Day 221

Well, the new year is nearly upon us.  And I have been talking about this year for 221 days.  Huh.  What a thought.

Today was good, I think.  It was pretty standard.  I woke up, had breakfast, played words with friends, took a shower.  Then I cleaned my room a little bit.  It's hard to keep everything nice when I know I'm only going to be here for a few weeks.  But I kind of manage.  Ish.

After lunch I did some exercise problems.  I did another partial-practice exam, or as they call it a mid-term.  I did better this time.  7 out of 11 questions.  One of the questions was really just poorly worded and I had no idea what it was asking.  Another I didn't know what I was doing, but I made a good attempt.  I ended up being really close to correct, but forgot one tiny step.  The last one... I just made one assumption that I know was incorrect.  But I was on a roll and just did it without thinking.  7/11 would have been barely passing.  Probably a 6 (the lowest passing grade).  They say to study for a 10 to get a 7. So that is my goal.  Study for a 10.  No how to do every problem in the book and on the website.  I'm not 2/3 of the way through the study material, so I think I should be able to finish in the next week or so.  Then I can just work through problems.

Um... I took a short nap.  When I woke up I had dinner with parents.  Mom made pizza for dinner.  It was tasty.  We also watched a movie called Unstoppable about a runaway train.  It was good.  It was a bit intense for mom, but it was pretty good.  Then... we all went about our various activities.  Around I went over to Becky's and hung out with her and Miles.  And now I'm going to bed!  Night!


Day 220

I didn't get back especially late last night.  I was just really tired.

Most of yesterday was pretty standard.  I woke up, got breakfast, showered, then started studying.  Then I got lunch and studied some more.  I actually got pretty far in studying yesterday.  I finished the practice problems in one chapter and almost got all the way through two more chapters.  It felt good.

Around 3 I left to go to the Kia dealership.  My car has been having this problem where the gas pedal sticks.  It's usually not terrible, I just have to give it a little extra love the first time that I push on it.  But especially when it's cold it can get a bit tricky.  I went to the Kia dealership over the summer to get it fixed, and it worked for about a week.  So they ordered a part for me and the lady said that it should be here early Wednesday morning.  I have a dentists appointment at 10, so I have to go in really early.  Yay.

I took a nap when I got home.  It was awesome.

We had pork chops for dinner.  They were good.  Then around 8 or so I went over to Becky's.  When I got there she and Marci were hungry, so we went to Logan's to get food.  I had a cup of their seafood chowder and it was really good.  Then we went back to Becky's and played Dominion.  I almost won.  I was two points away....blech.  But it was lots of fun.  And then I came home!  The end.


Day 219

Ho hum.  Today today.  It was not an exceptionally eventful day, but a good one.  After I got up (around 9) I just putzed around for about an hour or so, eating breakfast, showering, and playing words with friends.  Mom and dad left around 10:30 to go put shelves in at mama and poppy's.  I just stayed at home until about 11:30, when I left to go have lunch over there.

For lunch we had lasagna and a beadstick.  And canole for dessert.  It was very good.  I haven't been especially hungry recently and I don't really know why.  But oh well.  After lunch we went up to their apartment.  Poppy was at dialysis at the time, so we didn't get to see him.  But I helped mama use poppy's Amazon gift card (I'm sure they'll share!).  Then I went off to JCPenney to see if I could exchange my suit jacket.  I got a 38L but didn't have a long sleeve shirt with me at the time.  I should have gotten a 40R.  The jacket is supposed to expose about half an inch to a quarter of an inch of shirt sleeve.  Mine did not.  But they wouldn't exchange it for me because I had worn it.  So mama said that she has a friend who will fix it for me.  Yay!

Upon returning home I did some studying.  I finished the questions from yesterday and started on the next section.  It seemed pretty easy, so I just did the whole section today.  I did pretty well on the exercises, so I was happy.  They just always seem to start with a couple problems that are total odd-balls. Oh well.  I'll get it.

For dinner we had sloppy joes.  We all think that Amber is nonsense for liking Manwich better than homemade sloppy joes.  But oh well.  Dinner was had.  After dinner we played a game of settlers.  Actually, we played the Caravan expansion.  Dad was less than amused.  His numbers did not get rolled very much.  Like... hardly at all.  And mine got rolled constantly.  So yeah.  I would have been frustrated had I been in his position.  In fact I've been in his position before.  And I was quite unhappy.

After Catan we all went off to do our own thing.  Dad has been rearranging the computer room.  I'll take some pictures if I think of it.  But in the mean time, I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 218

Today was a good day.  I woke up around 8:30, had some breakfast, a shower, then headed out to go see grandpa and Pat at their new place in Indiana.  They recently moved permanently to Indiana instead of alternating time between Ohio and Indiana.  So we went to go visit them!

On the way there I took a nap for probably about... 45 minutes.  Then I did some exam questions.  The first probably...6, were really difficult.  I just had no idea where to start.  So I would look to see how they started their solution and see if I could finish it after I saw how they began it.  Most of the time I could.

When we arrived we saw grandpa and Pat's new condo, then went to lunch.  They live in a retirement community like Primrose and they have meals provided for them every day.  So we went there for lunch and had some soup, a really good bean casserole, and some other food.  It was good.  When we'd finished eating we just sat and talked for a while.  Grandpa asked me some questions about my area of study and I tried to explain why I won't be taking a lot of advanced statistics courses.  I also explained how the exam process works.  He seems very intrigued by all of this.  I think that it's because this is such a different application of math than he used in his area of work.

Eventually we went back to their condo and rearranged their living room.  That went pretty efficiently.  Then we had to go home.  I started the trip home with another nap, then some more studying.  My neck was starting to feel a little sore from looking down, so I decided to be done.  I didn't get a ton done today, but studying in the car isn't easy.

We stopped at Wal-mart on the way home to get dinner and a few other groceries.  Then we came home and ate the aforementioned dinner.  When we'd finished eating we cleaned up, dad made a fire, and we played a few games of dominoes.  It was fun.  I ended up winning, but everyone was relatively close.

Then I talked with some people on Facebook, read some webcomics, and now I'm going to bed!  Night everyone.


Day 217

My friends are silly and keep me out late. So here is my yesterday update.

Yesterday morning was pretty standard.  I woke up, had breakfast, ready some if my wonderful Actex study manual, and played words with friends.  Jessie and Amber were out shopping, so mom was watching Lily.

After I showered I did some more studying. Then Jesse and Amber had to leave. Boo. And a little bit later Jessie and Richard left as well.

After everyone had gone home, I worked on some more exercises. I was going to work through the practice exam questions... But they're hard. So i took a nap instead.

Mom and dad went to go carroling with the Primrose people. Mom had fun. Dad was a trooper. I opted to stay home.

And then later I went to go hang out with my friends! And it was fun. The end.


Day 216

Christmas Day!  Woohoo!

We all got up, got ready for church, had breakfast, then left for church.  Those didn't necessarily happen in that order, but all of those events did, in fact, happen.  Gateway didn't have a service this morning, so we went to church with mama and poppy.  Their service was informal but very nice.  We sang some Christmas hymns, had a children's service, then sang more Christmas hymns.  It was nice.  Afterwards we came back home, changed, and went over to Primrose.

At Primrose we did some heating up of food, opened gifts, and then ate delicious food.  The meal was fantastic.  We ate in the ice cream parlor since the apartment can't hold all of us for a sit-down meal.  So we pushed the little 4-person tables together and put a table cloth over them.  It was awesome.  And the food was terrific.

After food we cleaned up, played a game of canasta and a game of ticket to ride.  Those are both wonderful games.  But then it was going home time.  So go home we did.

When we'd gotten all the food and nonsense put away mom and dad went to bed, Jesse called his parents, and the rest of us played a couple games of Euchre.  Amber and I were awesome.

We lost both games.

And now it is time for me to go to bed.  Good night everyone.  I hope that you had a fantastic Christmas and that you tell me all of the details in the comments!


Day 215

And another long day has been completed.  I woke up this morning a bit early so that Jessie and I could take care of some last minute shopping.  But the store wasn't open yet, so we returned empty handed.

Upon return we had a breakfast sweet rolls, eggs, sausage, and biscuits.  It was fantastic.  I ate so much food.  So much delicious food.  Afterwards we commenced in the exchanged and opening of gifts.  Lily was making everything all sorts of exciting, as is her custom.  I also used some of my standard wrap jobs.  Nothing too exciting this year though.  Mainly just boxes I had laying around in my room.  There was one that involved a bag taped to some tissue paper.  That was a classic Joel-wrap job.  Had I thought of it earlier, I would have taken a picture.  But alas, I did not.

When we'd finished I went to go take a short practice exam.  Just 11 questions, but my goal was to do them in as little time as possible and see well I did on one-run through (without going back to check work or anything).  And under those circumstances I was reasonably pleased.  I got 7 of the 11 correct, took 25 minutes of the 55 minutes, and knew how to do 3 of the 4 that I missed.  So if I had gone back and reworked them I think that I might have noticed my mistakes.  But since my goal was just to see how well I could do on one run, I think I did decently.  I will make sure I look very carefully at the questions I missed.  I will probably end up taking tomorrow off... but I'll bring my manual in case there is down time.  Just to do some reading, nothing serious.

Then we went to the grandparents.  When we arrived we listened to poppy tell the Christmas story to the Primrose citizens.  It was a success!  Everyone thought he did a fantastic job.  When he was finished we all went up to their apartment and some cooking took place. There wasn't much room (their apartment is made for 2 people, not 10) so most of us just tried to stay out of the way.  I was really tired all day.  I got 8 hours of sleep last night... so I'm not sure why I was so tired.  Oh well.  Eventually Richard and I went to Wal-mart to get some things.  I got an energy drink while I was there.  After grad school I need to stop drinking so much caffeine.

Then Poppy and Dad and I played some Canasta.  I was winning when we quit for dinner.  Amber made hamburgers on the stove, Jessie and mom went to go get some potato salad and other sides.  We had a quick dinner then went home to get ready for the Christmas Eve service at church.

It was a nice service.  Lots of people.  I talked with Dave and Jared before the service.  I miss talking with them.  And someone tried to steal our seats while I was talking to them... but mom victoriously defending our stomping grounds.  I was sad that Kimmy was not able to join because they used Papyrus font in the opening video.  And that is her absolute FAVORITE font.  Ever.  Few things in the world make her happier than a nice sign written in Papyrus.

After the service we talked to more friends who we had not seen for quite some time.  I'm not sure if I conjugated all of my verbs properly in that last sentence, but I'm just going to go with it.  I talked with friend Becky for a couple seconds.  Then I went home with parents, cleaned up from cooking, and got ready for bed.  Instead of actually going to bed, I sat in my room and talked with Jessie and Amber for a while.  I don't get to talk with both of them at the same time very often, so it was good.

And now I'm off to bed.  I will talk with you all tomorrow night, so have a fantastic Christmas.  What it is that you're doing, make sure that you are happy doing it.

Good night!


Day 214

Ok.  Here we go. 

I wasn't feeling very well when I woke up this morning, so I took some airborne and a tylenol.  That helped significantly.  After some breakfast and some Words with Friends, I took a shower and commenced studying.  It was a blast, as always.  I finished reading the chapter on loan repayment and went through the questions.  Tomorrow I'm going to do a short practice test to see how well I'm doing.  That'll fun all sorts of fun.

When I'd finished there I went to go run some last minute errands.  Upon returning home... I don't think I did anything productive.  Probably wrap presents.  I think I did some more exam prep.  So that's kind of productive, I suppose.  Then I made cookies!

Jessie and Richard got here for dinner.  Mom made potato soup and it was quite tasty.  After dinner mom and dad went to go do a little shopping and Jessie, Richard, and I just hung out at home.

Eventually mom, dad, Jesse, Amber, and Lily all arrived.  And a grand party was had by all.  We just sat around and talked for a while.  Jesse and I talked about video games :)  We discussed how crazy it would be to be a professional video game player.  Mainly because of how much time they put into it and how good they are.  And neither of us are anywhere near that caliber of talent or dedication.

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

Day 213

Today has been interesting.  Apparently last night I was not feeling well.  So I slept for almost ten hours last night, but still was not feeling fantastic.  Better, but not great.  So I woke up eventually and started my morning routine.  After some food and a shower I did some studying.  I finished section 2 and started on section 3, which in one loan repayment and fun things of that nature.

Around 2 I went to go run poppy on an errand.  He had to go see his doctor to get a signature for his change of insurance.  Apparently his new insurance company is full of nonsense, so he had to get them straightened out.  When I got back from that I took a nap.  I was tired.

After nap time I had dinner with parents.  Then I helped mom clean up the kitchen some.  Umm... after that I tried to resolve a grade issue with one of my students.  Let's hope everything works out with that.  I had (unknowingly) told him to calculate his grade using the wrong "total" column on Blackboard, so he thought he had a higher grade than he really did.  So hopefully my explanation makes sense to him.  Then I went and talked with mom for a while and drank some coffee.

Around 9 I went to Becky's.  Marci is in Findlay, so we all went to Becky's to hang out.  That was all sorts of fun. But now I'm super tired so I'm going to bed now.  Good night!


Day 212

I believe that I got a bit of a caffeine addiction over the past month or so at school.  I didn't have any sort of caffeinated beverage today and I a bit of a headache and sensitivity to light.  And I just felt kinda tired all day.  So.  Awesome.

After I got up I got some breakfast, showered, and then started my studying!  I tell you what, this routine is just fantastic.  I decided to give chapter 2 another shot today. Instead of just hopping right into the problems, I skimmed through the chapter to see if there were any important formulae or comments.  There were a few that ended up being pretty helpful.  I got through the "basic" problems and few exam questions before lunch.  By that time I had been working for a solid 2 hours so I needed a break.

I got some lunch, played a video game with Mark, then left to go watch mom perform with her choir at Primrose!  Mom is in the choir where mama and poppy live and they had a performance today singing Christmas songs and such.  It was good!  After it was over we went to mama and poppy's apartment and I fixed their telephone.  It was buckets of fun.  Then I had to go run some errands.  Well, I had to finish Christmas shopping.  And buy a new belt, because apparently my belt broke today.  So.  Awesome.

When I got back I worked a couple more problems, but there was a streak of about three or four problems that were just incredibly difficult.  I was getting pretty frustrated.  I also felt like they were very poorly worded.  Hopefully I don't have four poorly worded questions on the exam... that would be painful.  After that streak I started doing better.  I think I got six in a row correct!  I was pretty excited.

I had dinner somewhere in there.

Then I went to Becky's for a little bit because she was feeling sick.  So Miles and James and I tried to make her feel better.  I don't think it worked though, because she still seemed pretty sick.

Anyhow, I'm exhausted so I'm going to go to bed.  Hopefully my lack of caffeine silliness wears off tomorrow.


Day 211

Man.  Another longish day.

I woke up this morning a bit late.  This is really weird.  I haven't been able to sleep in for months.  But as soon as I come home... no problem.  Anyhow, I got some breakfast, took a shower, and got to work on studying.  The study manual is broken into 13 chapters.  I think that I've covered everything in my finance class so I just started off by working the practice exercises.  Each chapter is split into a portion that teaches the material, then some basic exercises, then past exam questions.  So for the first chapter I skipped the reading, got through the basic exercises with little issue, then got to work on the practice exam questions.  I think I got through 9 of the 13 questions without much issue.  Well, I got the correct answer.  The questions are just so weird and I haven't had to think about these concepts in these specific ways.  It's very frustrating.  Mostly because I know the information, I just can't always figure out what the question is asking me to do.

Anyhow, I got through the first section, got some lunch, and went to work on the second section.  This one was considerably more difficult.  I struggled through it for a while, then took a break because I realized that I'd been studying pretty much non-stop for nearly 4 hours.  So I took a break... and my new toy came!  I got a 23" widescreen monitor for my computer.  It's pretty.  So I got that all set up, then went back to work.

I've come to the conclusion that I need to pace myself better.  So my goal is to do one chapter every day or two.  At the very least I will read through a chapter one day, perhaps work some basic problems.  Then the next I'll work the rest of the problems.  But by the time I got to the practice exam questions my brain was just too worn out and I kept making dumb mistakes.  So I'm going to take another stab at section 2 tomorrow.

Mom made stir fry for dinner. But we didn't have any frozen vegetables, so we just had chicken, egg, and rice.  It was pretty good, but we all missed having the vegetables.  After dinner I went to the store to get some shampoo/body wash that my doctor recommended I get for my rash-thing.  Then I got back, played some video games with Miles and James... and now I'm going to bed!  Night friends!


Day 210

Alright, first weekday on break.  It was a pretty decent day, I suppose.  I actually slept in pretty late today.  I didn't get up until 9:45!  I don't remember the last time I slept in this late, but it felt really good.  After I got up I answered some emails from students about final grade computation, ate some breakfast, and caught up on my games of Words with Friends.  After breakfast I took a shower and learned some more stuff on my BA-2 plus calculator.  I think I've just about learned all of the things I need to learn.  I've been going through my finance book and reworking problems using my new calculator to see how different functions work.  I have most of the things figured out I believe.  Tomorrow I think I'll just start going through my FM study manual.  Oh joy!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty standard: going back and forth between video games and studying.  I imagine a lot of break will be like this.  Mr. Schwab came to fix the toilets.  And by fix I mean replace.  So I helped him carry two of them out to his van.

After he left I went to my doctor's appointment.  I've had a rash for a while.  He looked at it over the summer, I tried some stuff, it worked, but now it's not working anymore.  So he gave me a new prescription, but recommended to first try using Selsum Blue again, but to use it as a body wash, not just a shampoo. So I'll try that.  It seemed to work over the summer, so hopefully this will work again!

I also went to the Verizon store to have them look at my phone.  The charger won't stay plugged in.  I do not like that.  So the guy cleaned it out and it works better.  He was wearing a suit and it fit him very nicely.  I told him such and I think he felt a little uncomfortable.  But it looked fantastic on him.

When I got home I talked with mom and dad for a bit before they left for their bible study dinner.  I made spaghetti for dinner.  And I studied a little bit.  My evening and night were pretty much like my afternoon!  I did end my evening with a game of L4D with James and Miles.  That was fun.

And now it's time for the sleeping game.  My favorite!  Good night all.


Day 209

I need to stop staying up so late!  My friends are silly and go to bed way after my bed time.  Silly them.

Anyhow, I went to church this morning and sat with the Vandekoppels and Church families.  After the service was over I talked with Alli and Kelly for a few minutes.  Then we all went back to our respective homes.

When I got back I  had lunch with mom and dad, then proceeded to continue to learn how to use my new calculator.  There is just so much to learn on it.  But once I learn how to use it it will be better for studying for the exams.  So most of my afternoon was a mix between using my calculator and playing video games with Miles.  I also moved a table into my room so that I don't have to sit on the floor while I used my computer.  That got old pretty fast.  And it was kind of painful.  I really don't like sitting on floors.  My back is not really a trooper with that sort of thing.

Then... dinner with parents.  We had pancakes!  And they were amazing.  After dinner mom and dad went to a Christmas thing with mama and poppy.  They invited me and I respectfully declined.  My evening was pretty much like my afternoon.  Minus the table moving part. I only did that once.

And then around 9 I went to go hang out with Miles and Becky!  And that was fun.  I like them.

As a side note, I think it's really interesting see the locations of various people who read my blog.  I use Google Analytics to process some of the data and it shows me where people are located, how often someone from that city accesses my site, how long they've been there, and stuff like that.  And sometimes I see a city and think "Huh, I wonder who reads this thing."  Just a few minutes ago I saw that someone reads this semi-regularly from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  I have no idea who I know that lives there.  Over the past month I've had a few visitors from Pennsylvania as well.  I'd never even heard of Wexford.  Yeah, there appear to be a lot of people from all over that read this.  I wonder if I know them all.  Maybe someone I've never even met has stumbled across this and reads it just because he or she can.  I don't know!  And I guess I'll never know, except by the people that tell me.

Anyhow.  I'm tired.  So I'm going to bed.  Peace out, people of the world.


Day 208

Long day.  Pretty good, just very long.

I woke up around 7:45 because my body was done sleeping.  Yay.  So I just lounged around, got started on some dishes... there were a lot.  Then I made eggs for breakfast.  My omelette turned out really well.  I was happy.  Then after breakfast and a shower I started grading.  That lasted until about mid-afternoon.  But I eventually finished.  People did pretty well on the exam.  It was clear that many of them put a lot of time into studying for it.

After a quick dinner, I finished cleaning and left for home around 6:30.  The drive isn't too bad, but I just didn't feel like driving.  Oh well!

When I got home I talked with mom and dad for a while, catching them up to date on life and how I felt about my first semester at school.  I also tried to explain why there is such a need for actuaries.  But I was having a hard time putting consecutive thoughts together.  Oh well.

I left my desk at school.  So I had to make do with what I have.
It will work for now.

My eyes are tired, so I'm going to go to bed.  Good night!


Day 207

Woohoo!  School is done for the semester!

This morning started out reasonably well.  I got up, ate some breakfast, did some stats, then headed up to campus so I could turn in my MATHS 125  book and talk with Dr. Fischer.  I'm glad that I was able to talk with him today because I think it helped both of us.  I explained to him some things to help clarify what he saw and notated (specifically that he mentioned my not using a particular formula, so I explained that I had used it in a previous class and explored other methods of solving the problem in the class he observed).  He assured me that this was nothing personal and that he when another position opened up that he would most likely be asking me back (mathematicians are, by nature, hesitant to use definite wording).  But the fact was that he had to cut somebody and the cards simply did not play in my favor.  He explained that the main issue is that my teaching style is very difficult to master.  He said that between the meetings and what he saw it was obvious that I am doing my best to keep my students interests at the forefront, but that this method can often lead to many issues with time and classroom management.  He definitely was not discouraging me from my teaching style.  In fact, it was more of his way of explaining that he knows how much more work I'm doing by teaching the way that I'm doing and he wanted it to be very clearly that I knew he really appreciated what I've done, especially since teaching was not originally my first choice.  So I felt a lot better after that.  He has also been in my position of being a graduate student and graduate instructor who has had the disappointment of being given other duties for a semester so he was able to commiserate with me regarding how disheartening it is to feel like all this work has gone unnoticed.  Overall I was pleased with the meeting. I didn't expect anything to change, I just wanted to clarify a few things that he said yesterday and share my opinion on it all.  And he definitely wanted to hear my opinion.

After that meeting I went to my office and studied with Timbo for the remainder of the afternoon.  We went over a few things that hadn't made sense earlier and got them figured out.  Which is good, because some of them ended up being on the exam.

Anyhow, the exam.  I thought it went well.  I'm not entirely sure what the probability of getting at least one of each of the six faces on a die to turn up out of 8 rolls given that three of them are twos.  But... I did something.  Otherwise I think I did well.  Hopefully I got at least an 85!

After the test I came back, put dishes in the sink and promptly did not do them.  I ended up going to dinner with Jessie and Richard at Greek's pizza.  It was really good.  Then we went back to their apartment and had dessert!  Jessie was telling us about some of the stuff she's been dealing with at the hospital and I have concluded that some of those people are just full of nonsense!

After dinner I went to go hang out with Kathryn for a bit.  She's heading back to New York tomorrow morning... which I'm sure will be a splendid drive.  Then I came back, beat Bastion, talked with Kimmy and James... and now I'm going to bed!  

And I forgot to call mom today.  Sorry mom!


Day 206

Let's see, where to I begin today.

I got up, got ready for the day, and went over to school to give a final to a student who missed it on Tuesday.  While he was working on it, I finished up some of the assessment things I had to do for the class I taught.  When he was done taking the test, I went to go turn some stuff in to the lady in charge of the assessment.  We talked for a little bit and I asked her for her opinion on doing more projects instead of just tests.  I explained that my students had done well when given the time to research and learn material but many of them didn't test well.  So she showed me what she had done.  Basically she included for every chapter 100 points for exams and/or projects.  I liked that.

After that I met with Dr. Fischer to go over my review.  Basically there is one less teaching position than available teaching GAs for the spring and I got downsized.  He explained his review of why he did not score me well in some of the categories.  I'm going back tomorrow to talk with him about it because he had to give an exam and couldn't talk very long.  I have my own theories about all of this but will refrain from discussing them here.  Anyhow, I was pretty upset after that.  I will also refrain from making further remarks on the subject. Hopefully this doesn't alter my stipend.  It might not simply because I signed onto a specific contract with a specific stipend.  But we'll see.

When I got back I had leftovers for lunch.  Then Timbo came over and we studied stats for a few hours.  I've come to realize that I have no idea what to expect on the exam tomorrow.  And that kind of scares me.  I have around an 83 or so in the class right now.  So I need to get at least that on the final to maintain a B.  And seeing how horribly the last exam went (worse than I had imagined it would go)... this will be fun.  I have no idea how we're going to complete this monster in 2 hours.  So today I went through the past exams and quizzes, reworking all of the problems.  And everything up until the second exam is fine.  No problems at all.  But the second and third exams... I just really have no idea what's going on.  And it doesn't seem like she'll curve it.  I really hope she does though.  I don't really need a curve in the other two classes, but I really need one in this.  And that's really frustrating to me because the other two classes are getting curved, but this one probably won't.  I'm going to ask her about it tomorrow before the exam.  I've also learned that she really just does not give much partial credit.  So awesome.

Yeah, today hasn't been the best.  Learned that I won't be teaching, learned that the final tomorrow is going to be impossible (even though she claims it will be the easiest of all the exams, I can guarantee it won't be.  She said our third exam was the easiest and I got the worst grade on it).  I get rewarded for my hard work by getting an unneeded curve in two classes and probably nothing in the one class I need curved.  And I just don't care about this class anymore.

Bleh.  I'm going to bed.


Day 205

Ok then.  Summing up today... here we go.

I woke up this morning around 7 to get in some studying before my life con test.   I was feeling pretty confident about it.  I got to campus around 9:15 and just read through the book a little bit before the exam started.

I thought that the exam went really well.  I went through the entire thing in probably about half an hour.  There was one question I know I missed because I had no idea how to do it.  On every other question I looked at it and knew exactly what to do.  But on that one... there was nothing.  I didn't have any idea.  But I was ok with that.  Because I think I got the rest of them.  So I went through and rechecked all my work, fixed a couple problems, reworked them all, still didn't know how to do that problem.  So I left and still had about 45 minutes left... but there was nothing left for me to do.  I waited for a few more people to finish the exam so we could discuss how it went.  I also made friends with some of the people sitting in the hall studying.  They were actuarial science undergrad students.  Anyhow, after some more people came out we discussed it, we all felt like we did well... I realized that I missed a couple more  points on a couple questions because I got my notation a little off, but I don't think he'll take too much off for that.

After all that was over, Katheryn and I decided to celebrate two finals being over by going to get lunch.  So we went downtown to a deli that we'd tried to go to at the beginning of the semester... but it was closed.  As in no longer operating.  So we walked to another small restaurant downtown, but there was a party there and it was going to take forever to get seated.  We waited for a little bit but ended up leaving because we were hungry.  Then we drove back to campus and ended up going to Pita Pit.  It was tasty.  We discussed how we got into grad school, how we had no idea it would be this difficult, and just various experience we had while pursuing out bachelor's.  We also discussed how much money we would pay to get an A in stats.

I also found out that I did pretty horribly on my stats exam on Monday.  So... I need to do reasonably well on the final to maintain a B in that class.  This should be fun.

When I got home I considered being productive.  For a brief minute I really did. But I was just so worn out from the past...really long time... that I couldn't bring myself to do anything.  So I started playing a game that Jared got for me a month or so ago called Bastion.  And it is ridiculously fun.  So I played that for a while.  I emailed a couple of my students to tell them that they'd left their notebooks in class and I would be in my office tomorrow.  

I made a hamburger helper thing for dinner.  It was tasty.  Some ground meat and cheese and pasta nonsense.  I liked it.  After dinner I went over to Dustin's to play more video games.  We both just needed the rest of today to unwind from studying nonstop for the past... two weeks?  Something like that.  It's been tough.  I really need to buckle down tomorrow, but today I really just needed to recuperate.

So I just got back from Dustin's a little bit ago.  And now I'm super tired so I'm going to bed.  Good night!


Day 204


That about sums up my day.

Last night I tried to go to bed early.  Like 9:45.  Then I proceeded to lie in bed for about an hour and a half.  After realizing that I was too nervous about the final, I got up and studied for an hour or so.  Around 12:30 I went back to bed and fell asleep.  I woke up a couple times through the night but managed to get a few hours of sleep before waking up at 5:45.

I noticed that I had two emails from students with questions and one Facebook message. But I told them all that they had to ask me before 8pm, so I didn't respond.

I got to the finance final around 7:10 and just tried to read a little bit more of everything.  There has just been so much information covered.  But I took it.  I think I did reasonably well.  There were a couple problems that I definitely didn't know how to work.  I believe that I knew how to do the rest of them though.  Hopefully I did well over all.  I finished with about half an hour left.  There just seems to come a point where my brain is done, and no matter how much I look over the exam I won't be able to process any more information.  So hopefully I did everything correctly the first time!

Then I proceeded to go to my class room and wait for my students to filter in.  About 15 minutes til the start time people started to fill the room.  A few had last minute questions.  Then it began!  I started to work through the exam (again) as they took it.  I had previous worked through the exam three times to ensure that there was an answer to every question.  The second question had me stumped.  I couldn't figure out how I had gotten any of the multiple choice answers, and then I was frustrated that I hadn't caught this earlier.  So I paused the class, told them that I had made a mistake on the question and put up 4 new answers.  Then one of my students came up to me and pointed out that I had a correct answer and explained how had found it.  I realized that it was just a poorly worded question, so I wrote out on the board a more accurate description of what the question was asking.  As I briefly looked through the exams it seemed like a number of students did quite well.  But I'm not actually going to grade them until Saturday.  I have plenty of other things to do before then.  One of my students showed up an hour late (he had the wrong time written down).  Another didn't show up, but he emailed me to explain what happened we're going to get that figured out.

When I got home I got some lunch and just chilled for a while.  My brain needed to recuperate from the morning.  I called mom but she was shopping with Poppy so she couldn't talk long.  I told her that I might not be coming home until Sunday because grading might take me a while.  But we'll see.

Around 2:30 Timbo and Dustin came over and we studied life con.  We studied until about 6, then went to Dustin's apartment to take a break.  I came back here around 7:30 and studied for another 2 hours or so.  Now I'm going to go to bed, wake up early and run through a few more things before my final in the morning.  Woo hoo.  Good night!


Day 203


I had finance this morning.  We went over a couple new things that may or may not (but probability will be) on the final tomorrow.  Yay.  Then in between classes I went to the atrium with Dustin and Timbo and we started looking at some stats.

During life con we ran over a few concepts, then worked through a practice MLC problem.  My brain has just been so fried recently that I couldn't focus on it.  I knew how to do it, but my brain just was so focused on stats that I couldn't get the answer very quickly.

After life con I went to go print off the exams for my class.  But the computer lab upstairs was occupied by a class.  So I went downstairs.  And it was reserved for testing.  So I went up to my office to eat lunch and study.  So Dustin, Timbo, and I studied stats for a while.  There was really just one really confusing concept that we were trying to get.  Eventually we went to Dr. Begum's office to ask her.  When we got there Jordan and Erica were waiting to talk with Dr. Begum.  And there was another student in there asking a question.  I knew we would be there for a while....I'm going to move on now.  It was frustrating.  Erica and Jordan had some of the same questions that I did, so she was able to answer those questions for all of us at the same time.  But Dustin and I needed some more explanation on one of the concepts.  She was very sympathetic and said that it really is a very difficult concept.  Basically this stuff is where doctoral statistics students begin.  So it's very complicated... but we still had to know it.  Fantastic.

So Dustin and Timbo and I went back to my office to study a little more.  Then we went to the library to go print some stuff off, since it was an open note exam.  Then we got to class, talked with Adrian a little (who was equally terrified), and sat down to begin.  I tried to convince Dr. Begum to just make out grade based on attendance.  But she didn't go for it.

That test was a beast.  Like... If the Kraken and Medusa birthed a child, it would have been this exam.  Even though it was open note/open book... it was still devastating.  In the past 3 days I studied for about 12 hours (not including time I spent doing homework last week) and I was still clueless.  Naturally the exam was not like the homework we had.  Or like anything we'd done in class.  I must have gone up about 5 times to ask questions.  One of the guys probably went up... close to 30 times.  No joke.  I don't think 5 minutes went by without him asking a question.  I was able to put an answer down for everything but I know they weren't all correct or complete.  It was incredibly frustrating.  I think if she is incredibly gracious I may get a 70.  So much for my A in that class.  Perfect.

So then I got to come home and study for finance after studying stats all day, bombing a stats exam, and just being miserable.  And tired.  Ugh.  So Dustin and Timbo and I studied stats for a couple hours.  But honest I was just too tired.  So I'm going to bed now so I can get up early and study some more.  So. Good night.  Hopefully my final tomorrow goes better than my exam today....


Day 202

Oh my.  What a day.  What a fantastic, fun filled day of studying.

I woke up this morning a bit earlier than I had expected.  So I started looking through the final exam for 125 to see how long it would take me and if I could find any errors.  I got about half way through the multiple choice before I had to leave to go grocery shopping.  I didn't have much to get.  I'm mainly trying to just eat all my random scraps of food I have around.  To compensate for what would have been an absurdly low grocery bill this week (around $10) I got about $5 worth of snacks.  It's finals week.  I don't have to be healthy!  I opted for making some queso dip and tortilla chips.  It's going to be fantastic.

I went to church with Jessie and Richard.  It opened with a Christmas special put on by the children's church.  It opened with a lady asking the pre-schoolers what they wanted to give Jesus for his birthday.  One of the kids said he would give Jesus a cupcake.  Another said he'd give Jesus waffles.  I think Jesus has a pretty awesome birthday lined up so far.

After church we went back to Jessie and Richard's apartment and had hot dogs and beans for lunch. It was quite tasty.  Then we discussed Christmas plans, discussed finals, and things of that nature.  But then I had to go study.  Blech.

So I returned home.  Dustin and Timbo came over.  We tried to study stats, but really just got frustrated with it.  I read a little bit more of section 4.3, but it really makes no sense to me.  I'm a bit scared for the exam tomorrow.  Thankfully it's open book, open note... but... it's still going to be a beast.  After about an hour we were getting too frustrated with stats, so we moved on to life con.  We worked through quizzes, exams, homeworks, text book examples... It was good.  I feel pretty good about it.  It seems that I had forgotten some things from way back in September, but they are coming back to me now.  We did work until about 5:45, then our brains were pretty tired so we stopped.

For dinner I made spaghetti.  Just the random bits I had laying around and a jar of sauce I had in the fridge.  I finished working through the final and I believe that is is without significant errors.  I hope...

I just relaxed the rest of the night.  Cleaned a little.  A very little.  Then I tried to look at some more finance, but my brain is done for the day.  I think that I understand some of the stuff that was confusing me before, like the sinking fund method of loan repayment.  I just hope that he doesn't ask any super complicated questions...

I'm going to bed now.  Tomorrow will be another study day: studying stats tomorrow afternoon (until the exam), then finance afterwards.  Woo hoo!


Day 201

Let's see.  Today:  I woke up around 7:30.  I really didn't want to get up yet so I stayed in bed for another 30 minutes but still couldn't sleep.  So I just got up. 

I made eggs and toast for breakfast.  It was fantastic.  When I'd finished I showered and worked on writing my final some more.  I ended up finishing it, but I need to review it sometime soon.

After that I woke Kimmy up and we had lunch, which was just left overs from last night's fantastic dinner.  Then I had to start studying.  Dustin came around that time and we began looking over stats.  Then when we got too frustrated with that we looked over finance.  Jessie stopped over to give me a finals week survival kit.  It has cookies!  Then Kimmy had to leave.  Boo.

After Dustin left, I decided to try to make pizza again.  It didn't turn out too well the last few times, so I gave it another shot.  It was really good this time. And I made breadsticks.  I was happy.

Then I just chilled for the rest of the evening.  I feel pretty well about the finals.  But tomorrow will definitely be a very full day of studying.  So I'm going to bed now. Good night!


Day 200!

Woo hoo!  I made it to day number 200, and I certainly have celebrated it with a bang.

The awesomeness began in finance today.  We got our tests back and I got a 97 on it.  Woo!  I missed points on the problem I knew I'd made a mistake on.  I also missed one point on another question where I had to describe the "Redington immunization."  But I was happy with my grade.

After finance I went to the GA meeting.  We talked about some good stuff.  Dr. Fischer gave us all some general advice that would be helpful.  The biggest thing I need to work on for next semester is writing on the board.  Since most of the students will only write what I write, I need to write more things and annotate them.  I also need to box the important equations and concepts, number things that happen in order, and write more linearly.  So maybe when I write a thought, use bullets or something to specify the beginning of a new idea.

During life con we worked through a couple of the problems from exam 3 that people had found to be difficult.  Then we looked at some of the fundamental concepts from the first chapter and tried to really grasp the theory instead of simply acknowledging it.  Everything I learn to be an actuary is contingent on the idea of conditional probability: knowing how likely something is to happen given that you know information about that event.  For instance, what is the probability that someone lives to age 60 given that they live to age 40?  How long will a car last given that it has 173,000 miles on it?

After class I came home, woke Kimmy up, got lunch, and started studying.  I kept working through the old finance exams.  I feel confident about the stuff from the first exam, so I worked through stuff from the second exam.  I began to read through the chapters from the second exam and finally began to understand a concept that had previously escaped me.  I always feel silly when that happens because it instantly becomes so obvious that I wonder why it had ever concerned me.  Then I did some work on the final for the class I'm teaching.  I'm really trying to do very basic, straight forward questions so that they don't get caught up on tiny details.  I know that it won't work out that way, but I'm trying.  For some of the extended response I may also ask questions along the way to help them get started, like having parts a-d of a question that all lead up to part e.

When I was done Kimmy and I had victory dinner.  It was amazing.  We were going to get Chinese, but when we got there the Little Caesar's next door smelled so good... that we got both.  And then ice cream on the way back.  It was absolutely fantastic.  Oh my word.  I have absolutely 0 regrets.

Then we watched Green Lantern.  It was fairly decent.  But I'm pretty tired now, so I'm going to go to bed.  Good night!


Day 199

Alright.  So I have completed another day.  Tomorrow will be day number 200 since graduating.  I should do something exciting.

This morning I woke up, made lunch, and I went off to class.  I got out a little late again.  It's getting harder and harder to leave on time.  When I was in the parking lot I saw a guy I met during move in weekend.  I can't remember his name.  I know that he is working on his master's in history.  I invited myself up (he lives on the third floor) to hang out with his friends and him, but I can't remember any of their names.  Oh well.  They're all nice.  Anyhow, I saw him but always feel embarrassed since I don't know his name (but he knows mine).    I also had to scrape some ice off my windshield, but that isn't related to the guy whose name I do not know.

In class Mr. Frye said that he would hand our exams back tomorrow.  I'm a little antsy.  I think I did really well on it, but I want to know.

I forgot my calculator today.  Boo.

In between classes I went to the Atrium with Dustin, Tim, Jacob, and Kathryn.  Dustin and I worked on some life contingencies problems.  Well, we worked on two of them.  They're hard.

During life contingencies we spent the entire class going over one of the questions on the hand out that we were given on Tuesday.  It took us a long time to even figure out what the question was asking.  There was a lot going on and it was confusing.  Mr. Dean told us about how when he took his first actuarial exam, the second question was very difficult.  As a background, Mr. Dean was just a thesis away from a doctorate in mathematics.  So he's pretty bright.  Anyhow, he said that he spent 30 minutes on this problem and still couldn't figure it out.  He went on and finished the rest of the exam, then went home and solved the problem.  It took him about 2 hours to solve it.  Knowing that there must be a faster way, he looked in the reading material and saw that there was, in fact, an equation for solving that type of the problem.  The moral of the story: don't get caught up on a problem that looks like it will take a long time to solve.  Come back to it at the end.  In other news, he said he's going to try to get us our exams back tomorrow.  And that they were all pretty good so far.

So then I went to go teach.  We spent the first 15 minutes talking about the final.  They are all pretty concerned.  So we discussed some of their concerns and I have taken them into account.  Apparently they are, in fact, intimidated by how small and compact everything is.  So I'll fix that.  One of the girls also says that my exams are far more difficult than the exams her friends have to take in other sections. Meaning that her friend is not in a section with another GA... because I'm pretty sure all their exams are difficult as well.  It's also really difficult to remember that my students: 1- are not math majors, 2- have not had 4 years of developing good study habits, 3- have little motivation to put excess effort into a gen ed class.  They want to pass.  That is the end of their desire.  So I decided to let them have a formula sheet on the final.  I gave them a list of things they need to know or know how to do.  So if they study those things and put lots of things on the formula sheet, they should do fine.  I hope....

After class I had my office hours.  I ate lunch, did some grading, sent some emails, and looked at my students' grades.  Then I came home, woke Kimmy up, and did some studying.  I started off by making a list of some of the equations and theorems I need for my upcoming stats exam.  Then I began studying for finance by working through my past quizzes and exams.  I got through the first quiz and first exam and needed a break.  About this time it was almost time to go to dinner.  The Actuarial Club was hosting an end of the year dinner at Johnny Carino's, so Kimmy and I went to that.  It was really good.  I don't really know anyone in the club, so she and I just sat at the end and kept to ourselves.  But the food was good.

After dinner went to go get ice cream and Berry Winkle with Jessie.  It was fun.  And tasty.  We told lots of funny stories and many laughs were had.  We also discussed Kimmy's job search and she recommended looking at the clinic that I pass on my way to school each day.  She also said that probably they won't be hiring for the fall until this coming summer, which I hadn't really considered.  I'm so used to looking really far in advance for employment. 

Anyhow, we are back now.  And I'm tired to so I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 198

Alright.  I completed another Wednesday.  On this particular day, I woke up, made my lunch, and went off to my office.  One of my students was supposed to stop by, but she didn't.  Timbo came by and we discussed the stats assignment.  I also finished grading the group projects my class did.  I actually learned a few things reading the history portion.  Not that I know everything, but I'm reasonably familiar with the history of various mathematical topics.  Then I went to go work out, which was fun as always.  It wasn't.  I still don't like working out...

When I got back I tried to be productive and work on the MLC practice problems that Mr. Dean gave us.  But I just got frustrated.  Then I went to stats.  Last stats class!  I was a bit lost.  As usual.  But I tried to take really good notes because our exam on Monday is open book/open note.  On a side note, this is turning out to be a really short post.  Not much happened today though.

After class I took Dustin home and we played some video games.  Kimmy texted me to say that she had stopped at Wal-mart but would be over reasonably soon.  The three of us were going to some sub place that Dustin really likes for dinner.  So he and I went back to my apartment and worked one of the problems in the mean time.  When Kimmy arrived we went off to get dinner.  It was really good.  Then we came back, Kimmy gave me my Christmas presents, and now... here we are!  I'm pretty tired so I'm probably going to bed soon.  So good night!

Day 197

Somehow these past two days seem to have taken about 2 weeks.  It's been remarkable.  I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing... but it's a thing.  Just yesterday I took my finance exam.  Incredible.  It feels like I did that ages ago.  Like empires were created, prospered, and diminished in between now and that exam.  Alas, we move on.

This morning I got up a little bit early to finish writing up my life con exam.  I emailed an Excel file, but I also wanted to hand in some of the work.  That took a bit longer than I had anticipated, so I got breakfast a little late.  I took me an extra bit of time to get ready because I had to pack of snacks for class today.  But eventually I got everything packed and left for school.  Somehow I made it there and to class in 12 minutes.  Usually it takes closer to 20.  Part of this is due to my catching the shuttle right as it pulled up.  Another part was due to my not having to stop at any traffic lights.

Anyhow, I got to class.  I asked Mr. Frye if he'd finished grading our exams.  He just laughed.  I told him that we could cancel class so that he could have an extra hour to grade them... oddly enough he didn't take me up on the offer.  After class was over I went to the computer lab to print of some stuff for class. Originally I'd gone to the computer lab on the fourth floor, but the printer was out of ink.  So I had to go downstairs.  I don't really like using the lab because the computers are on some weird network and the printing doesn't always work.  But apparently the stars were aligned and I was holding my tongue properly because everything printed just marvelously.

Life con was really frustrating today.  We did a couple practice MLC problems.  I had no idea how to do them.  That's not true.  I had a small idea.  We're just learned so many things and it's very difficult to remember all of them.  Especially taking three actuarial classes at the same time.  There are just so many things.  ALL the things.  Yeah, so I was pretty frustrated, but I know that I wasn't the only one.  Just... bleh.

Anyhow.  After that I went to go teach.  And that more than made up for life con.  Today was absolutely fantastic.  I assigned a group project to do and today was presentation day.  I brought in cookies and milk as a snack.  Apparently Lauren (one of my students) had also brought cookies.  So we had lots of cookies!  I had assigned a group project (four people per group).  Each group had to cover some mathematical topic in four areas: history, current applications, creative representation, and "explain like I'm five."  The first group did their project on fair division and for the creative representation one of the guys brought in his guitar and played a song that he had written.  It was amazing.  I would post the lyrics, but I really don't feel like it would make much sense without being in the class.  But it was really good.  Another group did their project on Morse Code and one of their guys brought his guitar in and played a song that HE had written.  It was equally fantastic.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  It was just terrific.  Another group did their project on student loans and one of the girls in the group made a cake and iced it to look like a loan.  The guy who was supposed to explain it to a five year old did a remarkable job.  He explained loans like this: imagine that you (as a little kid) have an allowance of $3 a week and want to buy a $30 LEGO set.  But you don't want to wait ten weeks to get it.  So you make an agreement with the toy store owner that if he gives you the set now, you have to give him your allowance for twelve weeks after you finish building the LEGO set.  So his analogy touches on getting something for the promise of future payments, deferring loans until after the completion of school, and interest (paying $3 for 12 weeks instead of 10 weeks).  I was really excited to see someone do that.

After class I came back to my apartment, had lunch, and started filling out some information for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.  Hopefully that means that I might have a chance with them... but we'll see.  I'm not holding my breath.  Then I started working on making the final for my class.

Around 4 I left to go back to school.  Two of my students were unable to take the exam last Thursday, so they met with me around 5 to take it.  While we were waiting for Jon, Savannah was telling me a little bit about the medical issues she's been having (hence her abundant absences and general ill-feeling).  I guess that she has some heart condition (similar to but different form a heart murmur) that causes her heart to start racing at random.  Like, in the bad way.  So she was on a medication that helped control it, but I guess her body was growing immune to it...and her immune system was starting to die off.  So she kept getting sick because her medication was incidentally killing off the immune system.  She stopped taking the medication (as the doctor prescribed) and has been just having to deal with the heart issues.  So for her it's a trade off of racing heart problems or the tiniest illnesses  sending her to the hospital.  She was very appreciative of my being flexible.  I feel like it's part of my job.  It's not her fault that she has this issue.  I guess her parents aren't going to let her come to school next semester if they can't get this all figured out.  On the way back from giving the exams I stopped by the Marathon station to get an energy drink.  I knew I'd be working on stats for a while, so I needed a bit of a boost.

When I got back I made hot dogs and beans for dinner.  Oh my goodness they were so good.  So much goodness.  I had forgotten how much I like hot dogs and beans.  Such a fantastic dinner.  Then Timbo and Dustin came over and we worked on stats for a while.  Like...4 hours.  Timbo left around 10 but Dustin and I wanted to finish.  It was kind of tough, but I actually felt confident about what I was doing.  I think this is the first homework where I've actually had a grasp on what I was doing.  Even the proofs I was able to get, which was surprising.  But yeah.  That about sums up my day.  And now I'm super tired and I'm going to bed!  Good night!


Day 196

Every Monday throws me off.  They feel like they're so much longer than they actually are.  I woke up around 6 so that I could do some studying before my exam this morning.  I'm glad that I did because I definitely helped get my brain fresh before taking it.  I got to class around 7:30 and just re-read the section on Redington immunization.  While I was there some girls came in to write some notice on the board about jobs over break.  It seemed strange but I thought nothing of it...

I felt like the exam went really well.  I finished in about 15 minutes so I went through it again.  I know there is one on which I made a minor mistake (because apparently I decided that 5% of 1000 is 5, not 50) but otherwise I felt very comfortable on everything else.  After it was over I went to the Atrium with Tim and Dustin, had some victory coffee, and talked about finance and exams and such.  Some of the questions that there were talking about are just annoying.  That's really all there is to it.  They're just annoying.  They have lots of moving parts and they want you to  mess up on one of them.  Oh well.  I'll have about 8 weeks to study for my exam which I think should be good, especially since I just finished a class on it.  So I have most of the basics down, now I just need to solidify everything.  I should be fine.  There are 9 practice exams so I'm going to take one every weekend until exam time.  We'll see how it goes!

Life con was pretty good.  We did some stuff with differential equations and Taylor polynomials for approximations of change in policy value.  It is really interesting to see different classes worked into this field.  I've seen derivative, integral, and multivariate calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, statistics, probability, numerical analysis, and later on I even spotted some graph theory.  Some of the proofing methods and inequalities I learned in Real Analysis have been used in my stats class. It's pretty intense.

After life con I want to the gym.  I hate the gym.  But it's good for me.  After the gym I came home and ate lunch.  Then I proceeded to finish my life contingencies exam.  When that was done I took a shower, called mom, and went to stats.

Today we talked about sequences of distributions converging to different distributions.  I don't really even know what that means.  So this exam should be fun.  I need to start studying for that exam.  It's open book, but I still want to study to make sure that I have plenty of information readily available.

When I got back from class I was really hungry.  So I made some soup, answered emails from my students about the group project tomorrow, and finished working on the exam.  I was going to do stats but ended up spending more time than I'd anticipated on the exam.  Oh well.  I'll do stats tomorrow and Wednesday!

But now it's bed time.  Good night!


Day 195

And here is the grand finale to one of the most exciting weekends I've had in a long time!

This morning I woke up, got some breakfast, and looked at my life contingencies test for a bit.  When I worked it out on Friday I did it all in Excel. Today I wanted to work through all the concepts by hand and then do the computations in Excel.  So that's what I did.  Then around 10 I went grocery shopping.  When I got back I made leftovers for lunch while I worked on life con some more.  Then I took a break to do some cleaning.  When I resumed I started studying for finance.

For dinner I went to Greek's pizza with Jessie and Richard.  It was really good.  It reminded me of Myle's pizza up in Bowling Green.  Very tasty.  Then I came back and started studying finance some more.

Dustin came over around 7 or so.  He and I worked on problems until about... 10:15 or so.  Then I made my chicken for this week's salads... and now I'm going to bed!  I think I'm going to get up early to read through my notes again and work a few more problems.  So good night!

Day 194

I'm pretty sleepy and my day was pretty monotonous, so this should be short.

I woke up this morning around 8 but didn't get up until 8:30.  It wasn't time to be awake.  After I finally got up I ate, took a shower, then started some laundry.  I started to work on some grading, worked on that through lunched, and finished it up a little bit after.  I downloaded the gradebook from blackboard as an excel file so I could manipulate it a little bit.  After I graded the exams I found the mean score and immediately realized that a curve was necessary.  I also created a study guide, but this time it's not a practice exam.  It's just a list of things they need to know.  Perhaps this will make them a little bit more willing to perform the necessary additional studying.  I guess we'll see!

When I'd finished grading I did some finance.  The stuff on duration is pretty straight forward, so I went on to do some problems over the recent stuff.  It was getting pretty frustrated because the questions on the quiz and last year's exam seemed to be using the numbers arbitrarily and I really had no idea what I was doing.  So after dinner Dustin came over.  And within about 2 minutes he said just the right words that made sense to me.  Then the problems seemed so simple!  I'll review them tomorrow to make sure, but they seemed pretty easy.

Then he and I worked on stats for a couple hours.  That was fun as always.  This assignment is going to take so long... bleh.  He and I got the first section done.  Probably about 1/5 of it.  We're going to work on it more tomorrow.

After we decided to be done we went to Dustin's apartment to play video games and eat snacks.  It was fun.  We started watching a movie but I got tired.  So I came back.  And here I am!  I'm pretty sure tomorrow is going to be a repeat of today. Oh joy.  So... good night!


Day 193

Long day.  Very long day.

I had finance this morning.  Tim stole my greeting!  Every morning say "Good morning, Mr. Frye.  How are you doing today?"  And he usually says something like "Well.... ok."  But Tim greeted him before I could!  But I still said good morning.  I was quite surprised that we got our quiz back since we just took it yesterday.  But we did.  I did much better than I had suspected.  I feel much better about the exam on Monday now.

During life contingencies Tim stole my greeting again.  I was quite confused.  But I was able to manage and continue on with class.  We were able to ask questions before he handed out the exam.  I asked him a question on something called the Asset Share, which is basically a way of figuring out the actual value of your current assets (instead of your expected value of the assets).  It's a good thing I asked him because he gave a very helpful explanation... and a question about it was on the exam.  So I was happy to actually know what to do.  So then he gave us the take-home exam, we looked it over for mistakes or clarifications, and then we left.  Something that I really like about his class is that he doesn't mind when we correct him.  Even the things that really don't matter, like a minor notation that literally doesn't change anything.  But he wants us to constantly check his work.  He doesn't make mistakes on purpose (at least I'm fairly certain that he doesn't... it's usually pretty obvious when people make purposeful mistakes) but he wants us to really make sure that we check what he does.  Part of this is to make sure that we understand the material.  The other is because he wants us to practice being very precise and paying attention to tiny details.  I also like that he gives us short stories from his time as an actuary.  Today he told us a story with the moral of "When things seem to be going way too good, it's your job to figure out what bad thing is about to happen."

After class I went to get a hair cut.  Then I went off to the gym to work out.  When I got home I showered, got a little lunch, then started working on the exam.  I worked on it for a couple hours, then I took a nap.  When I woke up I worked on it for a couple more hours, then got dinner.  After dinner I finished it up.  Probably around 8:30.  Then I had no other plans.  I tried contacting 3 different people to see if they wanted to do anything tonight, but one of them already had plans and the other two were busy/didn't want to.  So yay.  I wanted to go home this weekend but I knew that I wouldn't be able to get the work done that I need to do.  But I still wanted a break tonight.  Around then Clifton came home, so I talked with him for a while.  Apparently he thinks that my font size for the exams I give out is too small.  I use 10 point font, but only because I want it to fit on 2 pages.  Oh well.   I think that I've decided to definitely give an in class final exam, but I'm going to change a few things.  We're going to have a bit of a talk during our next class about preparing for an exam and what sort of lessons have been learned from the past exams.  I'm still probably going to have to curve this exam though. But we'll see.

I just finished playing Team Fortress with Jared for a while.  He and I are a really good team on there.  Basically unstoppable. So it was fun.  But now I'm going to bed.  Tomorrow I'm going to work on stats and study for finance pretty much all day.  Woo hoo.  Night.


Day 192

Oh boy.  What a day.  I woke up a little early to make sure that my car had plenty of time to defrost.  And it did.  Little cars heat up quickly.  I had some time before class so I went to go get some coffee.  Then we had finance.  For the first 20 minutes we learned more about hedging and minimizing risk.  Then we had a quiz.  I'm grateful that we get to drop the lowest grade.  I studied for a few hours yesterday, but unfortunately almost all of the questions in the book involved drawing graphs.  Which is great for understanding the concepts, but the questions on the quiz did not involve drawing graphs.  I did anyhow because that's how I've learned the material, but it's hard to get precise answers from the graphs.  So... we'll see.

In between classes I went up to the computer lab to print off the exams.  I made a few last minute changes for the sake of clarity.  When I was done I went down to the Atrium where Tim, Dustin, and Jacob were located.  And we talked about... something.  I really don't even know.  I'm sure it was very important though.

During life contingencies we talked a little bit about the exam and then just about finished chapter 7.  It's a very long chapter and I really haven't had time to read over the rest of the chapter or work any exercises.  Thankfully none of this newer stuff is on the exam, but I really need to master it before the final.  Oh finals.  That's going to be awesome.

Speaking of exams, I gave one today.  Yeah.... I hate exam days.  Most of these kids try so hard.  I know that some of them slack off (like the ones who don't come to class) but others try really hard to do well.  They just have no idea how to study for math.  Or they're just bad at math.  It hadn't occurred to me until today but I might actually be doing them a disservice by giving them a practice exam.  Because to me if I have a practice exam I know the types of questions that will probably be asked of me, but then I work lots of problems like that from the text book.  But now that I think about it... I'm sure they aren't doing that.  Which seems silly that I would even think that college freshmen were doing more than the study guide, but I genuinely thought that they might be doing additional studying outside of it.  So for the final I might just give them a list of things to know.  I'm also considering various options for the final.  Maybe in-class open book, maybe doing the test in partners... I'll almost certainly be eliminating the "None of the above" option on the multiple choice.  I may just give a regular test and explain that I have given them ample opportunities to bring their grade up and the week before finals is not the time to start being concerned.  Whatever I end up doing... I'm sure I'll be changing it for the spring.

After that I went to my office for a little bit, ate lunch, and started looking at some of the exams.  For the bonus question I had them tell me things that they had learned in the class that were math related and non math related.  Some of their answers were very heartfelt.  Quite a few talked about how they had never realized (since they're all college freshmen) how much work you had to put into a class to do well.  This is an important lesson to learn.  When I'd finished eating I went over to the graduate school office to ask about summer assistantships.  The lady with whom I talked had little to say about them, except that there are not many.  So I went over to the career center and they said that jobs probably will not be posted until around spring break.  So... I'm not really in any better of a position than I was.  Woo.

Then I came home and started grading.  I got the multiple choice portion done by dinner time.  Then I took a short break to eat and went back at it.  I got about 10 test completely graded... and am almost certain that I'll need to curve the grade.  It hasn't been that awesome thus far.

I took a break from grading, talked with Clifton for a while, then did some finance problems.  After the homework assignment the chapter exercises don't seem so bad, which is good.  And now I'm off to bed.  I get my take home exam in life con tomorrow.  I'm hoping to get that done tomorrow afternoon... but we'll see!  Night!