Day 191

And another day has been completed.  I got up this morning around 7:30, got ready for the day, and went off to my office.  Yesterday one of the guys in my class wanted to meet with me at 9 to go over the practice exam, so I did that.  I guess I hadn't considered that it would snow last night, so when I got out my car had a couple inches of snow on it.  After I got it cleared off I went to my office and helped the guy from my class with the rest of the practice exam.  After he left I started working on finance.  Then I just studied that until my office hours were over at noon.

A little after 12 I left to go get lunch.  Joel Thomas was driving through Muncie today on his way to go visit some other people and go to a concert, so he stopped by for some lunch.  We went to Qdoba.  It was really tasty.  We both officially decided that if Muse, Deadmau5, and Daft Punk ever put on a show that no amount of money would prevent us from going.  It would be an absolutely mind and soul blowing experience.  But it will literally never happen. Sad.  I also gave Joel my revised explanation of what actuaries do.  "Accountants take a look at money that has already been acquired and/or spent and figure out how to account for it.  Actuaries try to predict what money will be acquired and how to prepare for it."  I know that isn't 100% accurate, but it's much better than "I do math for insurance companies."

After Joel left for his next adventure, I went back to school to study some more finance.  I ran into Timbo and thus decided to study with him in the computer lab.  David was there also.  I worked through the rest of the problems and felt pretty good about them.  We have a quiz tomorrow but I feel decently well prepared.  Between this quiz and the duration homework assignment I think that I should be well prepared for the exam on Monday.  We had about 30 minutes to kill before stats started, so Timbo and I went down to the Atrium to get some coffee.  For which I was grateful because I know it would have been nearly impossible to stay awake in statistics otherwise.

We got many things back in class today.  Exam 2 (finally), our pop-quiz, and our project.  I messed a couple things up on the project but she only took one point off.  So that was ok.  Then we proceeded to go through class.  It literally felt like a repeat of Real Analysis from this past spring.  And I don't mean that in the "so I already knew what to do" kind of way.  It was closer to a "I must have done something terrible in my past to receive this punishment..."  Real Analysis was not nice to me when I took it.  And today just reminded me of every day of that class.  About half way through class she started to do an epsilon-delta proof.... and I almost left.  I have done (and by that I mean tried to do) way too many epsilon-delta proofs and still have no idea what I'm doing.  That class was the one thing that made me incredibly set on not going into Pure Mathematics.

After class I went to Jessie's apartment for dinner.  She made spaghetti and garlic bread.  It was really good.  I had a good time.  We talked about our Thanksgivings and about school (and relating it to her experience), about her current job and such.  That was a lot of fun.  But then I had to come home so that I could get some more studying done.  So home I came.  I answered a few emails from students who had questions on the exam tomorrow, then studied for the finance quiz some more.  And now I'm going to bed!  Good night everyone.


Day 190

This was quite the day.  I left a little bit late today again.  This time it was mainly because I didn't know what the weather was going to be like.  When I walked outside it was cold and raining, so I had to go back inside to change and dress accordingly.  When I got to finance we turned in our homework, then proceeded to go through some examples of more option combinations.  I think I get it for the most part.  I'm going to work through some exercises tomorrow in preparation for the quiz on Thursday.

In between classes was... an adventure.  I went to the computer lab to print some stuff off when Dustin mentioned that he had been looking over the spreadsheet I'd sent to him and noticed that some of my tables were wrong.  So I looked at them and sure enough they were.  Which is odd because earlier they had been correct.  So then I got incredibly flustered and was trying to figure out why stuff had changed and how I was going to look through all my code for tiny little changes... and still get the stuff printed off that I needed to get done.  But thankfully Dustin was able to help me figure it out, so we fixed it and I resubmitted it to Mr. Dean.  But it definitely was not a happy time.  I also found out that the math department does not offer summer assistantships, so I may talk with the graduate school office to see if they have anything to offer, in case I don't get an internship.

During life con we worked through a problem from the MLC practice exam, looked at some new equivalences, and some other stuff.  Yup. Then it was off to go teach.  Dr. Begum came to observe me today.  I wasn't really expecting that, but I knew she'd be coming at some point.  I just thought it was going to be earlier.  But class went well.  We went over the homework, talked about the project and the final, then went through some of the practice exam.  I hope that they do well on this...  I think most of them get it.  But we'll see.

After class I came back, had lunch, and started working on grading and making answers for the practice exam.  I did that for a couple hours, then I took a nice long break and cleaned.  I sorted through papers I had scattered about, tidied up under my bed, cleaned my sheets, cleaned off all the surfaces in my room, put things away... it looks nice.  First time all year.  Including move in.  When I was done cleaning I got dinner, then began writing the exam.  It took me a couple hours to make good questions, but I think it's pretty good.  I'll take it tomorrow to make sure it's not too long or difficult.

So by this time it was about 9:30 and I was just worn out from working.  So I stopped!  And it was good.  Now I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 189

First day back.  And what a day it was.

I got started pretty well on time.  I was a few minutes late... but I don't remember why.  Oh well.

Finance went decently.  We just talked more about combining puts and calls.  We have a quiz on Thursday on this stuff.  I'm going to start studying for it tomorrow with Dustin.

In between classes we went to the Atrium.  A few people looked at my finance homework to try to solve a couple of the harder problems.  Only Tim actually asked for a clarification.  Even though other people who looked at it seemed confused, they didn't ask.  Oh well.  Their loss.  Then Tim presented us with a question.  He wanted to know why pi is an irrational number.  His logic was that pi can be represented by circumference of a circle divided by its diameter.  Therefore, it can be written as a fraction and must be rational.  So I explained that a rational number must be able to be written as a fraction of integers, not just any number.  He countered that since the circumference and diameter have definite lengths, then the decimal representation of those lengths must terminate (like the number 2.3124451231231243456768 terminates at 8).  Since the string used to make the circle has a definite length, then the numerator and denominator of circumference/diameter division must certainly terminate.  I could see where his confusion was.  Since in his mind a number with a decimal keeps getting longer, the number itself must be getting bigger.  So I asked if he was familiar with Zeno's paradox.  I thought that as mathematicians everyone at the table would surely be very familiar with this.  That was not the case.  Everyone looked at me and just started laughing, sort of a "why would I have any idea what that is?" type of laugh.  Not to be discouraged, I explained that it's the idea that if you run half the distance to the finish of a race, then half the remaining distance and so on that you would never actually reach the finish.  Once I explained what it was everyone had heard of it.  Anyhow, then I explained that fractions like 1/3 can be written as a decimal: .3333333333 which repeats forever.  Furthermore, 1/7 can be written as .142857... but both of those are fractions with definite lengths, even though the decimal expansion goes on forever.  I think he was convinced by the end.  Someone made a comment about this being really deep.  I guess I would have considered this to be about moderately deep.  Nothing extravagant though.  Deep is when you take mathematical ideas and combine them with other ideas and philosophies.  So if you continued this idea of an infinitely expanding number that is actually limited and take that into a social context, you get some pretty interesting things.  For instance, there is a saying that "it's never so bad that it couldn't get worse."  The implication is that things can keep getting worse, or we could say that "badness" can continue growing infinitely.  But is there some maximum limit on the amount of attainable evil?  Like in Zeno's paradox, can we get arbitrarily close to the proverbial finish line (some ultimate level of evil, in our example) or will it expand without bounds?  Anyhow.  I didn't want to get into that with all of them... I might have killed their brains.

During life con we discussed our upcoming exam.  It's going to be entirely take home (thankfully).  Mr. Dean reminded us that we must have integrity when working on the exam and not work in groups.  Since it will largely be on Excel he doesn't mind if we help each other use Excel, but not actually help on the problems.  Which is fine with me.  I'm pretty confident that I can do all of this given enough time to check my work.  And I will check my work many many times.

After life con I went to go work out.  I lifted biceps and triceps.  It was alright. When I got home I had a salad for lunch.  I really wish that there was a way of having fresh produce during the off season.  The lettuce I buy is turning brown at the store.  Bleh. Oh well.  After I showered I went to go help Tim with the life con homework.  He doesn't have much experience with Excel so I wanted to explain how to use some of the fancier things that I did with mine.  It took a while but I think he was getting it by the end.  He catches on pretty quickly, but I think he's going to need some more practice before it really sticks.  That's ok though.  The things that I did were a bit complicated. Definitely not the most extensive things you can do in Excel by any means, but far more than what most people do with just entering data and possible doing some basic calculations or table filtering.

Then we had stats.  That's always a treat.

When I got home I had some turkey and potatoes for dinner, then worked on making my life con homework all pretty.  When Clifton came home I talked with him for a bit.  Then we did a little experimentation in the kitchen.  He had just sauteed some onions and mixed it with peanut butter.  It was pretty good, so I suggested that we try to candy the onions with peanut butter while still in the pot.  And that was really good.  Next time I want to make a glaze with peanut butter, a little vegetable oil, maybe some honey, boil it, then let the onions simmer in that for a while.  I think that would be really good.

Dustin came over to ask some questions on finance.  I told him that he really needs to start coming over to do homework with Timbo and me because the three of us work well together.  He agreed.  So hopefully he starts doing that, since he said he doesn't get too much out of his current method.

Then it was starting to get late, so I just played a few minutes of Team Fortress with Miles and James.  And now I'm getting ready to go to bed!


Day 188

Well, today officially ended break.  Sadness.

I got up and went to the early service of church this morning.  I sat with Mom and dad.  After the service I saw the Vandekoppels and talked with Kelley for a few seconds.  Probably about 17.  Then Kimmy and I went home.  During this time she and I discussed some theology that we've been separately pondering for a while.  The thought that I've been considering is that there is a certain rationale for God's existence that I really do not like.  When people use the argument that God must exist because there are things science has yet to answer, I just kind of cringe.  Like people saying that because scientists haven't yet explained how the universe began, then God must exist.  I dislike this because if scientists did discover how the universe began, then either your logic has become flawed or you have to change the premise of your argument, neither of which put you in a very good position.  For instance, 200 years ago scientists were just discovering atoms but had not yet grasped their contents or make-up.  But the lack of scientific knowledge didn't make God any bigger to compensate for scientific deficiency.  So I don't believe that we should use God as an answer to things that science has yet to discover.  Because if science ever does answer those things, then the "God created it" answer holds nothing.  Now, don't go away thinking that I'm suggesting that God didn't create everything.  I don't ever believe in using "God" as a solution to a question I can't answer.  My answer to the beginning of the universe?  "God has created a natural order that humans have not yet fully discovered.  But I'm pretty excited to see what scientists are able to discover of God's handiwork."

The other thing we talked about (in continuation of the God-science controversy conversation) was how evolution fits into the Bible.  Kimmy and I don't really like disregarding science simply because it seems to contradict the Bible.  The Bible isn't a science book.  If there is something scientifically wrong the Bible... ok.  That's fine.  The Bible is a narrative about a loving God who wants to be with us (the created) forever.  Try to use the Bible for something else and you're going to run into problems.  So I have no problem accepting evolution as an explanation to how life began.  I think that God has the capacity to create everything in six literal days.  In fact, I believe in a big enough God that if he wanted to create everything in an infinitesimal amount of time that cannot be measured... he could.  But I personally believe that God made a set of rules that allow creation to move naturally without him having to move every piece.  Like a Rube Goldberg machine: God set everything up in the beginning so that when he hit the big "GO!" button, things had the ability to move without necessitating his intervention at every step.  Not eliminating the need for God, just eliminating the need for him to move every single piece along the way.  Anyhow, I think that God set up a natural order that allows for change.  So something that Kimmy's capstone class discussed was that if you allow for the condition of evolution into creation, it is imperative that certain things in the creation story be taken as a metaphor and not literally.  Things like the 7 days, Adam and Eve, and the fall.  This is a lot to consider if those three things have always been literal interpretations for you.  But consider this (in brief): the 7 days could be 7 areas of creation that may or may not have occurred sequentially; Adam and Even could be a metaphor for the final stage in evolution where the created being finally had consciousness and reasoning skills like you and I do (unlike animals); the fall (in light of everything being gradual) becomes a process (for instance, an animal killing a family member for survival becomes murder when humans do it).  But the beauty of this is when you consider that God stated that creation "was good."  Since God is not restricted to any state of time, that means that (in this theory) "it was good" is actually a reference to our state of perfection once we enter heaven.

There was a lot more, but those are the main ideas.

Anyhow, I had to go back to school.  So I left around 11, stopped to get gas and a Full Throttle, then headed off to Muncie.  Apparently my auto-pilot misguided me though, because I got lost in thought and forgot that I was going south from Findlay and not north from I-70.  But I got it all figured out and made it home.  I stopped at Aldi and Wal-mart on my way back for groceries.  When I got back I unloaded my car and had Timbo come over to work on finance.  I only had number 6 left and we worked on that for a long time.  I tried to explain number 2, but it's a complicated problem and I just couldn't think of a good way to explain it.  So we moved on to number 6.  It took us a long time to figure out what we were supposed to do and there were many calculations, even a little bit of matrix algebra.  But we got an answer that works.  After I'd had dinner and Timbo went home David called me to discuss some of the answers for the homework for both life con and finance.  When I was done talking with him I answered some emails, cleaned up my spreadsheet for life con, then re-wrote my answers for finance.  I'm probably going to need to show my work to some of my classmates, so hopefully it all makes sense.

My laundry is taking forever, but I think it's about done.  So I'm going to bed now.  Good night!


Day 187

I officially decided to simply match my day count with that of the post numbering system in blogger.  So I think I'm going back a couple days, but in a few weeks no one will remember.

Today was a good day.  After we got up we headed over to the grandfolks for fun and food!  But first we had to stop at Hobby Lobby and Kroger.  Then we went to the grandparents!  It was a fun.  Mom heated up all the food, Kimmy interviewed Mama and Poppy about married life for one of her classes, I did some homework, and dad trollied off to watch the OSU football game.  Then when all the food was ready we ate.  It was really good.  There was definitely plenty of food.  We got a pre-cooked meal from Kroger and apparently the smallest quantity we could get was for 6 to 8 people.  And I think it could have fed 6 - 8 people who eat as much as I do.  So it was more than enough for us.  But it was all really good.

After dinner we cleaned up, did some more work, then played a game of Settlers.  Kimmy won by quite a bit.  She took a pretty big gamble at the beginning of the game and was on 3 different numbers to start.  But it just so happens that those three numbers were rolled nearly every turn, so she made bank.  It was fun.  Someday I really want to just roll those dice like, a few hundred times just to see what numbers come up.  Maybe I'll do some statistical analysis over Christmas.  That actually sounds pretty interesting.

After the game we had pumpkin pie and ice cream.  I had been working on one of my finance problems off and on for most of the day, trying to get something solved.  I had been emailing back and forth with one of the guys in my class and by the end of the night I finally had it figured out.

Poppy and dad were in a pretty heated game of Words with Friends.  I think dad eventually won, but they were just battling it out for most of the day.  It was pretty intense.

Then we came home.  After we unpacked the car Kimmy and I went to Steak and Shake for food.  It was quite tasty, as is to be expected.  Then we went for a nice long walk down Main Street.  We looked at houses, pointed out ones we liked and ones we didn't like.  Especially the creepy looking ones.  It was fun.

And now we're home and I'm going to bed!  Good night all.


Day 188

I've noticed that somehow my day numbering is off from my number of posts.  Theoretically it should be the same.  I'm not sure how they got off.  This will be my 186 post, but somehow I'm (supposedly) on Day 188.  Someday I might just change it to be congruent with the number of posts I have.  I don't know that it's a huge deal to anyone... Hopefully not anyhow.

So today.  I woke up around 7:45 so I could shower and such.  Mom made eggs and sausage for breakfast.  And dinner rolls from yesterday.  They were quite tasty.  After breakfast we all got packed up and went to go malling!  I was in search of a suit, mom and dad were in search of... something.  Whenever they go looking for gifts for my sisters and me they say they're either going to the pet store or the health food store.  So they trollied off to the health food store today.  Kimmy and I went to JCPenney, but first we had to go see friend Becky who was working at the linens counter.  She didn't have to be at work until 7, so she was quite happier than if she'd had to be there at 5.  Maybe.  She's a pretty happy person in general, so she might have at least seemed to contain equal amounts of happiness.  But I'm sure she was much happier that since she didn't have to be there at 5.  So yeah.  We stopped and talked with her for a few minutes.  Then we went to go acquire a suit for me.  I found one that fit.  I think it's the same brand as the one I got last year.  For the same price.  So I guess technically that means it was cheaper this year (with inflation and all).  Either way I was happy. I also got a plain white button up shirt, since I didn't have one.  But I couldn't find any socks.  So for now I'll wear my argyle socks, but at some point I need to find grey socks.

After JCPenney Kimmy and I went to Sears to look for an FM transmitter for her.  But we didn't find one.  So we went off to Best Buy.  They were both selling them for more than Kimmy wanted to pay, so the transmitter was not purchased.

When we got home we got lunch, then went off to go pick a Christmas tree!  We were successful in this endeavor.  So yay.  As were leaving dad spotted someone wearing an MVNU sweatshirt.  So Kimmy and I awkwardly approached (as is customary in the land of our people).  It turned out to be Meghan who we did indeed in fact know.  She helps teach dance.  So we saw her and met her mom.  And kind of her little sister...except she was hiding behind mommy the entire time.

And we arrived at home again.  Mom and I left after we dropped people off so that we could go find jeans for me.  Which we did.  And they were purchased. After the purchasing of the jeans we stopped by one of dad's player's house (I'm not quite certain of the proper conjugation there) to buy some chicken eggs.  And we were successful in this as well.

Once I was home again I began doing some school work and teaching work.  I didn't read nearly as much of derivatives market as I should have.. but that's ok.  I'll get through it.  Mom and I also made pizza for dinner. She helped me figure out what I was doing wrong when I'd been making pizza earlier.  Mainly it's my mixing bowl.  It's not big enough to mix everything, and apparently metal bowls aren't good for yeast.  Also when all the flour is done you're supposed to spray cooking oil on the dough and bowl, which I'd never done.  So I think I'm going to try it again soon and hope it turns out better.

So yeah.  Dinner was good.  Except we forgot the salt :(  After dinner Kimmy and I worked on school for a while.  Then we made green jello salad for tomorrow.  When we were done we played Bananagrams and ate apple pie.  It was fun.  And now... it's bed time!  Good night and thanks for reading!


Day 187

For those of you who are unaware, today was Thanksgiving.

I woke up to my alarm at 7:45 this morning because I wanted to have plenty of time to eat, shower, and help finish preparing for today's events.  I was still pretty tired when my alarm went off, so I decided I would just take one more nice long blink..

Then it was 8:45.  That was going to make leaving by 9 tough..... I still showered and ate and everything.  In true Pagano fashion we left by 10.  Part of that was my fault.  Not necessarily from sleeping in, but from not cleaning up the dishes I used last night for baking.  Mom needed some of them this morning so had to spend unanticipated time cleaning prior to the anticipated cooking.  But we made it out the door and to Columbus without much further instance.  Kimmy and I both took naps on the way down.  It appears that napping is far more interesting that my Derivatives Market book.  Odd....

So yes. Pagano Thanksgiving was fantastic as always.  I pretended to be official photographer, even though I really don't know anything about taking pictures.  But it was fun!  As usual I mostly just say and talked with Nick, Colton, and Kimmy.  During the meal Nick was feeling lazy so he paid our little cousin Guyatano a dollar to get him a plate of food. It was pretty funny. Nick also decided that Guy should sit at the awesome kid's table.  It was pretty entertaining.  Nick was trying to put all sorts of evil ideas into his head but I was the voice of reason and was able to make sure that only the truth was perceived.  Naturally.  Nick tried to convince Guy that "newer is always better."  Clearly this just is false.  Sometimes Nick is just full of the nonsense.  After food we just sat around and chatted.  Nick and I discussed math classes, which I know Kimmy loved.  Then I went off to go take pictures.  I talked some with Uncle Paul.  He wanted to know if I was, in fact, engaged. No one made a formal announcement to the group so he just wanted to make sure that his source was correct.  So he and I talked for a bit.  Apparently Tyler (his son) is starting to look at colleges and getting recruited and such.  So one of my tasks is to email him pictures of the baseball diamond at Ball State.

Then some of us played Apples to Apples.  I won.  Which is odd because I never win that game.

Then we left.  I slept on the way back.  Except when I was driving.  I don't mix those things.  When we got back I had some food, did some studying, and started to write the study guide for the class I'm teaching.  I also did a little internet research to see where I should go suit shopping tomorrow.  And now I'm probably gonna go to bed!  Night!


Day 186

First day of Thanksgiving break.  It was absolutely fantastic.  I actually slept in a bit.  I didn't wake up until 8:15 or 8:30.  I stayed in bed for a while just because I didn't feel like getting up.  Eventually I determined that I should actually get up, at which point I did so.  I had a bagel for breakfast.  Then I took a lovely shower and commenced with some finance homework.  About half of it was simply me re-writing and fixing the problems I had already done.  Then I actually did a couple of the problems.  One of the problems is still giving me some trouble.  I tried to evaluate an infinite sum using Wolframalpha, but it gave me a number that seemed far too large.  I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing wrong.  I'm sure that Mr. Frye just wants us to come up with a creative way of representing it as a series of geometric sums.  But I'm not that clever.  Thankfully Wolframalpha is.

When I finished I woke Kimmy up and got some lunch.  I had chili.  And we watched "How I met your mother" while eating lunch.  When we were done Kimmy took a nap and I did a little work.  Then mom came home and I talked with her for a while.  Kimmy woke up and we decided to go visit the place we're considering having our wedding ceremony and reception.  I'm starting to be skeptical about using that place because it's smaller than I remember it being.  So boo.  We're going to look at a few other places, but I'm thinking that it will be too small.  Unless we only have 100 people come, which I suppose might happen.  We'll see!

We got back and I think I read some of the life contingencies book.  I also started playing a game on my phone called "Tiny Tower," at the recommendation of Becky and James.  It's pretty fun. Yup!

Mom made lasagna for dinner.  It was really good.  When dinner was over we helped make apple pie for tomorrow.  Then we played Settlers of Catan.  I won!  Mom was in a very close second.  We were all proud of her.

And now... I'm going to go help Kimmy make cookies!  And then probably go to bed shortly thereafter.  Good night, world.  Enjoy your night and day tomorrow until I talk at you all again.


Day 185

It's break time!  Woo!

Today was a pretty good day.  I got up on time and took a really long shower.  I ended up leaving a few minutes late, but it's not a huge deal.  I try to leave every morning at 7:30, which means that I will get to the parking lot around 7:40 and to the classroom by about 7:48.  So I have a solid 10 minutes of leniency, but I prefer not to push it.  Today in finance we talked more about combining options.  I'm actually kind of excited to read the chapter just so that I can finally really understand everything that's been going on in class.

In between classes I went up to the computer lab to finish my lesson for today. After I'd finished I talked with Timbo and David about the life con assignment.  I showed them the Excel sheet I had created and it was clear that neither of them had planned on doing that much work on it.  But it's really useful, so I'm ok with it.

During life contingencies we started off with a problem to do.  I actually knew how to do it and finished with a minute or so before he called time.  Recently he's been taking questions off of the practice MLC exam and giving us about 5 minutes, which is the amount of time you should allot yourself for each question on the exams.  So it was comforting that I could do it in less than 5 minutes, even though it was something we haven't done for a really long time.  Well, I almost did it.  I didn't get any of the answers the first time so I was about to rework it when Mr. Dean walked past and told me that I had something inverted.  It was a quick fix that I should have caught earlier, but I'm satisfied that I knew what to do.

Then I taught.  Dr. Fischer observed me today.  In all honesty I think that today was possible the best lecture I've ever given.  I kept the students involved, many of them asked questions or gave productive input, I explained stuff, people were following along... it was really good and I had a lot of fun. Dr. Fischer left before I was done, so I don't know what he thought.  Hopefully he emails me soon.  I had a hard time sleeping last night because I was so nervous.

After class was over I went back to my apartment, got lunch, and packed.  And I also reworked one of the life con homework problems to make it.. better.  Yes, we'll just say to make it better.  The answer was correct before, but now it's just... better.  I finally left around 2:30.  Stopped in Celina to get something to drink.  It rained most of the trip.  I think that I need to listen to different music when I go on long drives.  I dance way too much.  Especially to the hardcore/dubstep music.  It just really makes me want to dance!

Kimmy was already here when I arrived.  Dinner was ready shortly after my arrival.  Mom made mashed potato bowls and they were tasty.  After dinner we cleaned up and sat around and talked for a while.  Then I finished my life con homework, did some grading, and now I'm writing my blog! I shall be done now, as my laptop battery is near exhaustion.  So.. good night!


Day 184

Well today has been far superior to the past couple days.  Which is good.  I woke up a bit late and ended up getting to class with only a couple minutes to spare.  We talked more about combining puts and calls and stocks in such ways as to minimize potential loss.  I really need to finish reading the chapters over break.  I have most of them read, but I'm going to finish them and hopefully work a few problems.

In between class I went to go see Mr. Frye about the finance assignment.  Apparently David, Kathryn, and Senzeni decided to come as well.  So we asked him some questions and he gave us... answers.  One of the problems involves an infinite series that is both geometrically and arithmetically increasing.  He suggested writing it as a nested series and trying to find a way to write both of them.  I think that instead Mathematica will just play me the happy tune of "Find Joel the Answer."  I like that song.

During life con we discussed one of the problems he handed out to consider last class.  We spent the entire class going over it one way, then he showed us a much faster way of doing it.  It was a pretty general concept, but the implementation just got weird.

After class Tim, Timbo, and I went to the on campus Taco Bell for lunch.  It was tasty.  We talked about Tim's long adventure into becoming an actuary, his preparation for exam FM, and things we wish we'd all done differently.  Like hearing about actuaries back in high school.  Oh well.  Life is what it is.  After lunch Timbo and I went to the computer lab to work on the life con homework.  It's a lot of work in Excel, which I don't mind because I typically enjoy using Excel.  After a while Kathryn joined us.  I got mostly done, but I want to re-do one of the problems that I did.  He's going to give us a partially take home exam after break and he said that he's having us do this so that we have the spreadsheet set up for us on the exam.  So I want to make sure that I have most of everything done beforehand so that the exam will be easier.  I reworked one of the problems and had to refresh myself on the VLOOKUP command, but I got that figured out.  It's a handy little thing.

Stats.  I legitimately have no idea what happened in class today.  I took so many notes and I don't have a clue what any of it means.  I asked more questions than normal and...yeah.  This is going to be fun.  On top of that, we have our last exam in that class on the Monday of finals week (because Ball State is awesome like Mount Vernon and has class that day).

After stats I went to go work out.  That was just a joy and a half.  But it's over.  Then I come home, got dinner, and planned my lesson for tomorrow.  For the most part, anyways.  I'll finish it up tomorrow in between classes.  Dr. Fischer is coming to evaluate me, so hopefully my lecture is good enough!  So I'm off to bed now.  Good night!


Day 183

I suppose today was a decent day.  I woke up around 9 I think.  Or maybe it was 8.  I'm not quite sure.  Anyhow, I got up and made myself eggs for breakfast.  I tried to make an omelette but I did something wrong and it didn't cook properly.  Perhaps I had the heat too high.  I don't really know.  After breakfast I took a shower.  When I'd finished my shower I tried to do a problem for life con that Dean wanted us to consider over the weekend.  It was a multiple choice question and I didn't get any of the answers.  So that was great.  Most of the problems have you consider things not quite like the things we normally see.  So I tried to adapt for it, but clearly that went well.

I went to church with Jessie and Richard.  Today's sermon was about how we let things get between us and God and don't give him our full focus.  I thought it was a really good sermon except for one thing.  He addressed a lot of fantastic points but didn't really give much advice on what to do once you've realized you've gotten to that point.  So I thought that was kind of frustrating.  Before he started preaching a lady stood and shared something with the congregation. I really like when people do that.  But for some reason today I was getting frustrated because she was talking quietly and it seemed like people were just being exceptionally loud.  Not on purpose, but people were coughing or sneezing or the boy with the developmental disability was screeching.  I was trying really hard to listen but everything seemed so noisy.  Everything seems to be bothering me much faster recently.  I think it's all part of my semi-depressed state recently.  The other day in class I thought I was going to punch someone between people yawning every 3 seconds and Tim slurping his coffee. I seriously almost left.  I couldn't handle it and I felt like everything was just amplified and super annoying.  Anyhow.

We had lunch at Jessie and Richard's apartment.  Jessie made spaghetti and bread.  It was pretty good.  She got me a brochure for their apartment complex but I accidentally left it there.

When I got back to my apartment Timbo and Kathryn came over to homework.  We spent the rest of the afternoon doing that.  It was incredibly frustrating because we didn't really go over this stuff in class and our book did a terrible job of explaining what to do.  So awesome.  I just need a break or something.  This is all just getting so irritating.  We got most of it done, I think, but I'm going to ask Mr. Frye for some help tomorrow.  Katheryn invited me to go to the gym.  I should have gone since I haven't worked out in about two weeks and I'm sure that would help my mood.  I just didn't want to.  I know that it would make me feel better, but I just don't want to move.  I want to curl up on my couch and not move.

Mr. Dean finally sent the project for us to work on.  I started doing that but couldn't get one of my columns to work properly and I can't figure out why.  The book offered no help and I couldn't find anything useful online, which really surprised me.

I really want whatever is going on in my head to just stop.  All of my normal issues and concerns are amplified.  I don't want to do anything and I can only imagine that I'm super pleasant to be around.  This is odd.  I don't even care that I ended a sentence with a preposition, which I normally try really hard not to do.  Nope, don't even care.

Well, I'm going to go to bed and see where that takes me.  I'll work out and see how I feel.  That doesn't usually help because I just get sad that I can't lift more.  And for some reason exercising doesn't give me the runner's high that other people get.  I'm jealous.  Anyhow.  Bed time.  Good night.

Day 182

I was pretty happy this morning because I was actually able to sleep in until like, 9:30.  That's a rarity for me, as I generally wake up by 8 regardless of when I go to bed.  I had the rest of the Jimmy John's sandwich for breakfast.  Then I just kind of relaxed for the majority of the morning.

This afternoon I met Bithia a coffee shop near campus so I could explain statistics to her.  I was going to take the bus, but when I got to the bus stop it said that it didn't go by my bust stop on the weekends?  I was confused.  So I just drove.  The coffee was ok, but nothing special.  I was a little disappointed. But it was cheap.  I think that we were there for about 3 hours.  There were many things to explain, but I believe that she understood it all better by the end.  My brain was pretty fried by the end of it.

When I got back I took a bit of a break to let me brain rejuvenate.  When it was ready to go I got some food and started reading finance.  Timbo and I are going to work on the homework tomorrow afternoon, so I wanted to make sure I'd read up on the chapter before we started.  I think that I'm starting to understand duration and how to calculate it much better.  I think I'm also going to see if Dustin wants to work on it with us.  I had to look online for help because the book didn't do a very good job of explaining duration.  But I believe that I'm beginning to understand.  After I'd done some reading I slept for about an hour.  I wasn't feeling that great today.  I can't really describe it part of it was just my physically feeling a little sick.  Nothing crazy, just cold and I have a bit of a cough.  And just kind of...ick.  I've also been having some end of the semester blues.  This seems to always happen to me at the end of a semester. I'm not really sure what it is.  I've always just assumed that it's an issue of being physically tired and mentally exhausted.  But I'm not really sure.  I feel tired but don't want to sleep.  I'm hungry but don't want to eat.  I'm restless but get bored doing fun things and can't concentrate on school.  I feel lonely but don't really want to be around people.  I get this way around this time and at the end of April/beginning of May just about every year.  I'm hoping that it stops after I'm out of school because I'm really not a fan of it.

So yeah.  I ended the day playing Team Fortress with Miles.  And I listened to loud music.  That seemed to help a little bit.  Hopefully I can fall asleep now.  Good night everyone.


Day 181

Well I survived another week. So that's good!

Yesterday morning I only had one class and then a meeting. I debated for a really long time whether I should go to class or not. I hadn't slept well at all the night before, so I was very tried. And it was just so cold and my bed was so warm! But eventually I decided to go to class. Mostly because I know much it bothers Dr. Fischer when people don't go to the GA meetings (which was right after finance). So I took a very very long shower and went to class.
We did some stuff in finance. Mainly looking at how options can be combined with stocks for optimal benefit, using the options as a way of protecting yourself from potential loss involved with stocks. It was kind of interesting. Then I went off to my meeting.

We started off talking about the average scores in out class and such.  Then we went into what we were covering in our class.  Apparently this class traditionally doesn't have a comprehensive final.  But none of us knew that so half of the instructors had planned on giving a comprehensive final.  Which would have really messed up our grading scheme if we couldn't do that.  Bur Dr. Fischer was very understanding and said that it was something he would consider in the future, but he agreed that it really wouldn't make sense to change the structure of the class at this point.

After class I came back to my apartment and took a nap.  Well, I tried to.  I don't think I actually slept at all.  But it felt good to lay down for a while.  I wasn't feeling especially motivated when I woke up, so I didn't really do anything.  I played Just Cause for a while.  Then I decided to be productive, so I worked on stats for a little bit.  In celebration of my victory, I played Team Fortress.  After that Katheryn and I went to get coffee, since neither of us wanted to do homework at the moment.  So we didn't!  The coffee was alright.  As good as Starbucks ever is.  After coffee I came back and did some various work things.  Like I finished filling out an internship application follow-up questionnaire, did some work with my finances, did laundry.  I changed my Budgeting Excel sheet a little bit so that it makes a little more sense.

Then Clifton got back so I talked with him for a while.  I had dinner.  Then I went over to Dustin's and hung out with him for the rest of the night.  The end!


Day 180

There's a funny thing about the number 180... Actually that's the thing.  There really isn't much that's interesting about the number 180.  However, Dr. Arthur Benjamin would disagree.  He claims that every number is interesting. And here is his proof (summarized): let's start with the number 0.  0 is interesting because it's the additive identity (any number plus 0 is that number).  1 is the multiplicative identity (any number times 1 is that number).  2 is the only even prime.  3 is the only prime exactly one greater than another prime.  4 is the first square number.  Now let's assume you go on in this pattern until you somehow you encounter a number that wasn't significant.  But if this was the first such number of it's kind, wouldn't that make it interesting?

It's a bit of math humor.  My brain is pretty fried right now, so sorry if I lost you on that.  It's one of my favorite jokes, aside from the classic Sean Connery joke, which I may have mentioned before.  Alright, if you insist I shall tell it again.  "What time did Sean Connery play in Wimbledon?" *assume British accent* "Tennish."  It's a classic.

Anyhow, my day.  We talked more about various options, specifically "puts."  These are when a person has an option to buy a stock at a price higher than the current market price.  It seems that these are pretty important or something.

In between classes I went to go plan my lesson.  I ended up decided to teach them how to make an amortization schedule.  They were less than amused.  But it's far more applicable than whatever that other garbage was that's in section 2.

During life con we did some more work on policy values.  Then we finished up with a review problem from the MLC exam.  I almost got it right except that it took me a couple seconds to figure out how to find the survival function when given the force of mortality.  But I'm sure I could have gotten it if I had been actively reviewing over this.

Then I taught.  And we talked about amortization schedules.  They certainly were not amused, until I told them that the homework was worth extra and a possibility for extra credit.  They were far more interested then.

I went to my office, ate lunch, and read finance.  I was really tired so it was pretty difficult to follow.  But I did my best.  On the way home I stopped at Wal-mart because apparently I have a terrible time keeping track of my fingernail clippers.  I've misplaced 2 pair since moving here.  And I really needed some.  I also got an energy drink.  That kept me awake for a little bit.

I read finance when I got back.  And I did some cleaning.  But then I started getting worn out.  Whenever that happens over a long period of time I just get... done.  I don't feel like doing anything.  I was at least able to do some grading and cleaning.  But I just had a hard time being productive.  I just need to get more sleep.  So that's what I'm going to do now.  Good night, friends!


Day 179

Made it through another day.  Woo!

This morning I woke up at 7:30 but refused to get up before 8.  So I didn't.  Then I lazily got ready for the day and went to the office.  I parked on the south side of campus because I was supposed to meet up with Bithia after class to explain statistics to her and her friend at a coffee house down in the Village.  That ended up not happening, but I'm getting ahead of myself.  I met Timbo in my office around 10 and we starting working on stats.  We had to repeat the same project that we did last week, but using three new distribution.  Our project last week involved us finding the moment generating function, the first four moments (mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis), the graphical representation (using R) for various parameters, and then determining whether the additive property held  for the gamma, beta, exponential, and chi square distributions.  This week we have to find all of the same things, but for the normal, Student's t, and F distributions.  I thought that normal was going to be the hardest, so I offered to do it (since Timbo got stuck with the beta distribution last week, which turns out to be a real killer).  So normal was pretty difficult, but I found all of the moments in about an hour (after the first hour of aimlessly doing making no progress).  But then I started working on the F distribution.  And it was just ugly.  And ever iteration of the process got literally exponentially worse.  We decided to both do this distribution to make sure our algebra was correct, but by the time we got to skewness we were absolutely getting demolished.  There were just so many parts of which we needed to keep track.  When we started to even think about finding kurtosis we decided to enlist the help of Mathematica.  It turns out that Mathematica has no interest in simplifying complicated algebra.  So you know.  Yay.  So we continued to solve it by hand.  I have no idea if we got the same answer on Mathworld or Wikipedia.  There was just too much algebra and too many moving parts.  So we left it as a factored fraction of nonsense.  By this time it was nearly 3 pm.  So he and I went to the Atrium to get some coffee before stats.  We both really needed it.  During coffee we just talked about life.  A little bit about our home life, various observations we've made while at grad school, things like that.  It was really good.  I enjoy talking with him.

After coffee we went to stats.  That went...alright.  We talked more about the normal distribution.  For a few minutes we discussed something about combining normal distributions?  I have no clue.  And then she started going into something about.... representing multiple normal distributions as a P x P matrix.  I honestly have no idea what was going on or what we were supposed to get out of it.  It was incredibly confusing.

When class was over Dustin and I went to the Actuarial Club meeting for free dinner and to vote on the officers for next year.  But really just for the pizza.  That got done very quickly, so he and I walked to my car to go move it.  Dr. Begum was giving a talk at 7 that he and Timbo and I wanted to go listen to, but we had time to kill so we moved my car closer to where the talk was being given.  Then we walked around the building for about ten minutes trying to find the room... but we eventually did.  And obviously the three of us sat in the very front row.

Her talk was on women in mathematics (specifically statistics).  There has been an ongoing lecture series about diversity in academia, so she gave a lecture on the low number of females in higher levels of mathematical study.  It was really interesting and I learned a decent amount.  Unfortunately, the entire time the only thing on my mind was how dry my hands were and how painful and itchy they had become.  So after the presentation I took Dustin back to his place, then I went to Wal-mart to get some hand lotion.  I wasn't sure what kind to get because there were so many.  But then one stuck out.  The marketing was so fantastic that they deserved my money.  I don't have that thought often, but this company had really done a good job in marketing their product.  The back reads: "Listen, it's about time you show a bit of a soft side.  Not an acoustic-guitar-vanilla-candle-burning side, but more of a Yes, my skin does feel as good as it smells and looks kind of side.  This Hemo moisturizer transforms your skin into a statement that says, sure I'm rugged, but I'm also refined.*  Directions: men don't need directions."  The asterisk at the bottom reads "We cannot be held accountable if this product makes you irresistible to others.  Use responsibly.  And often."  I thought this was hysterical, so I bought it.  Well done, Malibu.  Well done.

Ok.  I'm going to bed so that I can get up and plan my lesson for tomorrow!  Woo hoo!  Good night friends


Day 178

I'm sure this comes as no surprise, but today was a very busy day.  It started with Finance, where we talked more about different derivatives and options.  In between classes I went up to the computer lab to finish planning my lesson.  Then I went on to life contingencies, where we talked more about the expected value of a group of policies.  It was pretty slick, I suppose.

I taught my class a little bit about interest today.  I never know whether they're bored because they get it or because they don't.  It's pretty frustrating.  But I just kept on going, hoping that they catch on.

After that I went to my office, ate lunch, and reviewed what I was going to talk about during my interview today.  I tried to think of things that I had been doing wrong in the other interviews, and I think I picked out a few things that I really tried not to do during this interview.  Things like... saying that I don't know whether I want to be a life actuary or property/casualty actuary, or that I don't know if I want to take all the exams, or things like that.  So I made sure that I was very certain about my career goals in this interview.  Anyhow, after I did some research I went back to my car to drop off my lunch bag and backpack.  Then I just took a nice little stroll for some fresh air.  I also stopped by the Atrium to get some coffee.  Then I continued my nice little stroll to the Career Center.  I got there way early, so in my spare time I started looking for apartments and duplexes in the Muncie area for next year.  I didn't find anything, but I'm getting a better idea for what is around here.

I think that the interview went well.  I met with a guy named Clark from the Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.  He started off by telling me about the internship program and that there were many different positions (and I had applied to all of them).  He told me that they weren't all directly actuarial, but that they were all a good experience.  So he started to ask questions and he really seemed to like some of my answers, especially when I told him how I organize my day.  He liked that I specifically "start each day" the night before by planning out what I do.  But anyhow, that went really well.  He said that if he didn't contact me by the first week of December to contact him.

After the interview I came back, changed, got some food, relaxed, then left for the Actuarial Club Meeting.  We all met at 4:45, got into 2 vans, and headed down to Indianapolis.  Timbo, Jacob, and I were in the van with Mr. Dean.  We talked most of the way down.  I just asked him lots and lots of questions about... everything.  From his career to his personal life to just being an actuary in general.  It was a good time.  When we got to Indianapolis we missed our turn because the venue wasn't well labeled.  But we made it.

After some awkward mingling we all sat down at various tables.  There were a couple hundred people, I would say.  I had intended on spreading out to meet some new people, but it seems that most of the Ball State group wanted to follow me.  So... we had a table of 1 Purdue student and 7 Ball State students. The Purdue student and one of the Ball State students just talked the entire time, each trying to one-up the other.  The rest of us just sat in silence, for there was never a time when one of them wasn't speaking.  It was as if what they had to say was so important that clearly we wanted to hear it.  They didn't really ask questions and never tried to involved everyone else.  So... it was lots of fun, for certain.  The meal was pretty good and the coffee was wonderful.  When we were done eating a few actuaries from the area sat at the front table and answered questions.  Most of them were the standard "what do you do on a daily basis?" or "How many exams should we pass before looking for a job?" that we hear a lot.  They had good answers, but they weren't so different from other things that I've heard.  Overall it was good.  A bit long, but good.

On the way back there was far less conversation.  I think we were all just tired.  We got back before the other van, but I had to wait around because I had given Kathryn a ride and figured that I probably shouldn't leave her stranded.  It's a good thing she didn't try to get a ride with Tim because Erin (Tim's wife) was still at small group.  So I also gave Tim a ride home.  Then Kathryn.  Then I came home, made a snack, played a game, and now I just finished writing this nonsense up so I can go to bed!  Night all!


Day 177

Monday always seems so long.  But I made it through another one.

Last night I went to bed around 9:30 or so.  I was going to get up at 6 to read over some things before class.  But that didn't happen.  My alarm went off at 6... and I reset it for 6:30.  I was still tired even after that much sleep.  Oh well!  I had to get up.

We talked more about derivatives in finance today.  It's an interesting concept. Instead of putting value on something concrete (like a house) the value is put on an agreement that derives its value from something concrete.  Almost like the values in on the idea of the exchange, but not on the actual assets being exchanged.  Anyhow, after finance Tim and I went to the Atrium.  We talked about finance and life con, a little bit about cooking, I told him about the wedding.  People seem very hesitant about some of the ideas we've presented, but no one wants to say "I think that idea sounds terrible."  Personally I like all our ideas, which is why I think that most people won't say anything.  Oh well.  I guess we'll see how it turns out.

During life con we discussed a little bit about... I'm not entirely sure what.  Some about numerical integration and the characteristic function and how Mr. Dean used that as an actuary.  He claims that all math can be used as an actuary.  I would like to see how group theory and number theory can be.  I should ask him tomorrow.

After class I went to the store to get food to make dinner tonight.  I hosted a small party with my math friends because it is Kathryn's birthday.  So I decided to make some ham with a honey glaze.  I wasn't sure entirely what to do, so as usual I looked for a recipe online and got a few of the ingredients, making do with whatever else I had.  I ended up making a glaze (not really...it was too watery to be a glaze) with honey, pineapple juice, and sugar.  Then I sliced the ham, put all of that (and the pineapple) in a cake pan and put it in the oven on 200 for around 4 or so hours.  It turned out really well.  I've also realized that I really like doing stuff for people's birthday.  Which will work out well because Kimmy really like celebrating her birthday.

I also talked with my apartment manager today about subleasing.  He wished me luck and said that once I find someone they can come in to sign papers so I am no longer legally obligated to pay rent.  So I put an ad on craigslist... we'll see if this goes anywhere.

Anyhow, I'm jumping ahead.  I met with one of my students at 3 to go over some questions he had on the homework for tomorrow.  Then I filled out a thing for my interview tomorrow.  I really haven't research the company that much.  But quite frankly, I haven't found research to be super beneficial.  I'll still look them up a little bit, but usually they just go through my resume and the questionnaire they have.  By the time they're finished there's time for a couple questions.  In the past I've asked them about their experiences at the company, but I don't need a lot of research for that.  I want to also ask if there is any other information they would like to see that I haven't already stated.  I need to word it better, but that sort of idea.  It can't hurt.

Then we had stats.  Yup.  She had a extra credit quiz in the middle of it... I think because she didn't think we were paying attention.  I got about halfway through, but my mind just blanked on how to finish the transformation.  So I might get a point or two.  Better than nothing.

After class we went back to my apartment and ate dinner.  After everyone arrived...which apparently took a while.  Oh well.  The ham turned out really well.   I was pleased.  The top pieces were a little dry because they hadn't been sitting in the liquid, but for the most part it was good.  Everyone said they liked it.  Compared to their standard frozen meals, I bet it tasted pretty good.  After dinner we had dessert (provided by Erica and Jordan).  I don't know how it started, but everyone had a nice bit of 90s nostalgia.  I always feel really left out whenever people do that because they start talking about all of these TV shows that they watched growing up.  And no one can fathom that I haven't watched them.  And then people get all defensive when I tell them that I tried watching it recently, but I think it's garbage.  The concept of something nostalgic not being good now seems to be foreign to most people.

Most people left reasonably soon after dessert.  Kathryn stayed around and talked with Clifton and me for a while.  More accurately, Kathryn listened while Clifton and I had one of our famous conversations.  Clifton and I like to just dissect life.  Kathryn is more of an observer.  And that's ok.  He and I had a lovely conversation how we were raised and stuff like that.  It was good.  Then I took Kathryn back to her apartment (because I gave Dustin and her a ride to my apartment, but Dustin went home with Timbo).  When I came back... I considered finishing my lesson plan and researching Indiana Farm Bureau... but I think I'm just going to go to bed.  Maybe get up a little early? Or perhaps just use the time in between classes.  We'll see.  We certainly shall see.  But for now I rest.  Fare thee well.


Day 176

This is the third day in a row that I've had to post from my phone, and I can't say I'm a huge fan. I'd much rather type this from a computer. I would be doing that today accept for some reason I can't load any webpages. I still have an internet connection because I can play games on the Internet... But no webpages. Yay. Anyhow, my day.

I got up around 6:30 this morning. Last night I passed out while evoelse was still watching tv. I'm too old to be staying up late all the time. Anyhow, I got up at 6:30 and left a bit after 7. I had to go to family video first to return the game so that Kimmy wouldn't have to. Then I stopped to get coffee. I was finally on the road leaving mount vernon around 7:40. And it was pretty uneventful. I remembered thinking about some of something I wanted to say, but I have forgotten. And I knew I would forget it, which prompted me to think about how much stuff we must forget. Sometimes we know we have forgotten something, other times we have forgotten that there was a thing to remember. Blogging has definitely helped me remember things, but I know that I forget plenty of things over the course of the day. I get very philosophical when I drive. I also have started singing to myself a lot. Which doesn't work out well because most of my songs don't have words. So I've gotten better at whistling. Even when there are words I don't usually know them. I am remarkably bad at catching song lyrics. But I'm by myself and I don't have to know all the lyrics! Heck, I can even pretend to have a British accent and no one can stop me.

When I got back to Muncie I went grocery shopping. I had to get a few things that made it more expensive than normal. Like flour, sugar, and peanut butter. I got the big jar of peanut butter so even though it was expensive it will last longer.

After shopping I went to Mancino's for lunch with Jessie and Richard. That was good. I told them about some of the Wedding plans Kimmy and I made yesterday. They also told me about the single room apartments in their complex. I think they said it was around 540 a month? Which is really good. Way cheaper than living in Windermere. So we'll probably live there next year.

After lunch I came back, did some cleaning, did some grading, made some pizza dough. Then I played Just Cause for a while. Ate dinner. Did some lesson planning. Cleaned my kitchen. I called mom and dad and ts them a little bit about the wedding plans. I think I was supposed to ask mom something on behalf of Kimmy, but I have entirely forgotten what that might have been. Oh well!

I'm probably going to bed soon. I'm really tired. Yup. Good night, friends!


Dayvl 175

Well, I just wrote a long post, but it somehow got deleted. I am not amused. This will not be quite as long.

OK. I woke up way too early. Like 715. So i showered, updated my blog, then decided to go for a walk. Including stopping at my car to get breakfast.

After that I went to the cafeteria to see if there were any events. There weren't. So i went to the library and did work. Then... I came back to James' apartment and took a nap. Before noon. I'm awesome.

Lunch was good. I saw some people I hadn't seen in a while, like Laura Poast and Bennett Briles. After lunch Kimmy and I went to Sips to meet with Jeremy about wedding stuff. It was amazing. He had some fantastic ideas that we'll be using.

After that we came back and looked at some budget stuff, but my brain was done for the day. So then we are. Then got a game at family video and played that for a while. And then I came to James' apartment and... Here I am! Sorry for the short post. I have no idea why/how my other post got deleted. Bleh. Night!

Day 174

Yesterday was a pretty long day. I got up early to pack and finish getting ready for my trip to mount vernon.

I had finance. We got out tests back and I did alright. I didn't miss any one problem completely, just a little bit on multiple questions. One of them was especially frustrating because I had misread the question. This was frustrating because I'd reworked this problem three times, but none of those times did I catch that I'd misread it. Oh well. I think I can still pull off an A in the class, but I'll need to do very well on the next exam and final.

In life contingencies we talked more about the expected value of a portfolio of identical policies at given points of time. The basic idea is that the closer you get to the payout date, the higher the expected payout us for the insurance company. But early on after the policy starts the expected gain is very high. The implication is that most of this early profit has to be saved to ensure that the death benefit is available when it is needed.

After class I took Dustin home and then headed to Mount Vernon! I don't remember too much excitement. I stopped in London, Ohio to get some coffee at gas station. It claimed to have Jamaican blue mountain coffee. But it tasted nothing like it. I got to mount vernon around 240 and decided to see if any of my professors had classes. It just so happened that Dr. Whitaker was teaching number theory, so I paid them all a visit. I tried to sneak in, but my friends saw me and started laughing. Dr. Whitaker turned around and said "Joel Pagano! How are you!?" all surprised-like and things. I said that I was doing well. He was quite a bit thrown off. At the end of his lecture we had question and answer time with Joel. Mainly Dr. Whitaker just asked me things about grad school and recommendations for soon to be graduates. My best advice was to buff up your resume with volunteer experience. Anything that will set you apart from everyone else. And for future actuaries (which I think was just Courtney) I highly recommended taking exam P before going to grad school. After class I sat around and talked with Lindsey and Courtney for a while. They were avoiding soccer practice, and I was happy to help.

Then I went to the math department to talk with Dr. Noonan, but he was not there. I had a book of his to return. So i wrote him a note and put both in his mailbox. And talked with Sheryl about life. I've realized that I'm just really bad at answering the "how have you been?" question. I mean... What am I supposed to say besides "grad school is hard" and "I'm engaged"?

Kimmy was still in class so I went to go find Adam and Tyler. They weren't in their apartment so I just chilled with Tyler's little brother. We watched some classic war movie on TV. When kimmy was out of class she called me and we found each other. Woo! We went to go see our friends in academic support. Deanna was gone, but we were able to talk with Deborah. Then we went to Birch F lobby and made dinner. Well, heated it up. I'd previously made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. It was tasty.

After dinner we went to Kmart. Kimmy wanted an FM transmitter, but they were too expensive. So we looked at movies for a while, but didn't get any. So we came back to her apartment and watched a movie. When it was over we had a great discussion about education and the family structure. It started off with my frustration at the class I'm teaching, which is similar to the frustration she has from doing SI. And then (as our conversations often do) we talked about everything else that's even remotely related. It's very nice to have such stimulating conversation. I don't get that very often.

Then we went to the 586 and got food. Joel was working so I gave him a fantastic over the counter hug. After food and things I went to Zach's apartment and hung out with all those people. They were watching a movie. So i joined. James and i actually ended up talking about some of the same things Kimmy and I were discussing. So that was all sorts of goodness. And then... I stayed up way too late and went to bed!


Day 173

La la la.  It is night time, yes it is.

Today was another full day.  We had finance this morning.  As usual.  We talked more about duration.  We started talking about it last week before our exam, but I was so focused on studying for the exam (and my other exams) that I kind of missed what duration is.  Or why we care.  I'm starting to get a vague idea.  Hopefully we get our exams back tomorrow... I'm hoping that I did well.  At least an 80 would be preferable.  It's been frustrating knowing that there were a couple that I missed...and I've known this for the past few days.  But I'm really banking on some partial credit.  Gaaahhhh!

During life contingencies we did some more stuff with future loss random variables.  We spent a long time looking at the use of the exponential function as a survival model.   It apparently has this very interesting feature that it will always have a constant force of mortality, which will be a very handy thing to remember on the actuarial exams.  That way we won't have to re-derive the force of mortality every time.

After life con I went to go teach.  I had this really great idea to keep a dull subject a little more interesting by using the same example throughout the topics.  But it ended up just making it slightly less boring and abstract.  I really hate teaching statistics.  It's so dry.  I feel like this class could be really good if it focused less on computation and more on understanding.  Blargh.  Maybe I can try to teach it differently next semester.  We'll see.  And as a bonus, apparently almost none of my students know how to do conditional probability...meaning that they don't know how their books and/or emails work. So you know.   Yay.

After class I worked on stats with Timbo.  Pretty much from the time class was over until 3:30.  So I guess that would be about 3 hours.  It took a while to make sure all of my math was correct.  It's all pretty frustrating because I did all the work myself, but none of it is original.  All of these derivations have been done numerous times... so I don't even feel like there is a need for me to be doing it.  Which in reality there isn't.  Except for the grade.  So...do it I shall!  But I believe that I am all finished with it.  So that's good.

When I got back I tried to play Borderlands with Nick.  But I haven't been able to connect to the server.... which is dumb.  I had soup for dinner.  I honestly don't like Campbell's chunky soup as much as I like the Aldi's Soup.  So yeah.  That was dinner.  Then I started making meatloaf for dinner tomorrow.  I'm taking food with me to Mount Vernon so I don't have to buy food when I get there.  I thought that would be a good idea.  And cheaper.

After dinner I finished up my stats project.  Just re-writing all the things.  Then I just kind of relaxed.  Played some Team fortress.  Tried to let my brain rest after a long day of stats.  I cleaned my bathroom.  Did some dishes.  And now I'm going to pack for the weekend and go to bed!  Night!

I would like to mention that the other day I bought this hand soap with lotion in it and it was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time.  Cherry blossom, I believe.  I highly recommend it.  That is all.


Day 172

I almost forgot to update today.  I have no idea how that happens.  Like I haven't been doing this for a while or something.

Anyhow, this morning started off pretty normally. I set my alarm for 8:30 and woke up at 7:15.  So instead of taking advantage of it... I just lounged around until I had to go to my office.  I think it's actually a good thing because I ended up having a very full day.  After I got to my office Timbo and I worked on our stats project for most of the time.  One of my students came in for a few minutes to get help on the extra credit assignment.  When she left Timbo and I worked some more on the assignment.  I actually feel pretty good about it.  We were working on deriving the moment generating functions of four different continuous distributions (gamma, beta, exponential, and chi square).  We pretty much split them in half and tried our best to derive them by hand, but checking our work online.  We did well for the most part, but after we started finding the various moments (mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis) some of the answers were slightly different when we worked them out by hand and when we checked them with Wikipedia and Wolfram-Mathworld.  So I'm not really sure what was going on there.  But oh well.  Timbo was having an especially difficult time with the beta distribution, so we looked in up online and realized that there is no easy way to derive the moment generating function.  According to Wikipedia (which was one of the very few places online at even mentioned it), it was the sum of a bunch of products... 1  +\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \left( \prod_{r=0}^{k-1} \frac{\alpha+r}{\alpha+\beta+r} \right) \frac{t^k}{k!}, to be specific (where the capital sigma represents the summing of the things following it and the capital pi represents the product of all the things in the parentheses.  We had no idea how to find the various moments given that form so we decided to just ask Dr. Begum in class.

I had planned on staying on campus all day, but I forgot my statistics notebook at home.  So I had to go get it.  While I was home I did some grading.  It didn't take long at all.  Most of my students seemed to really get this stuff.  Tomorrow will be quite different though....

At the beginning of stats Timbo asked Dr. Begum whether there was a better way to derive the moment generating function for the beta distribution.  She suggest he use Mathematica.  Which he already done and yielded nothing.  She didn't really have a suggestion other than that... so... hopefully she gets back to us.  Because I'm not quite sure how we're supposed to get that nonsense from a simple little integral....

After class I was walking back from class when Richard came up to me.  Apparently he was out of class early.  So after I took Dustin home I went to Jessie and Richard's for dinner.  Jessie had made a chili with chicken in it.  It was pretty tasty.  Much better than the can of soup I had planned on eating tonight.  We had a good time.  After dinner I went to Wal-mart to get some stuff.  Like a toothbrush.  When I got home I prepared my lesson for tomorrow. I'm going to try really hard to keep things practical.  I'm going to use the same example throughout the entire class...so hopefully that helps. I guess we'll see!

Alright.  I'm going to bed now.  Night!


Day 171

Woo hoo!  What a day.

No finance this morning, but I still had to get up fairly early.  Yesterday I forgot my lunch bag and Stats book in class, so I had to go by Dr. Begum's office to get them.  After that I just went to the computer lab to write my lesson plan.  When I was done I put together a proposed schedule for the rest of the semester.  I should be finishing with all of the material that I need to cover before Thanksgiving if everything goes well.  Then I can spend the two weeks after Thanksgiving reviewing, taking a test, and doing presentations.

Let's see.  We had life contingencies.  We finished up talking about the portfolio price premium principle or whatever nonsense that was.  We finished that chapter and began talking about the next chapter.  Chapter 7.  It's the last one we'll be discussing this semester.

After life con I taught my class.  Today went well.  We talked about the schedule for the rest of the semester, then some about Z-scores.  I'm trying even more than usual to keep a balance between mathematical rigor and understanding.  I think I'm getting there...now that the semester is over :/

After teaching I went back to my apartment to study.  On the way back I noticed that I had a voicemail so I tried to call it.  My voicemail password got changed somehow, so when I got home I had to spend about 20 minutes trying to reset my password.  I also had chalk on my hands which was making my incredibly irritable.  But I finally got all of that fixed and got my voicemail.  It was for a company I applied to last night.  The lady from HR called to ask a few questions.  And of course that wonderful statement kept coming up.  "I noticed that you hadn't included your passed exams on your resume..." Sometime I really want to say something like "Did I forget that?  Oh silly me.  I have my FSA... did I not put that on there?  It must have just slipped my mind!"  Anyhow.  I won't be interviewing with them.

Dustin came over and we worked on stats.  I found out that apparently one of our classmates has three offers for internships.  Not just second interviews, actual internships.  It really makes Dustin and myself wonder what we're doing wrong in an interview.  We're happy for him.... but I just want to know what I can be doing better.  I might set up for a practice interview at the career center to see if there is anything that I can fix.

Anyhow, Dustin and I did stats for a while, then Timbo came over and we did some more stats.  He brought tuna helper over for dinner.  It was pretty good.  He's really the only one of the people I invite over that offers to bring food or help clean.  I don't really mind that no one else does, I just think that it's interesting.  I certainly do appreciate that he does brings food and helps clean though.  After dinner he and I went to Family Video to rent a movie for tonight, but they didn't have the one we wanted.  So we went to Wal-mart, got snacks, and I bought the movie.  It was very cheap and I've considered getting it for a while.  When we got back we worked on stats for a little bit longer.  When Dustin came we watched the movie.  It was good.  When it was over they went home and I updated my blog (which brings us to now).

And now... I'm tired.  So I'm going to bed.  Good night!