea that I've been working on for about a year.  He said that it's too advanced for what he can do right now. So... maybe in a few years.

That about sums up my day.  Except that now I need to write my lesson plan for tomorrow.  And Dr. Begum might be coming to watch me.  So... I need to actually prepare something.  So off I go.  Night.


Day 129

If I can make it another 19 hours I think I'll be good.  I think I can do it.

We had our finance exam this morning.  It went pretty well.  The last problem was a little tricky.  I think I did it wrong.  It involved finding the ending value of an annuity in which someone deposited $350 at a 7.5% rate compounded quarterly, then after like 5 years it changed to 6% compounded quarterly, then after another 10 years the payments changed to $600.  Then the annuity sat in the account for another 6 years.  And I accidentally valued the payments incorrectly because the interest did not accumulate in between each change.  Bleh.  So hopefully I still get most of the credit because my set up was 95% right.  Yeah.  Otherwise I think I did well.

It rained today.  I wasn't expecting that.  I want to find an umbrella that has an obscenely strong skeleton.  I always feel like the umbrella is going to flip inside out.  Which is exactly what I do not want.

After the finance exam I had to go print some stuff off for my class.  While I was in the computer lab I talked with Abu a little bit.  He's in all of my classes, so we were just discussing how we constantly feel like we're spending all our time working on one class, then we get behind in our other ones.  It's really frustrating because we try so hard to keep up, but there is just so much going on.  And I'm learning that our professors don't always realize the difficulty that we're having.  I think that most people don't want to give the perception that they are struggling.  But... I'll admit it.  I'm having a hard time keeping up with everything.  I've been doing it alright, it's just hard.  And if my professors asked I would tell them exactly that.

After life contingencies (where we learned a billion new symbols...) I had to go teach my class.  Most days I'm reasonably excited (aside from having to switch brain modes from life contingencies to intro level math) because I gave their tests back today.  And most of them were not happy about it.  I thought one girl was going to cry.  I felt like a monster.  After I handed the exam out I explained how I graded, why I gave some partial credit on some questions, why certain common answers received no partial credit.  Many students completely zoned out today.  They didn't care at all.  One guy really impressed me.  I posted the grades on Sunday and I'm guessing he saw his (low) grade then.  So instead of getting upset at me, he took things into his own hands and read the chapter before coming to class.  He encouraged a lot of people to do that because it was so helpful.  I asked my class if there was anything I could do differently to help them prepare for the exam.  And they all said that I had done a great job but that it was just hard material.  That's when I thought the girl was going to start crying.  She looked at me with this broken look on her face.  She had tried her hardest and still not done as well as she wanted.  I could just see in her face that she had just witnessed her hard work become nothing more than a 70%.  So she looks at me, near tears and with the most dejected look, and said "It's nothing you're doing... this stuff is just really hard."  I felt like such a failure.  But we moved on.  They did give me some suggestions on some things I could do differently, so I'm going to try that.  After class I really wanted to email that girl and try to sort stuff out, but a) I had no idea what I would have said and b) I didn't want it to seem... bad, I guess.  So I guess if she has an issue with the class I hope she is comfortable enough to talk with me about it.  Anyhow, after class a group of about 5 students came and asked questions.  I was really glad that they did.  I invite them to challenge the answers.  On a few people's I had totaled the bonus points incorrectly.  But otherwise I just went through a few problems and explained how to get the right answer.  After they saw how to do it properly they seemed ok with it all.  I think it was just a matter of thinking that there was a mistake on my part and realizing that they had, in fact, made an error.

So that went ok.  Afterwards I had lunch.  Then I went to a meeting for all the 125 teachers.  I was the only GA, and I didn't really feel like I had much to add.  Oh well.  After the meeting I got an email from Dr. Fischer about the GA meeting on Friday.  He wants me to lead to discussion.  So I think I'm going to talk about student-instructor in-class interaction.  In accordance with my philosophy of education, I usually remain pretty transparent with my students.  If I didn't get something graded because I was doing my own work I tell them.  If there is something that I feel obligated to show them but they won't actually use, I tell them.  If I feel that something is really important, I tell them.  I don't keep information from them and I also include them in the process of learning-creation.  I ask them questions about what I can do better or about what things should be different. I allow them to critique me, and most of them feel comfortable doing so (and I have had no issues with students being mean or unprofessional).  It's always very helpful and respectful suggestions.

When I got back I tried to study.  I really did.  But I just couldn't focus on it. I applied to a few more internships.  And tried to study.  But it just didn't happen.  My brain was so worn out from the exam and the rest of the day.

I made meatloaf for lunch.  It was decent.

I went to small group tonight.  I like that.  I read the wrong chapter though, so even though I thought I was prepared... I wasn't.

Um.  There's more that happened I'm sure, but I'm really tired right now so I'm going to go go to bed.  Good night.


Day 128

I'm getting the feeling that every day is going to be a long day.  It just occurred to me that it's still Monday.  For some reason just a little bit ago I was thinking that it was Wednesday or Thursday.  No... still Monday.  Oh goodness.

So this morning in finance we just talked about the exam and went over a few problems.  Then Mr. Fry gave us a sheet of additional problems that we could work.  That about sums up that class.  In life contingencies, we talked about the exam we had just taken on Friday.  I did far better than I imagined.  It appears that the problems I actually did (except for 1) I did correctly.  So I did, in fact, pass.  I definitely didn't think that I had.  But he was very generous with his partial credit.  So he asked if we had any questions about the exam, and I state that, in general, I felt as though the questions on in the book did not accurately reflect the material on the exam.  The basic issue was that for the last half of the exam, we were to determine values of various life insurance policies given a "life table."  However, only two of the problems in our book used life tables to determine values for insurance policies.  But half our exam was based on this.  So I explained to him that, while the practice was there, it wasn't enough to prepare us for the type of questions on the exam.  My defense was that when we study for the MLC exam, we will be taking many many  practice exams that give us a general idea of what to expect on the actual test.  He was very sympathetic.  In his mind he had given us a very straight forward test.  As we were talking, I think the light bulb came on and he realized that his  30+ as an actuary gave him a very distinct advantage when solving the problems.  So after class he thanked me for pointing the issues with the test out to him.  This is the first time he's taught the class, so he really had no idea what to expect.  Now, I am very appreciative of what he's doing.  He is doing his best to prepare us for a very very difficult test (and when I told him about how we were under-prepared I thanked him for trying to prepare us for the MLC exam by giving us a difficult test).  But he was very grateful that I was able to explain specifically what needed to be improved upon for the next exam.  So... we'll see how that goes.

After finance I had lunch.  I forgot salad dressing so I had to go to Chick-filet to get some dressing.  I like mine better.  After lunch Adrian stopped by my office and we discussed the statistics homework.  He went with Kathryn and Erica and me to see Dr. Begum about the homework.  We wanted to get it pushed back to Monday because we just won't have time to complete all the homework assignment and study for the exam on Wednesday.  She was very willing to push the homework back, but she (like Mr. Dean) had no idea that the homework was difficult and was taking a long time.  I'm learning two things: 1- our professors don't get much feedback about the classes they teach and 2- apparently most of my peers had taken some statistics course during undergrad that was incredibly similar to this one.  The class I took talks about bits and pieces of this... but most of it is new for the first time.  So it is comforting that I have a legitimate reason for feeling so lost most of the time, because most of them (even after having taken such a course) are still lost.

In other news, apparently my friends believe that describing a crippled puppy as "stumpy" is perfectly acceptable, but actually naming a crippled puppy "Stumpy" is mean.  This I do not understand.  I find both to be unacceptable, but by logic it seems that finding stumpy to be an acceptable adjective would therefore necessarily permit Stumpy to be an acceptable name.  It appears that I am incorrect.

Anyhow, stats went.  I think we talked about transformations of variables for distributions of two variables instead of one.  I really don't know what that means.

After stats I came back and had dinner.  I played Team Fortress with Miles for a little bit while I ate, but then after very little time had passed I started studying.  Bleh.

It occurred to me earlier today that if I take all the actuarial exams, I will have put in at least as much time as most people studying to get their PhD.  They say it takes 6-8 years to take all the actuarial exams, which is longer than many PhD programs.  The idea is that actuaries have taken all their exams by about their 30th birthday.  Roughly.  So it seems that undergrad actuarial science majors have a better chance than grad students at getting internships because they're seen as having more years ahead of them with more time to take the exams.  So...you know.  Yay.

I went over to Tim's house to study finance.  We worked through a lot of concepts.  I feel decently about it all... but I'm just very tired.  So I'm going to go to bed now.  Good night.


Day 127

Kimmy had to go back this morning.  I tried to convince her not to, but she claims that she has school or some silliness.

I got up around 8 so that I could go grocery shopping before church.  I didn't need to get much.  Basically just produce for my lunch, apples, and bagels.  I had to get toothpaste also.  I saw that they had a selection of cologne so I was looking through it and was really surprised to see some Kenneth Cole cologne for about half the regular price.  I was going to get some but I don't have the money right now.  Hopefully it's still there (or they get more) after my next paycheck.  I'm running out of my current cologne.  Bleh.

When I got back I folded some laundry and did a little cleaning.  Then I did some finance.  Jessie and Richard came to pick me up for church around 10:40.  The sermon was good.  He talked about how being persecuted as a Christian is normal and should be expected.  He made a lot of good points, like how accepting people are to most religions except Christianity.  There are definitely other religions out there that get no love, but there aren't many and Christianity is one of the main ones.  One of the important characteristics of Jesus was his counter-cultural agenda.  He broke trends and didn't compromise.  He also didn't get defensive about things.  He took meekness to heart, let his attackers do their worst, and showed everyone that there is a better way by his example, not but being resentful of people who hated him.  I like that.  I think we can all do a little (or a lot) better at not being defensive when we get attacked, but instead just understand that we need to preach the gospel through our actions, not through our heated arguments.

After church I went to Jessie and Richard's apartment for lunch.  We had spaghetti and garlic bread.  It was really tasty.  I also picked up the tests that Jessie graded for me.  I was... not amused.  I guess it really wasn't so bad.  The average test grade was a 71%, but the median was 69%.  One person got above a 90%.  Blech.  But I guess since someone got above a 90 that it wasn't a terrible test.  I'll talk with them on Tuesday.  I don't know whether I want to curve it or not.  I'm leaning towards not... simply because the average was above a 70%.  But there are plenty of students who would benefit from some sort of extra credit.  So I might try to do something of that nature.  Maybe re-work parts of the exam for partial credit.  Maybe community service.  I'm not sure yet.

So I finished grading and calculating grades this afternoon.  I still was in no mood to study so I entered receipts into my excel sheet.  Good news: I can pay my rent!  Woo!  I had dinner a bit early.  I was pretty hungry.  I had some of my leftover General Tso's chicken.  But it was too sweet so I couldn't eat very much of it.  Oh well.

Eventually I did some stats homework.  I feel so helpless when I work on that.  Most of the time I have absolutely no idea what's going on.  Well, that's not true.  It's mainly just the proofs.  It's really frustrating because (as I've said before) I won't need to prove anything as an actuary.  I'll just need it to work.  I'm sure that doing these proofs could be beneficial, but I think it would be better if we just did homework that involved computations.  And there's just way too much, which is also frustrating.  I'm getting the feeling that my grad program is not normal.  It seems very very difficult.  Which I expect from a graduate program.  I just hear Richard talk about his program or even Jessie talk about hers and they both agree that it seems to be very difficult.  But I guess that's more of the nature of math: it's very conceptual.  If you understand the concepts the computation isn't usually terrible.  That's the lesson I've learned from math finance.  If you know what the problem is asking, the actual computation generally isn't terrible.  Sometimes it is.  I'm actually very surprised how often I have to solve quadratic equations.  I'm not excited about taking the FM exam and not being able to use a graphing calculator with a solver function.  That's going to make solving polynomials so much harder.... gross.

I apparently got sidetracked right there.  Anyhow, I didn't work on stats for too terribly long because I wasn't getting very far but it was just frustrating me.  So I started studying finance.  That went much better.  I think that if I can get in some more good studying tomorrow that I should do decently on the exam.  Tomorrow will probably just be a long day.  I'm going to study some more after life contingencies, then Erica and I are going to talk with Dr. Begum about stats homework.  Then she and Adrian and I are going to work on the homework until class starts.  I'll study more finance after that.  I'm up to section 3.4, so I've gone through the first two chapters and only have a couple more sections to go.  I should be fine.  If I can do the chapter review problems then I think I'll be set.  We'll see.

I'm sad that my laundry is still in the basket.  I was hoping that it would magically put itself away.  But it didn't.  Dumb.  Maybe I'll do that eventually.  We'll see.  But for now it's bed time.  Night.


Day 126

Today was much better than yesterday.  I woke around 9:15, which was later than I had planned.  I didn't set an alarm because I figured I would wake up around 8 or so.  Apparently not.  Anyhow, I got up, ate, and then went for a run.  I went 3.5 miles today.  My goal is to get a 4-4.5 mile run in sometime next week.  Maybe Tuesday after lunch.  Yeah, I'll plan for that.

When I got back I showered and did a little grading.  I finished grading the extended answer problems then graded the homework.  In setting up my syllabus it occurred to me that each multiple choice question on the test would be worth slightly more than a homework assignment.  It then occurred to me that most of my math classes were about that way.  A ten question, 100 point exam was pretty common.  And usually each homework was worth 10 points.  I'm not sure why I never realized this.  Oh well.  I'm not exactly the brightest person in the world.

Kimmy and I went to go get lunch at the nearby Chinese restaurant.  I got General Tso's chicken and rice.  I really like that.  I think it might be my new favorite.  I have some left over, so I'll eat that for dinner tomorrow night.

After lunch Timbo came over to get his backpack and laundry that he left at my apartment yesterday.  He seemed a bit out of it.  I asked him if he wanted to stay to do homework but he had to go grocery shopping.  I've finally convinced him to start going to Meijer instead of Marsh's, since Meijer is way cheaper.  A bit after Timbo left Kathryn and Erica came over.  I invited Dustin but he opted to stay at home where he could use a table, which is understandable.  He and I both prefer doing work at a table and sitting in chairs.  We really don't like sitting on the floor.  Back support is a wonderful thing.  Anyhow, we did homework for a while.  I think I worked on stats from about 2 to 5 and got about 15 problems done.  Only 25 more to go....ugh.  This is going to kill me.  I really wish she hadn't assigned so many problems when we also have to study for an exam in that class.  I think the thing that gets me most about the homework assignments in that class is all the proofs we have to do.  I don't mind doing applied problems because I'll be doing probability and statistics problems as an actuary.  But I can (with 98% certainty) say that I won't be needing to do proofs as an actuary.  I just feel that it's unnecessary.  But this class is also for statistics grad students... and this is probably beneficial to them.  Or something.  I need to see if Dr. Begum has time to help me with some of the problems.

For dinner I had the rest of my stir-fry from dinner last night.  Then I did some more homework.  Well, actually I started studying for math finance.  I think that my current plan is to do the stats homework and then just study for finance until Tuesday.  Then I'll spend the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday until the exam studying for stats.  Hopefully the homework helps prepare me for the exam.....

Yeah.  I spent most of the evening doing problems in finance.  I've been working through the chapter review problems because they're the hardest and use multiple concepts from each section, so it gives a good indicator of how well you understand the concepts.  They just take a while.  And now I'm done.  I think that I'm going to go grocery shopping for church tomorrow.  Then I'll have all afternoon and evening to do work.  Yeah... I think I'll do that.

Yup.  So... good night!


Day 125

I'm so very glad that today is over.

I got up a little early to do some work on life contingencies before I went to class.  I have no idea what happened in math finance... I started to pay attention but then I realized that I would be using precious brain power that needed to be used for thinking about life contingencies.  So I wrote notes... and I really hope that I can follow it when I look at them tomorrow.

So then... it was test time.  Wow.  That was a killer.  Beforehand Dean told us that there would be no curveballs and it would just be straight forward calculations, like the quiz and homework.  This turned out to be entirely false.  None of the questions were straight forward.  We had 50 minutes to do 10 questions... and usually one question takes 15 to 20 minutes.  Now, I'm not very good at math... but something didn't seem right about that.  On top of that, none of the homeworks, quiz questions, examples in the book, or practice exercises in the book were this difficult.  Most of the questions combined ideas from all three chapters.  This wouldn't be so bad except that none of the practice questions did that.  So at no point did we have practice doing the things on the exam.  For instance, the last 4 questions involved finding specific values of insurance policies given a life table.  This combined ideas from chapters 3 and 4.  However, none of the things we did gave us practice doing this.  In other news, none of us finished the exam.  Dustin almost did.  So we're going to talk with Dean on Monday.  I know that he gave us a hard test to prepare for the actuarial exams... but in our defense we will be taking practice tests and doing related studying when we are getting ready to take a test.  The things we will be doing will reflect what is on the exams.  But none of us had any idea how the exam was going to be (and he assured us that we shouldn't worry about it and it would be very similar to the quiz).  He also skipped a section that he said wasn't important and we wouldn't need to know.  I'll let you guess what showed up on the test.  Hint: it was the section he skipped and said we wouldn't need to know.

Yeah.  That was a downer.  So I came back, had a nice big salad for lunch, and played Team Fortress for a little bit.  Then... I started grading.  Yay.  I did that for a good deal of the afternoon.  Just grading the extended response portions of my exams.  Jessie was gracious enough to offer to help, so I will be taking her up on it.  It was kind of sad seeing some of the questions my students missed.  One in particular, the envy-free division problem... I really thought more of them would get.  A few of them got it.  But a lot of them just tried to use logic and not actually do any arithmetic.  Though they did have a division, it wasn't using the envy-free division method we had discussed in class.  So for most of them I couldn't give any credit.  I really don't like doing that.  I feel so bad for them.  There were a few students that surprised me and got it correct.

Anyhow, Timbo came over around 5 and we just did some more work.  He did laundry.  I made stir fry for dinner.  I was really in the mood for stir fry.  Tim invited us all to go out to Savage's this evening, so we went down there around 7:30.  Since I had already eaten dinner I just got a snack.  I had "Irish nachos," I believe.  It was french fries, cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing.  It was so tasty.  It was too loud though, so it was hard to talk with everyone.  But it was pretty fun.  Then I came home.  And supposedly Kimmy is going to be here soon?  So yeah.  I should probably clean my apartment a little before she gets here.

Yup.  So that's it.  Night!


Day 124

Oh my.  What a day.

So let's talk about math finance.  We sit down before Mr. Frye gets there and we start talking about when we think the exam might be.  So Mr. Frye walks in and Tim says "Question, Mr. Frye.  We have exams over the next few days in our other classes and we were beginning to wonder when we might have an exam in this class."  To which he replies "Funny you should mention it... I was thinking Tuesday."  At this point we all elected to quit the program and work at McDonald's.  Forever.

Allow me to explain the significance of having an exam on Tuesday.  You see, in about 11 hours I will be starting my life contingencies exam, for which I have been studying most of the week.  About 12 hours ago I administered an exam for my class, meaning that over the weekend I will be needing to grade those, along with the homework that they turned in today.  So over the weekend I will be studying for math finance, studying for statistics, doing statistics homework, grading tests and homework, and preparing for my lessons next week.  Oh.  Joy.  What good fun this will be.

Anyhow.  Life contingencies went well.  We talked about the exam.  Went over some problems.  We had a mini lecture on Simpson's rule for integration approximation.  I don't recall talking about anything else.

I gave my first exam today.  I think it went alright.  The test bank I used had some critical error on one of the questions, so I had to fix that on the fly.  Yay. It was also interesting to see some of the answers for the extended response questions.  It was apparent that some people understood the ideas yet did not know the math.  So the answers could be solved just using logic and that's what some people did.  I will certain give them partial credit for that... but in the directions I state that you must show all your work to get full credit.  So they were warned.  I also had  a bonus question that reflected on the stories I've read in class.  Some of their answers were really good.  I also gave bonus points for people dressing up today.  A lesson has been learned: my class doesn't automatically associate "dressing up" with "business casual."  Some of the girls that came in... I'm confident that they wore their clubbing dresses and skirts.  So perhaps next time I will specify "business casual."  Most of them cleaned up very nicely.  There's one guy that sits in the front row that constantly surprises me.  He never says a word, dresses pretty gangsta, and always seems bored in class.  But he always does very well on his homework and from what I saw he at least had a good idea of what to do on the test.  I wouldn't be surprised if he did very well.  Anyhow, he cleaned up very nicely.  I expected him to not really care that much about dressing up, but I was pleasantly surprised.

After I finished with the test I had lunch and studied for life contingencies.  Then I came home and studied some more.  And some more.  Around 4:30 Timbo came over.  He brought hamburger helper.  So we had dinner... then studied some more.  I finally finished around 9.  My brain could not take in any more information.  Bleh.  So I quit and did some dishes and laundry.  And now I'm going to bed.  Hopefully all the answers come to me tomorrow!  

And...good night.


Day 123

Today was a bit of a long day.  A good day, but long.

I got to my office a little before 9 and started studying for my life contingencies exam.  Going through problems and definitions and such.  It was a blast.  Two of my students came in at various times to get help on the practice exam.  I think that most of them are far more worried than they should be.  Others probably aren't worried enough.  But I got some good studying done.

When I got back I called mama and got caught up on life with her.  That was good.  We talked about class and dialysis and all of those lovely things.  My classes and poppy's dialysis... just to clarify.  After that I studied for life contingencies more.  Woo.  Just working through problems and writing out definitions and equations.  I get the chapter 2 and 3 stuff pretty well.  It's just the chapter 4 stuff that is giving me trouble.  A lot of the examples use excel, but our exams aren't done in excel.  So most it takes some work to find an example that is actually relevant.

I also worked through an example for statistics that was supposed to be worth extra credit.  I got to school early to go over the problem with Erica, Jordan, and Dustin.  Dustin explained that there had been an error in our professor's work, so he and I figured out how to do it properly.  It made a lot more sense after that.

Stats went.  We ended up not getting any extra credit.  Boo.  After class Allstate gave a presentation to the Actuarial club.  I really liked the presentation.  The company seemed really interesting and like it was a really good place to work.  After the presentation I tried to get an interview but they were full.  I'm getting concerned that I've only had two interviews.... :/

After that I came back and studied some more.  Talked with Derrick some on Facebook.  Studied more.  Talked with Clifton for a while.  And now.... I'm done updating my blog and will be going to bed!  Night!


Day 122

And one more day of grad school done.  I think it's a bad sign that I'm counting the days down (not literally) already.  At the end of the week I will be 1/12th of the way done.

It didn't occur to me this morning that I would have no way of transporting my cakes to class.  So I just put them in a grocery bag and hoped for the best.  They didn't fit along the bottom of the bag so I had to stand them on end.  Ultimately this may have been a poor choice... but whatever.  Life went on.

In both finance and life contingencies we just worked through some practice problems.  It was helpful.  Yeah.  Not much to say about it.

My class went well.  They were all pretty excited that I brought cake, even though it was horribly mangled.  In retrospect, I should have considered that the aluminum foil would stick to the icing... but I didn't think of it at the time.  So I had to scrape icing off the foil and put it back on.  It didn't look pretty... but it was cake.  And we were all happy.  I don't know whether my students are nervous or terrified of the exam on Thursday.  A few of them are stopping by my office I believe, so we'll see how that goes I guess.  I feel like they'll do fine though.  They seem to get the general ideas, but I think that some of the examples have been a bit too difficult for them.  So we'll see what happens!  I occurred to me while I was writing the exam that each question on the exam has the same point value as one homework assignment.  I may do that differently next semester.

After class I came home and had lunch.  I was going to eat lunch in my office but I forgot salad dressing :(  So I came home.  Did some work while I ate.  Then I went for a run.  That was an adventure.  I decided I was going to try 5 miles (since that's how far I'll be going in the race) just to see what happened. Yeah.  That was exciting.  I planned some route that took me out into the country...somewhere.  So I got about halfway out and my legs decided to be done running.  My lungs and the rest of my body was fine.  But my legs decided that they were done running.  So I walked for quite some time, tried to run again... nothing.  I think I ran probably the last half mile or so?  Bleh.  This race is going to kill me.

After I showered I worked on life contingencies for a while.  I feel pretty good about the chapter 2 and 3 stuff, and that's what I focused on today.  So that's comforting.  Tomorrow I'll be looking more at chapter 4.... which will be far less enjoyable.  Ew.  I had leftover pizza for dinner.  I really haven't cooked in a while.  I'll cook on Thursday.  That'll be good.  Maybe I'll finally make chicken curry!

I had small group tonight.  I really enjoyed that.  We've started going through a book called "Notes from the tilt-a-whirl."  I don't have it yet though, so it was tricky to follow along.  Apparently it's a very in-depth read.  But it sounds really interesting.  We discussed how God makes himself known at the atomic level, and then things got very existential.  Which I think is good, but maybe that's just me.  We talked about proving God versus believing and how that is different from having evidence.  It was a really good talk.

It turns out that one of the guys in small group was someone I had emailed back in January about potentially living together.  That was really entertaining to find out.

Yeah.  So I got lost on the way back.  I missed my turn.  It was dark.  So I tried to use my GPS to get back, but lots of roads were closed.  Of course.  So it took me a while... but I eventually did get back.  And now I'm tired.  So I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 121

And another Monday of grad school is completed.

Today was pretty standard.  I had financial math, the life contingencies.  I think that reading over symbols and definitions over the weekend helped me better understand class.  So that's exciting.  It's really easy to get lost in all the terms and symbols.

After class I came back, made some cakes for my class tomorrow, and started watching a video to study for the FM exam.  When I was done with that I wrote a thank you note to the lady from Jackson's HR department who helped me set up the interview.  I had to leave early for class because the post office is on the complete opposite side of campus as the commuter parking lot.  So I had a nice walk down there in the rain.

Probability actually went pretty well today.  I was able to follow along much better than normal.  We have a test in there a week from Wednesday.... I'll start studying for that after my life contingencies test on Friday.

I think that I'm going to re-structure my lesson planning time.  I think that I'm going to do most of the work for my class on the weekends.  I have a hard time studying on the weekends, but usually an easier time during the week.  So I'm going to try that and see how it works.

After class Nyhart (insurance firm from Indianapolis) hosted a dinner at Scotty's for all the actuarial students.  So I got there and found a table with some second year grad students... and one poor little sophomore.  She had no idea what was going on most of the time.  I felt bad.  One of the guys from Nyhart (Ryan) sat at our table and we asked him lots of questions... but this girl was very shy and really didn't know what was happening.  So every so often Ryan would ask this girl a question and she would answer, but I don't know that she asked him any questions.  She seemed either bored or just uncertain.  We all learned a lot though.  Ryan left at one point to go talk with other people and so another guy from Nyhart came around.  I forget his name.  But we asked him some questions as well.  I asked him how they were able to pick a good interview or intern candidate when we all had very similar resumes and backgrounds.  All he could really say was that it usually isn't an easy task.  He kind of confirmed what I had been thinking: they know we're good at math.  We wouldn't have made it this far if we weren't.  So they're really looking for people who can communicate well.  I jokingly asked if he meant "good at communicating" or just "good for a math major."  He laughed and said that they take what they can get.

After dinner I went to Wal-mart to get plates and forks for the cake.  Then I visited Jessie for a little bit.  We just talked about school and how it's really hard and everything.  I told her that I'm thinking about waiting until February to take the FM exam.  This was something I had asked Ryan about at dinner.  He didn't seem too worried about taking a lot of exams... basically as long as I take one or two and have an internship he said I should be fine.  But he was saying that it might be better to just take all the information I have learned in the class and then use all of that as a basis to study for the next few months.  And that is starting to sound a lot more appealing and less stressful.

When I came back I iced the cake and talked with Clifton for a while.  I like him.  I'm so glad I get to live with him.  Then I helped Dustin write a thank you note to her interviewers at Mercer.  And now... I'm going to bed!  Night!


Day 120

Today.  It was another day.  I'm not sure why, but I'm really tired.  So this will be short.

I woke up around 8 this morning so I got some work done before going to church.  I finished grading and started to study some more for life contingencies.  I'm pretty nervous about the test on Friday.  There are a lot of formulas and so much information.  The new material is really hard... but hopefully that gets sorted out this week during class.

Church was good.  The message was largely on false prophets and making sure that we're truly following God's will, not the message of a good faker.  He also focused on how God came to redeem sinners, not justify sin.  We are all sinners.  We are all hypocrites, liars, cheaters, thieves, gluttons, adulterers, murderers, and fools.  Not one of us is better than anyone else.  But through the actions that are dictated by our beliefs we show other sinners that there is a God, and He is perfect.

After church I had lunch at Jessie's.  It was good.  Then I went grocery shopping.  When I got back Timbo came over and we worked on life contingencies.  The first problem was straight forward.  Then... it got really hard.  Blargh.  I just want to know what to do...

I had pasta for dinner.  I picked up a couple limes from the store because I wanted to try it on my pasta, maybe my stir fry.  Definitely put it in my water because the water in my apartment tastes gross.  But it tasted really good in the pasta.  I just cut it up into slices and let it sit in the water as it boiled.  Then I kept them in the water with the spaghetti.  It tasted really good :)

After dinner I cleaned up at worked on making my exam.  I also wrote some thank you emails and letters to people that I met at the job fair and with whom I interviewed.  I realized too late that in all the emails I wrote I said how I had met them on Thursday at the job fair... but that the job fair had been on Wednesday.  Oh well.

Um.  I think that's about it.  I'm tired.  So I'm going to bed now.  Night!


Day 119

Today was pretty bland.  I had a terrible time focusing on anything.  And now... it's pretty much over.  Ugh.

I got up this morning and thought about running, but then decided against it (even though I really should have).  I think I'm about done feeling sick, but for some reason I woke up around 8.  So I was tired and still felt a bit bleh... so I didn't run.  Ugh... I'm not excited about the upcoming race.  So instead I did some studying for life contingencies.

Dustin had a soccer game at 10:30, so I went to that.  In true form, he was yelling at the ref within the first 15 minutes of the game.  There were three ball state students who were commentating through most of the game.  It was pretty entertaining.  Then about halfway through the first half a girl's rugby game started right next to the soccer field.  There was a lot going on and it was hard to concentrate on anything.  Some of the girls were really scary... I think they could possibly beat me up.

After the game I came  home, had some pizza, and played Team Fortress for a little bit.  I wasn't quite ready to do work.  But... I couldn't put it off for too long.  So I studied life contingencies for a while.  But then I was just too tired to be productive, so I took a short nap and felt better.  I studied some more.  I wasn't really hungry so I never really got dinner.  The evening just passed in a blur of trying to do work, getting distracted, going back to work, getting distracted.  I really don't like days like today.

Eventually I started grading.  Got the first assignment done.  I'm going to study for a little bit more before I go to bed. Then tomorrow I'll finish grading and get some work on the test done.  Woo.

Night all!

Day 118

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  I couldn't concentrate at all in class though.  Over the past couple days I've started writing down all of the equations that I need to know and writing out explanations in words.  It's been helpful because in both math finance and life contingencies we have been learning so many new terms and symbols.  But I haven't gotten up to the current chapters, so I haven't had a chance to remember all of the new things yet.  Oh well.  Soon enough...I hope.  I have a test in life contingencies next Friday... eep!

After class I had lunch.  Then Dustin and I spent the next three hours putting Jordan's desk together.  I broke a plastic piece on the drawer.  Oops.  So I think Jordan is going to get some super glue to fix it.  Or something.  I had to leave before we were done to start making pizza dough.  Then I did a little studying while I waited for the dough to raise and everything.  Talked with Derrick on steam chat for a bit.

Dustin and Kathryn came over to hang out last night.  It was fun Andre and Clifton came and went at various times throughout.  Yeah, not too much happened.  But it was good overall.  Yup.  The end.


Day 117

Today was a good day.  Very way exhausting, but good.  I had both classes this morning.  I couldn't concentrate at all during financial math.  My brain was just so focused on the interviews.  Tim and Kathryn both had to leave during life contingencies for interviews.  Tim with CNA and Kathryn with Mercer.  From what I gathered those went well.

After life contingencies I taught my class.  I thought it went well or something. I didn't read from the book of virtues today.  Instead I read them this story, which I have classified under "empathy."  After that I finished the section on envy-free division.  I think most of them were getting it.  I could certainly tell that some people were lost, but those were almost entirely the people who don't pay attention anyhow.  I've decided that after I grade the exams I want to take some time to re-evaluate how I'm teaching.  I'll let them give me feed back so that I can prepare and lecture better.

After class I ate lunch in my office and prepared for my interview with Jackson.  I got there about half an hour early, looking sharp as always.  The interview went really well.  I actually had a lot of fun.  Ellen asked me some questions about myself and my education.  I felt like I was very prepared until we got to the last question: "If you were in my position what would you ask the person you were interviewing?"  I was completely thrown off by this.  So I said that I was not at all prepared for a question like that.  So I said "It's difficult for me to answer that since I have no experience as an actuary or as an interviewer.  So allow me to first ask this: what does a day in the life of an actuary involve?" So she explained everything the the average actuary does.  My question was then one of whether the candidate believed he or she was capable of such a situation.  Ellen then said that normally she would ask the interviewee that question, but that she felt like I had answered that already.  But overall I thought it went really well.  I really liked that Jackson seems to have such a significant focus on giving back to the community.

At 4:30 I had the Mercer interview.  Between interviews I went to my office and researched Mercer.  But that interview went well also.  This is the third time I had talked with Marie in the past three days and she remembered me!  Yay!  I really liked Mercer because she made their commitment to a high moral standard very apparent.  We talked about how we know what's right and wrong and how there is no choice... you just have to do what is right.  I believe that is from when she asked what had motivated me to get good grades in school.  So I told her that it just seemed like something I had to do.

After the interview I came back to my apartment and paid my rent off.  I only owed for the August rent and the late fee for August.  I was more OK with paying that late fee because I still would have owed a late fee even if I had paid at move in.  Apparently I could have paid online.  Oh well.  It's over now.

I had soup for dinner.  It wasn't soup night.

Eventually I got around to homework.  I talked with mom for a while.  Then more homework.  And now I just got way tired, so I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 116

If today had been over around 8am this morning I would have called it a successful day.  As it stands... Friday at noon cannot come fast enough.  But praise God almighty this day is finally over.

Spoiler alert: this is essentially a rant about my day.

Where to begin.  Last night I went to bed too late because I was finishing homework for class today with my study group.  So I slept in just a little bit.  Maybe 20 minutes.  And I'm glad I did.  I try to get in to work around 9 even though my scheduled hours aren't until 10, it just gives me a little extra time to get work done.  So I left my apartment around 9, got to my office about 9:15 or so.  I went up to the computer lab to print my resumes for the career fair today.  But apparently the printer was running out of ink.  I had run a test copy on regular paper and it was great.  So I sent my resumes through on my resume paper.  The first 5 were lovely.  Then... the ink started to go.  After about 10 there was a huge streak of white through the middle of my resumes.  And I had no more resume paper.  So, you know, I was pretty excited about that.  Frustrated, I just went to my office to get some work done.

That went well.  I was so nervous about the career fair (and I was really hot, so that made me even more flustered) that I couldn't focus on grading.  I got maybe 4 papers done in an hour.  I ate lunch then tried to grade some more, but I just couldn't concentrate.  So I left my office and went for a walk.  I went down to the book store to buy some breath mints... intelligent me had pasta with garlic in it for lunch.  It felt amazing outside.  Nice and cool.

I got to the job fair a little early, talked with Richard, talked with Tim.  Most of the companies offering actuarial internships were right at the front, so that was nice.  I talked with a few and they all seemed really nice.  I don't really know what they got out of it though.  They aren't going to remember most of us.  We're just faces.  I got some information and signed up for another interview with Mercer tomorrow.  But everyone who talked with them got a chance to sign up.  That's not a bad thing, it just wasn't as selective as getting a call from Jackson.  Speaking of Jackson, I talked with the people at their booth.  They were really nice.  I'm really excited to interview with them tomorrow.  We talked about the living situation for the interns.  And about cooking.  They were both really nice.  Um... I really liked talking with the guy from Nyhart.  He was only a few years older than I am, it seemed.  We were just kind of talking, so I decided to be a tad bold and ask him something I've always been wondering.  I asked whether he thought that the salary was justified for the work that he did.  And he said that in his mind, you're paying intelligent people to do work that most other people cannot do.  So in his mind, the pay is justified.  We also talked about how actuaries are continually ranked as some of the most satisfied people and how it's known for being a low stress job.  He said "I want to know which actuaries they ask for those questions.  It's probably the ones who've had their fellows forever and spend their day on the golf course trying to get new clients.  If you see that booth around here, come back for me.  I'll give them my resume."  I liked him.  Let's see... Jordan passed out.  :/  It was really warm in there and she was very nervous.  I wasn't there when it happened, but she's doing better now.

After the job fair (I was there for about 2 and a half hours) I had planned on going back to my office to do some work.  But it appears that was not the plan that actually happened.  Clifton called me and said that Windermere had left a note on my door.  So I asked him to read it to me and it said that I owe $515.  To be paid immediately.  First off, I was so glad that Clifton called me because otherwise I wouldn't have been back until around 9pm...well after the offices were closed.  So I went back to my apartment and sure enough, I hate a notice.  So I went over to the main office to have a chat.  It appears that I did, in fact, owe rent for August.  It seems that all the signs I saw for "free August rent" we for people who signed up in August.  I signed under a different special.  When I mentioned that no one at move in had told me that I owed money they apologized and said that I shouldn't have been able to move in.  Now, they were very busy.  Very very busy.  So I don't hold that against them... but they also shouldn't hold this against me.  Anyhow, they have a $65 late fee policy (which they had mentioned earlier and I was well aware of this).  But apparently what happened was that since I didn't pay August's rent on time they charged a late fee.  But when I paid September's rent (at which point they made no mention of me owing additional money), the system automatically assumed I was paying August's rent... meaning that I hadn't paid September's rent.  Meaning that my September rent is technically over due.  The lady I talked to agreed that I certainly was not completely in the wrong, so she is going to talk with the head manager and call me back tomorrow with an update.  Yay.  I guess I'm additionally frustrated because I just sat down the other day for about an hour and budgeted out my paychecks.  But I guess for this month's paychecks I'm just going to be making due with what I have.  Ugh, this is frustrating.  I'm trying to be really good with my money and I'd even planned on saving about a quarter of my paycheck.  But... I guess that's not happening this month.

So then after I got that all kind of figured out I went to statistics.  We started with a quiz.  My brain was entirely shot from everything that has happened today, but I think I did decently.  I know I missed one of them... but I just couldn't wrap my mind around how to calculate the probability that the third heart is drawn on the sixth draw.  I figured out the probability that 3  hearts were drawn in six cards... but whatever.  I was close.  And now I know what to do.

After class there was an informational session with CNA where they just talked about their company.  I don't know how I feel about these informational sessions.  They're trying to sell themselves to us.... but any one of us would be a fool to not take whatever internship is offered to us.  If CNA offered me an internship you better believe I'd take it.  Or if Allstate offered me one. Or Mercer.  Or Jackson.  Or Cininnati Financial.  Or Aegon.  Or Anthem or Prudential.  Or any other place I stopped by today.  They don't need to sell themselves... I already want to be there!  Please, hire me!  But I got free food.

After the informational session I was done.  My brain could not handle any more things.  I didn't get grading done for tomorrow, I haven't finished researching Jackson or Mercer for my interviews tomorrow (Jackson at 2, Mercer and 4:30).  But my brain is just done.  It can handle no more things.  And so I'm going to bed.

Oh, and I'm coming down with a cold.

Day 115

Oh my word.  What a day.  I had class this morning.  Wow, it feels like forever ago.  I don't even remember what happened in class this morning.  Between classes I went to go print off the practice exams for my class.  I ran out of paper so I had to go to the math department to get more.  I can never remember the main receptionist's name, but she is always very nice.  And smiley.

My class went well.  We started talking about envy-free division, which is basically the idea that you split something up between a certain number of people, and no one person believes that he or she has less than any other person.  This is complicated because "less" uses the very subjective judgement of each person's value on the objects.  It can get very confusing.  I did my best to explain it, but there were some students who had a lot of trouble.  So we'll see how it goes.  I'm finishing this section up on Thursday and hopefully between the homework I assigned and questions in class they'll have it figured out.  I also handed out the practice exam.  One of my students asked at the beginning of class whether there were any more things to learn.  So I looked at her and said "Nope.  We have learned all the things.  There are no more things for us to know because we have already learned them all.  That's it!  No more things to learn."  It was funny.

After lunch I went to Wal-mart to get a portfolio thing for the job fair tomorrow.  Yup.  When I got back I went for a run.  That was hard.  It was 2pm and I was just too hot.  So I made it about 2.5 miles.  I really need to get up to 5 miles...ick.  I'm not a huge fan of all this stuff.  I'm not really stressed, I just know there are a lot of things that have to get done.  After Thursday I'll feel better.  Tomorrow is just going to be very long.  I work in the morning, have the job fair from noon to 4, class from 4 to 6, and then a talk put on by CNA from 6 to 7 or so.  Then I can come home and research Jackson some more before my interview on Thursday.  I'm excited about the job fair, I just wish I was more prepared.  Oh well!  We'll see what happens.  A lot of my friends are very very nervous, but I'm pretty excited.  Just...there's a lot going on.

I went to Jessie's for dinner.  That was good.  She made soup and it was really tasty.  Then we just sat around and talked for a bit.  Around 7:30 I went to some informational thing for Mercer, which is an insurance and financial investment firm.  So they talked about what they do and stuff.

Afterwards I went to the library with people to study for the probability quiz tomorrow and finish the homework.  That was a lot of fun.  Then Dustin and I went over to Erica's to print out some resumes...which ended up not really working.  So instead I helped Dustin do some formatting on his resume and helped Erica decide what to wear tomorrow.  And now I'm exhausted and heading to bed.  Night.


Day 114

So much tired.  It was a decent but very long day.

In math finance we went over the problems that were assigned to us over the weekend.  I thought I only knew how to do one of the problems I was assigned to do, but it turns out that I was 98% correct on the other one.  I just forgot... some stuff.  Yeah.  I had a quiz in life contingencies after that.  It went well except for one of the problems I didn't have a clue how to do.  And another one I had a logical guess, but I really don't every remember doing an example like it in class or in any of the practice exercises in the book.  Oh well.  Hopefully I get that back tomorrow.  It's only 10 points so it's not that big of a deal, but I just want to know everything.

After life contingencies I had lunch.  It was good.  This week I put garlic salt and cilantro on my chicken for my salad.  I don't really taste either one though. It seems as though the taste of everything else covers up the taste of the spices.  But I guess the fact that it tastes good is all that matters.

After lunch I went to go visit Lark and Chrissy.  Apparently their office is just down the hall from me.  I met them during orientation.  So I hung out with them in their office for a little bit and met some of their co-workers.  One of their professors came by looking for a guy named Joel... but not me.  I was so very confused.  Apparently this other Joel is actually named Eric Ericson... but he didn't like that so he goes by Joel.  Which is silly.  Eric Ericson is an excellent name. But oh well.  I'm not him.  So I left there and went to go figure out why I hadn't gotten paid.  For some reason they had my check and it had not been direct deposited.  Oh well.  So I took my paycheck to get deposited.  When I got home I took a while setting up my account preferences on mint, which is a budgeting website.  I think that will be helpful.

I had class this evening.  It was wonderful.  We found out that there is a test two weeks from today.  Yay.....

Exciting news!  After class I saw that I had a voicemail.  So I listened to it.  While I was in class Jackson National Life Insurance called me.  They want to set up an interview with me for an internship next summer!  Unfortunately their office was closed when I got out of class, so I need to call back tomorrow.  I don't know how that will work since I have classes, but I'm sure I can figure something out.

After dinner Timbo and Adrian came over to do homework.  So that was fun.  I had most of it done but I was able to fix some that I had wrong.  When they left I talked with mom for a while and caught her up on life.  Then I made my lunch, talked with Andre and Clifton for a while.  And now I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 113

Today was generally uneventful.  I got up around 8:30 because I couldn't sleep anymore, took a shower, ate, and did some work.  Jessie and Richard came to get Kimmy and me around 10:40 for church.  The service was much better than I was expecting.  I was kind of afraid it was going to be very "it's been 10 years since the attack, everyone should be super patriotic.  Hoo-ah!"  But we talked about forgiveness and how important the forgiveness of our enemies is.  It reminded me of a talk given in chapel last spring by Dr. Miraslov Volf. He said that he believes that idea of loving our enemies is the most important concepts in the Bible because it embodies God's most sincere love for us.  If He can love us even after we destroyed his plan for perfection, how can we as humans possibly hold grudges or believe that those who wrong us are not worthy of our forgiveness?  Anyhow, it was a really good message reminding us that no matter what anyone has done to us, we are commanded to have to forgiveness of Christ for each other.  Especially our enemies.

So yeah.  I enjoyed that.  After church we all went to Chili's for lunch.  I got some quesadilla thing and soup.  It was really good and I have left overs.  I have a lot of left overs from the weekend.  My plans for food this week are radically changing.  On Tuesday I'm going to dinner at Jessie's.  On Wednesday and Thursday I'm probably going to an informational meeting for a few different insurance firms that will be at the job fair on Wednesday and they're having food there.  So now I need to figure out what food I'll actually be eating.  I still want to make curry chicken but I need to figure out when to make it.

Let's see.  After lunch Kimmy and I went grocery shopping.  I got a few other things that I've been needing, like a drying rack and some drain cleaner.  I ended spending more than I had anticipated, but it was all pretty important.  Then I invited people to come over and study.  Timbo came over first and we worked on math finance and statistics for a while.  I didn't really feel like a did much.  I tried, but either didn't know how to do the problem or time just seemed to go really fast...and nothing productive happened.

Kimmy had to go home :(  I tried to convince her to stay, but she kept being silly and saying that she had class and dumb stuff like that.  So I had to let her go back to Mount Vernon.  And... I kept doing homework.  Bleh.  Eventually Erica and Jordan joined out little study party.  After our brains were done studying we talked about the upcoming job fair.  I'm actually pretty excited.  I have an unfair advantage over a lot of my friends here because I can be very outgoing, personable, and assertive when I need to be.  So I'm kind of excited. I need to work on answers to typical questions and filler lines.  But I have time.

Hm.  Anyhow. I'm going to study a bit more before bed.  Night!


Day 112

Today was pretty uneventful.  Good, but uneventful.

I got up around 8:30 and had breakfast.  I tried the peanut butter I got at Meijer yesterday.  It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be.  Apparently I didn't notice that it was no sodium and low sugar... and low yumminess.  Oh well.  It was good enough.  I went for a run after that.  And I realized (again) that I really need to go get shorts.  I figured I should take my phone with me in case something went wrong.  But the only thing that went wrong was that the elastic in my shorts is completely gone, I've lost some weight, and my phone was additional weight.  So I had the option of running while holding my pants up or fixing them every 45 seconds.  It was wonderful.

Eventually I made it back with my shorts in tact.

After I showered I finished making the practice exam for my class.  I'm going to send it off to Dr. Begum and have her look at it, then give it to my class on Thursday.  A week from Tuesday we can look at it and they can ask any questions.  I'm going to ask Dr. Begum if my actual test should be longer or if it is of sufficient length.  I have 12 multiple choice (6 from each chapter) and 4 extended response (2 from each chapter).  I might add on another extended response from each chapter, maybe a couple more multiple choice.  But I'll see what she says.

Kimmy and I had lunch.  She had the hot pockets I got for her and I had what I'd intended on having last night for dinner: extra veggies and chicken in a skillet.  It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be.  But I did learn that frying cucumbers in a skillet really brings the flavor out.  So that's good to know.

After lunch I started working on homework.  Kathryn came over so she and Kimmy and I had a lovely little study party.  It was just fantastic.  But I got a lot of my statistics homework done, so that's good.

Kimmy and I went to China Kitchen for dinner.  It was pretty good.  I got General Tso chicken... but it wasn't spicy at all.  Kimmy could eat it without a problem and she hates spicy food.  But it was very good.  After dinner we stopped by my apartment to drop off the leftovers, then we went for a walk downtown.  It was nice.  I like walking around downtown.  In true Kimmy and Joel fashion we had a lovely discussion about possible causes for a shift from child-centered to parent-centered parenting and it's sociological affects.  It was good.  Then we got ice cream.  And now I think we're going to watch a movie?  Yup.  So good night for now!


Day 111

Today.  What a day.  What a wonderful lovely day.

It started off with financial math.  That went well.  That class usually isn't very exciting, but that's ok.  It's a good class.  In between classes I had a meeting.  Well, actually I had to make some copies for Tim before the meeting.  But then it was meeting time for all the math GAs who are teaching a class.  I like those meetings for the most part.  We all just talk about our experiences, share teaching strategies, get information, and such things.  I told them all how I asked my class what the best way for me to teach them was.  The second day of class (I think I wrote about this) I took about ten minutes and we just talked about learning styles.  And they all told me how they learned best and how I could lecture to help them best.  So after I told everyone in the meeting about this Dr. Fischer (head of the GAs in the math department) had a very amazed look on his face and said "Wow.  You must be very brave to open yourself up to your class like that."  I felt special.  And it sounded way cooler at the time because he has the most awesome Dutch accent.

Life contingencies went well.  Today was the first day that we started studying actuarial science, as Mr. Dean told it.  We started combining the probability models we had learned with the financial models from financial math.  So that should lead to good things.  Our quiz was moved to Monday for that class.  Yup.

I came home and had lunch afterwards.  I finished off my lettuce and meat.  I need to get more.  Instead of being productive I played Team Fortress for a little bit.  Then I cleaned up from lunch and started doing productive things, like applying for internships and planning my meals for the week.  I'm not really pleased with having to go shopping this weekend because for some reason I didn't get paid today, so I won't be able to get cash to go to the farmer's market in the morning.  Which did not make me happy.  Oh well.  I'll still be able to eat.  I found a recipe for curry chicken that I'm going to try.  That should be good.  And Amber's going to send me a recipe for some amazing chili.

Around three I got an invitation from Kathryn to go work out on campus.  So I went.  But she wasn't there.  Dustin and Erica were though, so I worked out with them.  I think Dustin is going to start coming with me, since he's free when I go.  That will be nice to work with someone else, especially when he knows what he's doing (I really don't....).

When I left campus I went to Meijer to get some food for Kimmy to eat while she is here.  I don't have a lot of Kimmy food.  I also got some bagels and peanut butter.  I hope this peanut butter is better than the stuff I got at Aldi.  That didn't have much taste to it.

I made a new friend on the way to Meijer .  I was driving and notice a car driving next to me.  So I look over and see this girl about my age (maybe?  I really have no idea) looking at me.  I smiled and waved.  She smiled and waved back.  Then I turned into Meijer and she went on her way.  I'll probably never see her again and honestly couldn't pick her out of a crowd of people.  But somehow I felt like we could have been friends.  I got hit with this feeling of "Oh...there is another human I will never know.  Another human whose life story I will never hear.  Another person whose life I will not impact."  That happens to me a lot.  And it then occurred to me that in those 8 seconds in which I was driving next to my friend.... I knew as much about her as many people know about their "friends."  And it made me sad to know how true that is.  Someone I had just met (kind of) was as close to me as people I have known for years.  I wish life wasn't that way.

After I got back from Meijer Dustin invited me to go to dinner with Kathryn and Erica.  So I went.  We went to....something Italian.  It was really good.  There was a 2 meals for $20, and each meal included an entree, salad, mini-desert, and bread.  So we did that.  It was wonderful.  I dressed up a little bit :)

Then... Kimmy got here!  Woo!  We sat around and talked for a while about school and life and all the things.  I am happy that she's here.

Someday soon I want to start tagging my posts so that I can go back through them and look for important people or events.  Maybe someday....

Anyhow. Good night!