Day 282

Well, my morning started off like most.  Just... getting ready and such.  I actually got to class early, so I went to the computer lab to scan some stuff.  Except that the scanner was broken.  I also forgot to take my grading to turn in to Dr. Nelson...so you know.  Win.  During class we went over the practice midterm.  I don't think that it will be too bad.  I just need to make sure that I have all of the formulas down and everything.

In between classes we just studied for probability.  Woo.

During class we got last week's quiz back.  Most of us did pretty poorly on it.  The only positive is that at this point, my score is pretty well set (averages and all), so even though this quiz wasn't so great my grade isn't moving as much as it was early on.  But extra studying during/after spring break will certainly benefit me.  I think today's quiz went decently.  There were just two questions on which I could not get any of the answers.  And another that used some identity I did not know.  But I confirmed my answer with Timbo and he said it was correct.

Let's see.  When I got back to my apartment I got some lunch.  I finished the chili I made the other night.  And I don't believe that I will be getting that again, as it does not sit well with my stomach.  Yay.

I did some studying for investments, then realized that pretty much the first month of class was just setting groundwork for this month of class.  So I didn't actually do much that was productive, which was frustrating.  Later on in the afternoon I got a phone call from Sheryl at Central Mutual.  I'm going to go to Van Wert for a lunch meeting on March 16th.  She said she couldn't guarantee an internship, but she still had some people to talk to and was going to keep pushing for one.  So I'm pretty excited.  I just need to send them some paper work (application and transcripts).

I went to dinner at Jessie and Richard's.  Jessie made a really tasty pizza casserole type thing.  It was really good.  Then I came back, did a little studying, chilled.  Then finished my night off with a little TF2 with Miles.  Now it's off to bed.  Night!


Day 281

So this morning started a little bit earlier than most.  Today was Free Pancake Day at Ihop.  So Kathryn and I went to get some free pancakes before I had to work at 8.  We got there around 6:45... it was early.  But we also beat the crowd, so that was good.  I was pretty groggy (which brings with it lack of coordination, enhanced stutters, and talkativeness) so I had some coffee to counteract it.  As it turns out, this was a poor choice.  About half an hour after said coffee, I was hyper as can be.  I just could not sit still for anything.  So work and class were a treat.

Then about half way through my work out, I started to crash.  Oh joy.

After my work out, I had lunch, then went back to the computer lab to do some grading.  Around 1:30 Dr. Begum came in to teach her class.  So I talked with her for a little bit since I'm not in class with her anymore.  I asked how her semester was going and she said it was good.  Busy, but good.  She's only teaching two classes, but she is supervising a few students doing research, doing her own research, and helping other faculty out with their research.  But she was enjoying it.

When I got back I showered and spent the rest of the afternoon grading.  Then I made dinner.  After dinner I did laundry.  Then... called mom and dad.

And now I'm going to go to bed soon!  Night!


Day 280

Ok, the first day of pre-spring break week is over.  Just a few more days and I get a nice week of rest.  And by rest I mean "studying for probability."  But really it's the same thing. Ha.

Anyhow, I actually got up when I planned on getting up, got a shower, and left for class on time.  It was crazy!  When Dr. Foley got to class I told him that I was really close to emailing him last night to say that I wouldn't mind if he canceled class.  He laughed and said "you know... I was *this* close to canceling."  Oh well.  After class I got my life con exam back.  I did much better than I was anticipating, so I was happy.

In between classes was our standard Atrium-ing.  Yup!

During life con we talked some more about pension calculations and the next part of our project.  I'm never really sure when something is part of a test, a quiz, or a project.  But we get assignments and I do them.

After class I went to go work out with Dustin.  I still hate working out.  Blech.  When I got back I showered got lunch, and did some reading for investments.  I put some moisturizer my rash, because maybe it would do something.  It did.  It stung like something fierce for about 2 minutes.  But afterwards it seemed a little better.  I think the pills I'm taking are working, just very slowly.

Grandpa and Pat came down to have dinner with Jessie and me.  We went to Amazing Joe's.  It was really good.  Before Jessie got there grandpa was asking me what I'm doing in my classes, so I explained a little bit about multiple decrements theory and how it's used.  Right now he's tutoring some people in math so they can get some sort of license to do something.  So we expressed the woes of teaching and all that nonsense.  You know, with my vast teaching experience.

After dinner I came back, talked with Clifton for a bit, then just chilled.  In other news, tomorrow is free pancake day at Ihop (at participating Ihops).  Just so you all know.  I'm going before work, so I should go to bed and get some sleep.  Good night!


Day 279

Hm.  Here we go.  I'm pretty tired so this will be short.

I actually slept in this morning.  I didn't wake up until 8:30!  It was fantastic.

I got up, made some breakfast, and did some probability problems.  Which was frustrating, because I didn't get any of them right.  Oh well.  Jessie and Richard picked me up for church.  Then we went to church.  After church we went to Arby's for lunch.

When I got back I did some cleaning and started doing some probability.  Later on in the afternoon Kathryn came over to study.  And so we continued to study until dinner time.  I made a chicken casserole thing that was pretty good.  It was a bit surprising because the recipe called for 2 cups of cheese...and I felt like that would be too much.  But it tasted good, so I guess that's all that matters.  This recipe book has yet to let me down, so I don't suspect it will start anytime soon.

After dinner we studied some more.  Then made white chocolate chip cookies.  They were amazing.  I really don't like baking that much though.  I'm decent at it, but there are parts that are just too precise for me.  When I cook it's not an exact science at all.  I don't remember the last time I measured salt or pepper for a recipe.  And for most recipes I make, it works.  But with baking... sometimes you need very specific balances of ingredients to get the proper consistency.  And that's not how I cook at all.  Heck, I hardly have all of the proper ingredients for a recipe.  But you can't really just bypass the baking powder.

Anyhow.  That was my day.  Good overall, even if I had to study a lot.  I'm not really looking forward to tomorrow morning... I don't want to get my life con test back.  Ugh, I just get frustrated when I think about it.  Well, let's hope I got at least a little partial credit.  Here we go.

Night all.

Day 278

So.  Saturday.

Today was pretty good.  I got up, had some breakfast, and showered.  I had cinnamon and salt on my eggs this morning.  I think I've tried that before?  It was still good. I was going to go grocery shopping right after my shower, but then I saw my tax forms and figured I'd at least look at them.  I wanted to look into different e-filing services and just see what they were like.

...and an hour later I was done!  I ended up going through Turbotax because they have free service in Indiana.  It was really straight forward (for the most part).  I will probably be using that again.  The only frustrating part was that I couldn't file my Indiana refund electronically because I received wages from two different states.  Oh well.

Then I went grocery shopping.  If I hadn't needed shampoo or been in the mood to make cookies, I would have been under $10 this week.  Apparently I planned for way too much food last week.  So I have plenty more to make!

After shopping I had lunch, then proceeded to play video games for the first part of the afternoon.  Then... I talked with grandpa on the phone for a bit.  He and Pat are coming down on Monday to see Jessie and me (surprise Jessie if you read this before I talk with you).

David (one of the guys in my program) has been having some car problems since the beginning of the semester, so today I went over to go help him jump his car.  He's always so very appreciative.  I assure him that it's really not a big deal.  Because it truly isn't.

When I got back I made some dinner.  I had a chili mix that I got from chili.  So I poured that over some Fritos and put some cheese on top and I had myself an amazing dinner.  When dinner was over I proceeded to make some dessert: fried apples.  The apples I had were getting gross, so I did stuff with them!  Basically... I sliced the apples, put them in a skillet with way too much butter, then covered them with way too much cinnamon and brown sugar.  And did all of that again.  I put the skillet on low heat, covered it, and stirred it every few minutes until they tasted just amazing.

After dinner I worked on probability for a while.  It was not fun.

Then I played Team Fortress with Miles!

And now I'm super tired so I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 277

I'm ready for this rash to start getting better.  It's incredibly itchy and try as I might to avoid scratching it, I don't do a very good job.  Yarg.

So this morning.  Not so great.  I was running late (I really need to stop that... it's getting old) but got to class on time.  Investments was fine I guess.  We talked more about the assumptions and set-up for the new model we're going to be using.

Then... life con.  We had a test today.  Going into it I felt very confident.  Taking it I felt very confident.  Then 5 minutes after I left I realized two mistakes I'd made.  One of them being that I had read a questions entirely wrong and answered a question which he didn't even ask.  I was beyond upset. The other question I made one little stupid mistake that I know is wrong, but it didn't occur to me at the time.  Two mistakes is a big deal when there are only 6 questions.  So that was really frustrating and kind of just started the day off wrong.

Things didn't get a whole lot better when I got home.  At the beginning of the semester I got a double paycheck, told payroll about it, and so to accommodate for that, my next two paychecks were going to be half-checks.  Well, I thought I had previously received my second half-check and I had just been doing really well with my money.  That turns out not to be the case, as I saw on my paycheck today.  So that's neat.  Oh well.  Things are just going to be a little tight for a couple weeks.

So I did some dishes, then graded homework for forever.  Seriously, how does grading take so long?  But it does.  I got it all finished though.  So yay.  I just didn't have much concentration today.  Blech.

I had some left over hamburger stuff for dinner.  It was still good.  After dinner I cleaned up, then went over to Kathryn's apartment to study for probability.  My goal for today was to just read through the section, which I was able to do.  It took forever, but I got it done.  We also watched the first two Jurassic Park movies, as they were on TV.  I think it was the first two?  I really have no idea. But they were ok, I guess.  I'd never seen them before.

Anyhow, I'm really tired.  So I'm going to bed.  Night


Day 276

You know what I tell myself every day?  "I'm going to go to bed early tonight."  You know what I rarely do?  Yeah, you can probably guess.

Well, I went to work this morning and did some grading.  It takes so long... I got around half of it done before life con.  Then during class we went over the practice exam.  Most of it, anyways.  I realized that a couple equations I had been using only worked under certain assumptions.  So I was glad that I got that cleared up.

After class I had a quick lunch and then went up to the computer lab.  I did some grading, did some studying, with David and Matt, talked with Wendy.  It was a decent time.

So here's an interesting story.  While I was in the computer lab I sent an email to an insurance company based in Van Wert, Ohio.  I figured I'd get the same sort of canned response I'd gotten from every other place, but it was worth a shot.  But that's not what happened.  20 minutes later I had a phone call from a lady asking if she could call me later that afternoon about options for the summer.  So I was pretty amazed and excited by all of this.

When I got home I cleaned up a little, then tried to get ready for this sort-of interview.  Or whatever it was.  I pretty much treated it as a phone interview.  Sheryl explained to me that they don't normally hire interns but that she would bring it up to see if it was a possibility for the summer.  So she just asked me questions about my resume, my education, what I did in school, what grades I got in my classes (that was difficult to remember).  She asked me about my experience in teaching and why I switched from teaching to actuarial science.  I told her that there were a lot of educational politics with which I did not agree. She asked what I meant by "politics," so I explained: 'in my experiences in schools and in talking with teachers, I noticed a trend that the government was pushing for teachers to "teach to the test," instead of teaching for understanding.  Not only is this more stressful for teachers, but it's hurting the educational system.  I am a strong believer in teaching for understanding instead of simply to pass some tests, so I left.  I didn't want to be part of something with which I did not agree.'  At the end of the call she said that she was going to talk with the necessary people and call me back in a couple days.  When she asked if I had any questions, I asked her if there was not an opportunity to be an intern, might there at least be the chance to shadow an actuary or something. She said that would bring that up as well.  She did mention that they are looking to hire an actuary (I explained that I graduate next May) but hopefully we can talk more about everything when she calls back.  She didn't make it seem like they had many people looking for work there, so maybe I'll have a chance?  That would be amazing...

After that I started making dinner.  I called Amber to see if she knew what "coarsely ground potatoes" were.  She did not.  So I decided to call someone I knew would have an answer: mama (Amber confirmed that this was a good idea).  So I called her and she gave me her best guess.  Then she caught me up on life over in Primrose.  It seems like they are enjoying themselves, so that's good.

So I finished making dinner, which was called "hamburger stuff."  Basically what I did was cut up 3 large potatoes into tiny little piece, mix that with some ground turkey, cut up onion, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water.  Then I put that in a cake pan for 45 minutes.  It was actually pretty good.  I didn't think that it would be, but I was pleased.

After dinner I helped Dustin with the investment assignment that's due tomorrow.  Then I played some TF2 with Miles.  Helped Tim out with a couple questions, played more TF2.  I feel pretty confident about my test tomorrow, so I'm going to go to bed!  Night!


Day 275

I did not want to get up this morning.  There was not a single part of me that had any desire to do anything but go back to sleep.  But somehow I managed to get up and go to class.  It was not easy.  I was running really late, but somehow made it to class by 8, even though I didn't leave my apartment until about 7:47 (and it normally takes a solid 20 minutes to get from my apartment to my classroom).

Investments...happened.  I've come to realize that this is basically a "history of investment strategies" course.  We started off with the old "Markowitz theory" method, which we just did a project on.  Next up in the CAPM model, which we're going to talk about next.  But neither of those are used anymore, as the current method of evaluation is the Black-Scholes formula (which I will be using in one of my upcoming actuarial exams).

In between classes I got some coffee and tried to study for probability.  After spring break I'm going to begin really studying for my exam.  Yup, we'll get there.  In the mean time, I'm glad that I did well on last week's probability quiz... because I know I didn't do well on today's quiz.  There were 2 out of the 10 that I really had no clue how to do.  1 of those I didn't even know what to write down or where to start... so I just picked an answer that seemed like it could be right.  I have no idea.

After class I had lunch, then went up to the computer lab to work on investments with Timbo.  We got that finished, then went over to the library to work through the practice life con exam with Dustin.  We worked through most of that.  I only have 1 question for him tomorrow, but I might have done it correctly?  We'll see.

Oh!  I finally got something to grade.  I believe that this is my first assignment of the month.  But no complaints will be issued...it's been amazing.

When I got back from that I... don't really remember what I did.  I'm sure it was really important though?  Huh.  Oh well.

After dinner I worked on some homework with Kathryn.  And now I'm going to go to bed.  And hope that I can get up early enough in the morning to make eggs.  We'll see.



Day 274

Good evening.

Today was pretty standard.  I got up, went to work, did some studying.  This morning was mainly probability.  Then it was class time.

Today in life con we talked some about a project that I believe is due on Monday?  But he hasn't really talked much about it.  So this should be interesting.  We talked about how pension actuaries do pricing and different ways that can be achieved.  It can get pretty tricky.

After class I went to the computer lab to work on some stuff with Dustin and Timbo. It didn't take too long, but long enough that I couldn't fit in a work out before I had to work in the computer lab.  So no workout today for me.  I just did some more probability problems and such.

When I got home I cleaned up a little bit, answered some emails, did dishes, and studied for my life con test on Friday.  It shouldn't be too bad, but we shall see.  I'm starting to understand some of this material better, I just need to keep all of the formulae and connections straight.

Mom, Aunt Kathy, and Beth came up today for dinner.  They got here around 4:30.  Mom and I went to Wal-mart to pick up my prescription and some salad dressing.  Let's hope this stuff works!  After dinner was ready, they went over to Jessie's apartment and I waited for Kathryn, as she joined us for dinner tonight.  And she got to meet some of the family.

Aunt Kathy and mom made beef stroganof for dinner.  It was really good.  Then we had cheesecake for dessert, which was also phenomenal.  During/after dessert we got into a nice little theological discussion about making a politically correct Bible, and how some changes (like different translations) are allowed but others aren't.  There was some disagreement, but I felt like it was a productive debate.  Then I ended up showing more of my internet nerdom by explaining to everyone (save Beth and Aunt Kathy) what lolcats are and how there is a Bible being translated into "lolspeak."  Yes, it's a real thing.  Do not be alarmed if you have no idea what's going on.  That means you're normal.

Anyhow, eventually mom and co. had to go home, since they had a 3 hour drive ahead of them.  And now I'm home, hopefully going to bed sometime.  Yup!  Good night all.


Day 273

Well, another week!

I actually woke up with plenty of time this morning, but apparently I took too long doing...something.  I don't really know what.  Probably eating.  Anyhow, somehow I was able to make it to the parking lot before the bus left.  It only took me 8 minutes to get to campus today, not the normal 10 or 11.  I won't complain though.

This morning in investments I think that for the first time, I finally understand what we've been doing for the past 2 weeks.  So that's exciting.

For some reason I was exceptionally hungry after class, so I got some biscuits and gravy as a snack. They were oh-so yummy.  Then we all studied for our life con quiz.

In my upcoming life con exam, there is a take-home portion that is to be done in Excel.  So Dr. Foley talked more about that and I think I understand what's going on in that as well.  How thrilling!  Then we had our quiz, which I think I got 100% on.

After class I went to go work out for a little bit.  I really wasn't down there for very long, maybe 45 minutes.  I just wasn't feeling it today.  Apparently  this was in my favor, because about 30 minutes after getting home I saw that I had an email alerting all students of a bomb threat in the gym where I had been working out.  Thankfully nothing became of that, but I'm glad I wasn't there for it.

This afternoon I worked on probability for a little bit.  Then after dinner I played some Left4Dead with Jared, Adam, and Derrick.  That was fun.  Eventually Derrick had to leave so Miles joined us.  Yup, it was fun.  Then I talked with Clifton for a little bit about life and such.  And now I'm tired.

So I'm going to bed.  Good night!


Day 272

So today was decent.  I wasn't feel fantastic when I woke up, but I started feeling better as the day went on.

I made some eggs for breakfast.  They were good.  I'm glad that I got cheese when I went to the store yesterday, because it definitely made them better.  My legs have been really sore from working out on Friday.  Like...waking up this morning was painful. I meant to take some tylenol but I forgot.

Jessie and Richard came to pick me up for church. Apparently stairs were especially difficult today. 

Today at church there was a guest band playing music for us.  So they song some, read the bible, sang some more, and so on.  It was pretty decent.  At the very end one of the guys gave a 10 minutes story about his custom built guitar. Literally 10 minutes.  And it could have been summed up as: "Someone stole my guitar so I had one custom made.  The wood that I chose had a weird defect on it, so some guy fixed it and now it looks awesome.  So even if you think that you're messed up and God can't use you, you're wrong.  God does cool stuff with broken people."  Oh well.

Jessie made stir-fry for lunch.  It was good.  Richard informed me that he has started to re-think some of his political stand-points and he wanted my opinion.  Normally I love having conversations like that.  But for some reason I just had the hardest time concentrating and focusing today.  So I felt bad for him because I started talking and I realized that I didn't have a clue what I was saying.  I did that to Jessie earlier as well.  I just could not get my act together.

Anyhow, after lunch I went to Wal-mart to talk with the pharmacist about my prescription.  Specifically, I wanted to see if there was a generic version because the one they order for me was woah-expensive.  Since there was only one pharmacist on duty today, the office was closed from 1:30 to 2 for a lunch break.  When it re-opened, I talked with the lady who had taken my prescription on Friday.  She informed me that there was not a generic version, so I'm going to go back on Tuesday when mom comes so that she/dad can pay for it.  Thanks! :D

Let's see.  I studied for my life con quiz tomorrow.  Then I did some reading for my probability quiz on Wednesday.  I'll start doing some problems tomorrow.

I made chicken and rice for dinner.  It was really good. I don't know why I don't do that more often.

Then I spent the evening playing video games.  And now I'm going to bed!  Night!


Day 271

Hi!  Early update today, as I am going to go hang out with some of my friends in the program in a little bit.

I woke up this morning around 8:30.  Then I made some eggs and a bagel.  I also had a big glass of milk because it expires tomorrow.

After breakfast I officially loafed around for a couple hours.  Then I showered and went grocery shopping.  I know, I know.  "But Joel!  You go grocery shopping on Sundays!"  Correct...well, actually not anymore.  I get my produce at Marsh (since it's closer than Meijer and approximately the same price) and with a Marsh card I can save 10 or so percent on Saturdays, just because I'm a student.  So today instead of spending nearly $14 on produce I only spent $10. I realize that's more than 10%, but I'm not going to complain.  I will, however, complain that their peppers were a disaster.  They were withered and all that.  Granted, it is February.  But all their other produce is terrific.  I don't know why they slacked on the peppers.  Oh well.  Anyhow, I'm pretty excited because I'm trying a couple new recipes next week.  I really should start posting those recipes on here.... maybe someday when I get my act together.

After grocery shopping I had lunch.  Then I went to Dustin's to get my laptop, since his new one finally came in the mail.  I finished the investments assignment that I started in class yesterday and (thanks to a suggestion my Kathryn), figured out how to get rid of the error I had been having.

Let's see.  Miles and I played TF2 for a while.  I had dinner.  It was such a fantastically bachelor dinner.  I wanted pasta, but I was out of sauce.  And my garlic bread was in the microwave.  So I threw my pasta in the skillet with some oil and the only other sauce I have right now: teriyaki sauce.  It was actually really good.

Um... and now I'm going to go pick up Paul (he's from California and does not have a car) and go hang out with friends!  Have a good night, all.

Day 270

Apparently I numbered yesterday incorrectly.  Oh well!

This morning was the standard wake up, eat, go to class.  We were in the computer lab in investments again this morning, trying to finish up some things in Mathematica.  But Foley went way too fast and most of us weren't able to keep up.  After he was done (and most of us were still way behind) he gave us the rest of the class period to work on it.  Then left.  Thankfully I was able to figure out what to do, but not everyone was.  We were all pretty frustrated.

After class we went to the Atrium and did a little life con. Jacob and I helped some guy move his sculpture project.  It was this 8 foot humanoid made out of metal scrap. It was kind of cool.  Then in life con we went over the rest of the homework.

After class Dustin and I went to the gym and worked out legs.  That was not fun.  Then I came home, ate lunch, and did laundry.  After I showered I went to the store to get my prescription filled, but they aren't going to get it in until Monday.  Oh well, I can make it to Monday.

I hung out with Clifton and Kathryn tonight.  We played some games on Kimmy's Kinect, which I am borrowing.  And it was fun.

And now it is bed time.  Good night!


Day 267

And now it is time for my daily summary.

This morning I went to the computer lab and worked on my life con quiz.  When I finished with that, I took a look at some of the homework questions, trying to make sense of them.  That didn't go so well, so I planned some questions to ask Dr. Foley in class.

During class he started going over the homework questions, but didn't get to finish.  So we're going to finish going over them tomorrow and have the quiz on Monday (instead of tomorrow).

After class I had some lunch then went back to the computer lab.  I talked with Dustin and David about some of the homework questions, then spent the next couple hours looking for and applying to summer internships.  I really don't even know where they were located, I just started googling things and applying to different places, hoping for something.  I got one email back saying that the position had been filled, and another asking for my resume and answers to a few questions.  One of the sites I found gave a complimentary resume examination.  I got an email back a few hours later and it was very obvious that it had not been read by an actual person, just by an automated service.  The email was way too long for someone to have written it, and some of the advice made no sense.  Oh well.

There was an on-campus career fair today.  I went to it for a little bit.  The main goal was to talk with the people from Indiana Bureau of Insurance, which I did.  The lady with whom I talked seemed interested in talking with me some more about the internship program, but the interview slots were full for tomorrow.  So she asked the I email her a reminder that I'm interested.  I plan on doing that and offering to go to Indianapolis to talk about internships.  I've even considered offering to just volunteer or work for minimal expenses.  I just really want the experience.  I'd take minimum wage... I could live on that even if I had to drive to Indy every day.  Meh.  We'll see how it goes.  I talked with a few other companies that I'll email tomorrow, just a reminder of "Hey, I talked with you!" type of thing.  We'll see how it goes.

When I got back I realized that I could be a good student and study for something.  Or I could be a human being and just chill out.  I decided to be a human being.  It was fantastic.

And now it's just about time for bed.  Have a good night, all!

Day 268

So today.

It was Wednesday.  My investments class today was in the computer lab, doing stuff in Mathematica.  I'm not really sure what it all means, but we did some stuff.  We're going back on Friday to finish.

In between classes I studied for my probability quiz.  Bleh.  I do not want to study for that.  Today in class I asked Mr. Frye if the exams got more fun as you go on.  He said "Well... I don't know if I would use the word "fun" to describe them..."  I was not pleased.

After that I went home, got a quick lunch, then met Dustin and Timbo in the library to work on life con.  We were there for a couple of hours and really had no idea what we were doing.  We got through about half of the problems.  Bleh.  I think that tomorrow in class I'm going to ask him to go over some of the important formulae again, because apparently I missed a lot from not being in class on Friday.

Eventually my brain was done.  So I browsed some the library and found some text books for probability, in hopes that they will have some good problems for me to do.  We shall see.

When I got home it was about dinner time.  So I ate.  I tried to take a look life con again, but realized that I really had no idea what I was doing.  So instead of getting frustrated, I didn't work on it.  Later on in the evening I got some equations from Kathryn that Foley talked about on Friday.  Apparently half of the homework and 3 of the 4 take-home quiz questions involve things we did on Friday.  Lovely.

Meh.  I'm tired.  So I'm going to bed.  Tomorrow is probably going to be a long day.


Day 267

Hello hello!  I heard that this was Valentine's day or something.  Huh.

Anyhow, today started like most others.  Except that my day started about 3 minutes after it should have.  I was pretty tired.  I need to start going to bed earlier....  meh.

Let's see.  I got to work a couple minutes late, but people aren't exactly crowding in to the computer lab at 8am.  So it wasn't a huge deal.  When I got there I did a little work on my resume to get it ready for the career fair on Thursday.  Just a couple minor changes.  I don't imagine that I'll be at the career fair for too long, as there aren't many companies hiring actuaries.  But I'm still going to go.

Life con was canceled today, so I just studied for my quiz tomorrow.  It was a bit frustrating.  The biggest problem with these questions is that I can't always determine how to set up the problem.  It's getting pretty frustrating.  I'm going to go to the library soon and look for some more books on probability.  Maybe I can get more problems or something....

Let's see.  I worked out.  Then had lunch and went back to the computer lab.  Worked some more probability.  After work I came home, showered, and took a break for a little bit.  Then I worked on probability for a little bit longer before/during/after dinner.  After my post-dinner work I played TF2 with Jared for a bit.  We were awesome.

I really don't want to take this probability quiz... but I'm glad that since FM is out of the way, I can spend more time to studying for this.  Assuming that I can find more problems to do.

Anyhow.  I'm tired so I'm going to go to bed.  Good night!


Day 266

So today.  I got a little bit of a late start, but still made it to class on time.  I missed the shuttle in the parking lot and it was cold.  But I survived.  We did some stuff in investment.  Yup!

During Atrium time we discussed Tim and Timbo's upcoming exams (Thursday and Saturday).  Dustin is probably going to start studying for MLC in the near future.  That's not going to be fun at all.

During life con we talked more about the multiple decrements model.  We have a couple assignments on Friday.  Bleh.  I need to work on that after my probability quiz on Wednesday.

After class I came back, got some lunch, and played a game for a while.  Kimmy got me a new game so I figured I should give it a shot.  It's pretty fun. Then I did some probability.  I also had an apple as a snack.  It was really good, but I don't know that it was worth $1.25.

I did have a bit of an interesting afternoon.  I decided to update my resume to include my passed exam and email it to CNO.  I had just finished updating it and composing my email when I received a new email.  I figured I should see what it was.  It was from CNO!  What good timing!  But, as I expected, it was another rejection email.  Shoot.  A couple hours later I got a call from an unknown number.  I didn't catch the lady's name or company, but she said that I had applied to this place a couple years ago and they wanted to see if I was still interested.  As she kept talking, I realized that it was Youthworks, an organization that hosts week long mission trips for junior high and high school students.  So I talked with her for a while and everything seemed awesome!  Until she told me the dates: May 21 - August 7.  I mentioned that there was just an ever so slight issue... I couldn't really work in August.  It turns out that this is quite a big issue.  Long story short, I will not be working for Youthworks this summer.  Bummer.

Kathryn eventually texted me to inform me that her test had not gone so well.  So I went over to her apartment to keep her company for a while.  I could only imagine how miserable she was feeling, so I figured I would see if I could make the situation better at all.  We ended up watching soccer for a while, then funny youtube videos.  Then we got some dinner at Scotty's, which is a sports bar and grill near campus.  I had the most fantastic* hamburger.  Instead of a bun it was a soft pretzel.  And the burger was coated with cheese and had fried onion rings on top.  And the fries had cheese and bacon and sour cream on it.  It was amazing and a half.

*The most fantastic hamburger is, of course, a 2X2 animal style from In-n-Out. the second most fantastic hamburger is the Garbage burger from Max and Erma's.  But this one was certainly in the top ten.

When I got home I opted to not be productive.  And I was happy with my decision.  And now I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 265

Well.  Back to school tomorrow.

This morning I got up, ate breakfast, showered, and went to church.  Kimmy didn't sleep well last night, so she stayed and slept.  Church was good.  Pastor Craig talked about the gospel of Mark and about who Mark was.  I really liked that.  He also talked about Francis of Assisi, who is one of my favorite figures from the early church.  From reading that I have done on him, he was a pro at showing love through his character and deeds.  Which I believe we could all do better.  So it's nice to have a good example.

I ran into Kyle Collette after church.  He's working on his MBA right now. We only talked for the 50 or so feet out of the sanctuary, but I haven't talked with him since high school, so it was good to catch up.  And yes, for men that is satisfactory "catching up."

When I got home I got Kimmy up and we had lunch with mom and dad.  Then dad went to some soccer thing he's been putting on for local kids or something. Kimmy worked on her art project, mom and I talked for a while.  Then it was time to go.  Boo.  So we packed up, said good bye, and went out separate ways.

The drive was pretty boring as always.  I stopped at a gas station to fill up and get something to drink.  I was standing at the drinks for a really long time and the guy at the counter asked if I was ok.  He probably thought I was trying to steal something.  In reality I was trying to figure out which size of drink was the best deal.  But for some reason my math wasn't working out with my mental approximation, so it was taking me a while to make a decision.  But I did eventually make a choice and got back on the road.

On the way back I stopped by Aldi and Marsh to do my grocery shopping.  I might start going to Marsh to get my produce, since it's near Aldi.  The only issue is that the apples are way cheaper at Meijer.  I can get a bag of 10 gala apples at Meijer for $2.50.  But at Marsh they charge $2.50 for a pound of apples.  And all the apples were really big, so I spent about $5 for 5 apples.  I was not amused.  These had better be the best apples I've ever had.... After grocery shopping I stopped by Kathryn's apartment to make sure she was still alive, as she is taking FM tomorrow.

When I got back to my apartment I put groceries away, heated up the rest of my stir fry for dinner, and ceased any amount of productivity.  I played TF2 with Miles for a while.  Then I talked with some people on Facebook.  Now I'm going to bed!  So.  Good night!


Day 264

Well. Today was eventful.

Pretty much it went like this. I got up, got Kimmy up, then we had breakfast with our moms and Jessie. Then I talked with mom and Jessie for a while. Kimmy and her mom talked about wedding stuff. Then... I went with kimmy and her parents to go look at a decoration store downtown.

I don't really know what went on at the decorating store. But I think things went well? Afterwards Kimmy and I went to the church and had our first premarital counseling session with Dave, my old youth pastor. We told him about the wedding and such. It was good. Then mom, dad, and Kimmy's mom came to the church to look at it.

Let's see. After the church we went back home and mom did some dinner stuff with Jessie and Mrs. Suttie. I decided to stay out of the way. Jessie went to get mama and poppy, as they were going to join us for dinner. So we all just sat around and talked for a while. It was kind of loud. I'm not really used to that. Oh well.

After dinner Kimmy and I had to work on registery stuff. Neither of us wanted to do it, but for some reason Kimmy wouldn't let me leave. Nonsense, I say. But I tried to be helpful. Then around 9 we went to go hang out with Becky and Miles. It was fun. We just sat around and talked. Now we're back and I'm going to bed. Good night!

Day 263

My goodness.  What a day.

I got up around 6:15 to finish packing, make breakfast, and get all of my materials together before I left.  The plan was to go to Investments, take the quiz, leave to go up to Fort Wayne, then study for a couple hours before my exam.  And that's almost exactly what happened, so that was nice.

The exam was on IPFW campus (or whatever that place is called).  I realized after I arrived that the email had not specified what building I was in, and only vaguely mentioned where to park.  So I found a parking garage, parked on the third floor (in hopes that I no one would notice), and looked for some building that would direct me to the proper location.  Thankfully the library was nearby, and one of the friendly staff was able to direct me to the testing center.  So I found the testing room, made sure that I had everything in order, and then went to go study for a couple hours.  As it turns out, there was a Subway in the basement of that building.  I had planned on finding a Subway for lunch, so this made everything way easier.

After lunch I read through some notes, worked through some problems, and just kind of freaked out for a little bit.  Eventually I just decided to get it over with and see how bad the damage was.  After some rigorous insurance that I wasn't going to cheat (reading two different legal statements about how I promise not to cheat, the ramifications of me cheating, emptying my pockets, leaving my watch and everything else outside the room except for my calculators) I entered the room and began.  Due to the agreements I signed I can't actually talk about any of the problems on the exam.  But I can say that it was a just lovely time.

But everything went better than expected.   After the exam was over, I filled out a questionnaire about my testing experience and preparation.  I gave them a nice explanations of how things could have been improved (like being told how to get to the testing building) and a question that I thought was ambiguous.  And then when I hit "finish" I saw my results page.  And I passed!!  I won't get an official score for about 8 weeks, but I know that I passed and I am ever so relieved.  I'm very grateful for all the encouragement from everyone for the past couple months of my studying.  It's been fantastic.

After the exam, I collected myself, learned how to breathe again, and then waited for Rachel to get off of work.  When she was done I met her at her apartment, where we caught up on the past few months of life.  Then when Trevor got home we went to Qdoba for dinner.  It was good to see them, as I haven't seen either of them since their wedding.  We talked about... everything.  Weddings, work, college, Indiana... it was lovely.  Eventually I had to go, which was nonsense.  But it was getting late and snowy and I had to drive to Findlay.  So off I went.

When I got home I saw that Mom had made me a congratulatory banner.  Thanks mom :)  So I caught everyone up to speed on how it went and everything.  Then Kimmy got there a little after I did.  And now... I'm tired.  It was a long day.  Time for bed.  Night!


Day 262

I don't really have too much to say at the moment.  Ah well.

This morning was pretty much like most others.  I got up, had some breakfast, then went to work.  Today I started by writing out some lists from the derivatives market text.  Just definitions, lists of reasons why you would or would not perform a certain action.  There will be a few "which of the following is true" type of questions on there.  Probably 3 or 4.  Then Timbo quizzed me on  equations and such. I think I got everything correct, to my recollection.

Then we had life con. I don't remember too much about it... my mind has sort of been occupied by FM all day.  But we had class.  Then I had a quick lunch and went back to the computer lab to just work through some more problems.

When I got home I worked through some of the practice questions on the SOA website.  They were pretty similar to what I've been doing.  I think that when I start studying for MLC I'm going to get the Infinite Actuary guides, as I have heard that they're better.  We'll see.

Bleh.  I'm so incredibly nervous about tomorrow.  Not because I haven't prepared.  I think it's more of the fact that I've prepared so much that if I fail I won't really know how to prepare better next time.

Anyhow, I made some dinner.  Finished up the tuna casserole from last week.  Then I studied a little bit more.  I didn't want to burn my brain out, so I didn't do a whole lot after dinner.  I packed for tomorrow.  Yup.  I'm not I'm going to pack a little more and try to go to bed.  I have a long day tomorrow....



Day 261

What a day, what a day.  It started off with a shower, followed by some eggs.   I tried something new today.  I put sour cream in my eggs. It was good.  It makes them much fluffier.  I liked it.  I doubt that I would buy sour cream just for that, but I had some from Sunday so I figured I may as well use it.

I got to the parking lot just in time to catch the shuttle.  I've finally picked up on the fact that a shuttle leaves the parking lot area at 7:45, so if I can leave be leaving my parking spot by 7:33 I can make it before the shuttle arrives.  The shuttle was a little late today, because I wasn't leaving my spot until 7:35 but I still made it.

Anyhow, investments was pretty normal this morning.  At one point Dr. Foley was explaining how to optimize a function.  To refresh us on "constrained optimization," he did a classic calculus problem* to demonstrate.  I thought it was funny.

*Calculus is the study of how things change (and some other stuff).  This is often used in a first semester calculus class to study things like speed and velocity.  So some of the classic calculus problems include: "A farmer wants to make a fence for his pasture.  Find the maximum area if he has X feet of fencing" or "A 25-foot ladder slides down a wall. The sliding rate is 3 ft/minute. The top of the ladder is 7 feet from the ground. What is the rate of change of distance between bottom of the latter, and the wall?" You get the idea.  Well, you might.  Either way, these problems (and more) are in basically every modern calculus book.

During Atrium time we just did some studying for probability.  Jacob wasn't in investments on Monday, so I let him copy my notes.  Then we worked through some probability problems.  Tim told us a little bit about his exam experience.  It's pretty serious stuff.  Before going into the room he had to empty his pockets, pull up his sleeves and pant legs, and then room was under camera surveillance.  If you had to use the restroom, you had to raise your hand until someone saw you on the camera, then they would escort you out of the room.  You would sign out, go use the restroom, then get re-checked before coming back in.  So it's a pretty big deal.

Probability went decently.  Yeah.  We asked some questions on last week's stuff, then did some problems from this week's material.  This week we're starting to get into discrete probability distributions, which means memorizing lots of things.  So yay.

After class I went home, did the investments homework, and ate lunch.  I made some leftover tuna casserole in the skillet.  It was every so tasty.

After lunch I studied for FM.  I also had two cups of coffee, but that wasn't enough to keep me from being tired.  Oh well!  I kept on going.  I made stir fry for Kathryn and Clifton, then we had a little study party.  I actually did a  lot of problems today.  Probably around 50 or so.  I was pleased.  I think that if the exam is mostly like the practice I've been doing then I should do fine.  At this point my only concern is that there will be things that were not covered in the manual and text books.  Which really shouldn't be the case, but I'm just nervous since I've never taken one of these before.  But we'll see!  The idea of all this practice is just to make the real exam as close to practice as possible.

Anyhow.  I'm going to try to get some sleep.  Hopefully all this exam nonsense doesn't keep me up.  Night!


Day 260

Well, another day is just about over.  And that means more sleep!  So far this semester has gone by so much faster than last semester.  I think that's mostly due to the fact that I'm just not as busy and overwhelmed as I was last semester.  Most of my days have consisted of going to class and studying for FM.  And so far my main classes aren't very challenging.  Last semester all three of my classes were challenging and required a lot of work outside of class.  And teaching took way more time than the computer lab and grading does.  But I am definitely fine with not being as busy.

This morning I got up and went to work.  I didn't have any grading, so I just studied for probability.  Then I went to life con.  We talked some more about the multiple decrements model.  Since this model is used to determine things like worker's compensation and wage benefits for dead employees, it is comes up in court at times.  Dr. Foley talked a little bit about his time as an actuary and how he didn't like being an expert witness.  As he said "It's the job of the opposing lawyer to make the witness look like a fool, and that was never especially difficult*.  It never really made sense to me though.  Actuarial science isn't an exact science, you use shortcuts all the time.  So how can I honestly say that when I'm cutting corners and the other guy is cutting corners that one of us is supposed to be right?  You can't!"

* Dr. Foley is very smart but like many intelligent people he can't always say things like they're worked out in his brain.  Also like many mathematicians, his brain is doing such high level computation or analysis that when he's explaining things he doesn't include every detail.  That typically isn't a problem for his students, but I can see that being an issue in court when people don't understand how he thinks.  So if he's explaining something he might not write every detail simply because his mind is on more important things.  A favorite Foley quote: "I have better things to do than arithmetic."  This is precisely how most mathematicians.  Arithmetic is trivial.

After life con I went to the gym to go work out with Dustin.  We didn't finish our work out because he wasn't feeling well and it was really hot.  I was starting to get a little nauseous too.  So we stopped after about 45 minutes.  That was fine with me.  I went back to my office, had lunch, then went to the computer lab.  I didn't want to buy salad this week because I had so many left overs, so I took a bagel and peanut butter in with me.  It was a good lunch.  In the computer lab I did some work for FM.  I started to re-read the chapters on futures contracts and commodity/interest rate swaps.  I can do the problems fine, but I want to get some more theory.  We'll see how it goes.

When I got back to my apartment I showered and took a nap.  I was pretty tired and didn't want to make coffee.  So I slept for about an hour.  I felt much better afterwards.

Then I got up and read some more.  I heated up some left over tuna casserole for dinner.  That's pretty much what I'll be eating for the rest of the week, with some other left overs so spice things up.  Apparently one batch makes a lot.

After dinner I worked on probability for a while.  Then I did some more FM problems.  I facebooked for a bit.  My friend Lindsey got accepted into OSU's Chemistry grad school program, so that's pretty exciting.  This isn't really going to mean anything to pretty much everyone who reads this, but Miles and I are considering putting together a Highlander team this summer and possibly being in a (UGC?) tournament?  But that really depends on how much time we all have.  It's fun to dream.

And now I'm probably going to go to bed!  So.  Night!


Day 259

And another day has been vanquished by me.  Woo hoo!

I was really tempted to skip finance this morning.  Like... really really tempted. My stomach was very displeased with the torture I put it through yesterday (Mexican for lunch, tacos for dinner, queso dip and jalapenos for a snack) and I was tired.  My alarm went off at 6:30 and I hit the snooze.  Three times.  Then I resent my alarm for 7.  At 7 I woke up and just waited for a minute, hoping that I was get a sudden urge to be productive and go to class.  The urge never came.  But I decided to get up, if for no other reason than to collect my quiz and tell Dr. Foley that I won't be in class on Friday because of FM (and hopefully he will have some mercy on me).  Investment was definitely not worth getting up this morning.  I think about a third of the class was absent.  It was really funny because at the beginning of class Tim and I were talking about what we might talk about in class.  We were just trying to be absurd, so Tim says "I bet we're just going to plot some lines on a graph."  You can probably guess where this is going.  20 minutes into class we're plotting some lines on a graph*.  It was pretty funny.

*Explanation of humor: generally plotting lines is seen as an activity for elementary algebra.  So the it was funny because you don't normally spend much time on that in higher level courses, as it is seen as "trivial work**."

**The concept of things being trivial is additionally comical to mathematicians. You see, math text books and lectures are often chock-full of theorems and proofs of those theorems.  It is very (far too) common for a math text book to have a something of this nature: "Let f and g be in R[a,b].  f + g is in R[a,b] and the integral from a to b of f(x) + g(x) dx = integral from a to be of f(x) dx + integral from a to b of g(x) dx.  The proof of this is trivial and left as an exercise for the reader."  This is from my Real Analysis course last spring.  Hint: it is not trivial at all.  Not even close.  However, it is very very common for a book to say that a proof is "trivial" or "obvious," then never show the explanation.  What's funny about that is in my Technical Writing class, Dr. Noonan informed us that if we ever saw that in a journal article, there was a good chance that the writer new that the beginning and end results were correct, but never actually bothered to do the work to prove it.  Which I think is kind of funny.  Regardless, saying that something is "trivial" is usually funny to mathematicians in a very ironic or sarcastic way.  Similarly, a common joke among people who know some math history is to say that "I have an elegant proof, but the margin is too small to contain it.***"

***This is a reference to the classic, 300 year puzzle known as "Fermat's last theorem," in which amateur mathematician Pierre de Fermat came up with a "proof" for the theorem x^n + y^n =/= z^n for n greater than 2.  Fermat then died before he could ever write the proof down.  For 300 years this theorem went unsolved.  Many mathematical institutions held large prizes for anyone who could solve this.  It wasn't until recently (1990s, I believe) that renowned mathematician Andrew Wiles solved this after 7 years of dedicated work.  The proof ended up being nearly 200 pages and involved mathematics that Dr. Wiles had to formulate**** to make the theorem possible.  So it is largely speculated the Fermat did not actually have a proof for this conjecture, and simply thought he did.

****Wiles did not actually create the mathematics needed.  You see (I haven't taken the time to Google my facts, so these are largely from a class I had a year and a half ago, so the details are fuzzy), a little bit before Wiles began work on Fermat's last theorem, there was a pair of Japanese mathematicians working on a conjecture (something which has yet to be formally proved), called the Tatniyama-Shimura conjecture (for those were their names).  However, after working on this conjecture for so long they abandoned their work and Tatniyama committed suicide (not uncommon among mathematicians creating new areas of math, sadly*****).  The Taniyama-Shimura conjecture rested on Fermat's last theorem being correct, and vice versa.  So Wiles actually proved the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture, thereby proving Fermat's last theorem.

***** Georg Cantor was a mathematician who is credited with first suggesting that there are multiple levels of infinity.  For instance, the first level deals with the number of integers (numbers like 3, 28, -831).  There are an infinite number of them.  However, Cantor believed that there were more numbers between 0 and 1 than there are integers.  Therefore, there must be TONS of numbers if if you included all the integers and all the decimals in between integers.  For this idea, Cantor was put into an asylum and died alone and poor.  Next up we have Alan Turing, genius who cracked the Enigma code during World War 2.  He also shares a birthday with me!  The German army had this incredible device that allowed them to send coded messages to other Germans that were virtually impossible to decipher without the proper receiving machine (the code was sent and received on encoding/decoding "Enigma machines").  After a brave mission to board a German sub and acquire an Enigma machine (I think that is based off of some old movie I watched with mom and dad... no idea if that's fact or not), Alan Turing used his theory of involving the Turing Machine and its Infinite Ticker Tape, Turing was able to crack the Enigma code, which was one of the Ally's greatest tools for counter-intelligence against the Germans.  As a reward for his dedicated service for his country, Turing was found guilty of the crime of homosexuality and chemically castrated.  Turing ended up committing suicide out of shame and hopelessness.

Huh.  That was quite the tangent (I promise that's my last math joke).  This is pretty much how my mind works.  While life is going on, this sort of thing is running in the background.  I could seriously talk about this all day and not get bored of it.  So if anyone ever wants a math lesson that starts in algebra, runs through the important parts of calculus, set theory, probability theory, finance, and makes frequent stops in math history then just let me know.  After Friday I'll have some free time.

Anyhow.  The rest of my day.  Wow, I literally have just gotten through 9am. Um, Tim, Paul, Timbo, and I went to the Atrium.  Today was definitely a coffee day.  We worked through some FM problems.  I was able to help explain some of the concepts involving comparing option profits.  During life con was started a new topic today which seems really interesting.  We started to discuss the "multiple decrements model."  This means that instead of simply looking at death as a way of exit, we examine different ways of dying and various ways of exiting, or of "a status failing," as we like to say.  Always distancing ourselves from the reality of death, as it makes things less morbid and our job easier.  For instance, when dealing with insurance one need not necessarily die to acquire the benefit.  There are other ways (liquidation, retirement, quitting, disability) that a company must consider.  So it is the actuary's job to discern the likelihood of these events occurring given current modeling data.  So I'm pretty excited to learn more about this.

After class I came home and had some lunch.  Then I worked on FM for a while.  I had a really difficult time studying today.  I only made it through... about 23 problems.  Bleh.  I found a new website with questions from past exams.  I've found that the questions are similar to ones that I've had, but it's difficult to focus because they don't change up the topics.  Normally on the exams, two consecutive questions will rarely be on the same topic.  But they purposely order the questions on this website to align with the Actex study manual.  So after 12 interest questions... I just get bored and want to move on.  It's good to get the practice of all the different ways that a question could be asked, but I just found it difficult to stay focused without a change.

And that was most of the rest of my day.  I also did some dishes.  I realized that my dishwasher really is garbage and hardly washes dishes.  And the garbage disposal really does nothing.  I need to call maintenance.  I have to use tongs to get food out of the sink, otherwise it will start to smell like food because apparently it's just sitting in the sink after getting ground up.  I'll try some of my sink declogger and see if that does anything.

Ok.  I'm pretty tired and I'm sure you're all ready for me to end my math lecture.  So good night!


Day 258

Well today.  It was a pretty good day.

I went grocery shopping this morning.  I didn't need too much, mainly just stuff for dinner tonight.  I'm just going to finish up left overs for the rest of the week, I think.  Yeah, that should be good.

This is going to be short, by the way.  I'm pretty tired.

Went to church with Jessie and Richard.  Richard's parents came with us, as their church in Indianapolis got canceled today because of the Superbowl.  I guess their church meets in the city library, but access to most of downtown was shut off today unless you had a Superbowl ticket.  So they couldn't get to the library for church.  After church we went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch, Puerto Vallarta.  It's pretty tasty.

After lunch I came back to my apartment.  I tried to nap but couldn't fall asleep.  So I had some coffee instead.  I found some more practice FM problems, so I started working on those.

Around 5:30 Dustin and Timbo came over to watch the Superbowl.  So I made some tacos for dinner.  I definitely underestimated how far a pound of meat would go.  Not far, that's for certain.  But we also had some chips and dip, so we got plenty of food.

I think it was a good game.  We enjoyed ourselves, which I suppose is the purpose of watching a football game.  Umm... I don't have much else to say about today.  I called my mom earlier this afternoon.  And... now I'm going to bed.  I really hope that Foley cancels class in the morning... but we shall see.  Anyhow.  Good night!

Day 257

Don't worry, everyone.  I've got this.

So I woke up this morning around 7:30.  My body hates me, methinks.  But up I got.  As per usual, my first hour of Saturday was not productive.  Eventually I made some breakfast.  I had 7 eggs in my refrigerator this morning.  So I made an extra big, 4-egg omlette for breakfast.  It was fantastic.  I had a little bit of onion, some cheese, and chili powder.  I also started doing some dishes.  It was getting bad.  After breakfast I started organizing a little bit as I was putting dishes away.  I took all my container apparatuses on the counter and attached their respective lids onto them.  Any container or lid that did not have a partner was pitched.  And not a tear was shed.

It appears that I'm an odd mood.  Anyhow, carrying on....

After food and a shower I took my last timed exam.  My study manual came with 11 exams.  Today I took the last timed exam.  I really tried to take my time, read each question thoroughly and make sure I was interpreting the question correctly.  The last question just... made absolutely no sense.  Over all I got 29 out of the 35 questions correct.  That definitely would be passing.  That felt pretty good.  Now let's hope I can pull that off next week...

I got some lunch after I finished my exam.  I have a lot of left overs from this past week, so today I had some of the pineapple ham I made a few days ago.  Oh man, it was just fantastic.  So much goodness.  I still have a lot of leftovers, so I don't really know how much grocery shopping I need to do.  Mainly just my salad stuff.  And some dish washer soap.

I did some more cleaning.  Then I studied for probability some.  Like usual, I can do about 70% of the questions without issue.  But the other 30% really just is not good.  Hopefully I can survive until FM is over and I can really focus on studying for it, instead of just getting through each quiz.  I want to get some books from the library with extra problems, maybe actually read through a book that's helpful?  This study manual pretty much assumes that you've had everything and just need the most basic reminders on everything.  I have had everything...technically... But sometimes I need a couple examples, not just a theorem.  Oh well.

Kathryn and I went to dinner at Pita Pit.  It was tasty.  I need to branch out more because I think I've gotten the same thing each time I've gone.  To be fair, I really can't think of many things better than chicken and ham together.

When I got back I decided that I had been productive enough today.  So I didn't do anymore work and just played games with Miles.  My brain refused to take in any more information, so tonight was just a relaxing night.

I'm pretty tired so I'm going to go to bed now.  Night!


Day 256

256 is 2 raised to the 8th power.  Most people in math-related fields have the powers of 2 memorized at least up through the 10th power (1024), usually 3 to the 5th power (243), and generally 5 to the 4th power (625).  Other common numbers memorized are pi (3.14159265), e (2.718281828), and sometimes the golden ration (1.618).  But the golden ratio is not used as frequently in most fields, so it is usually an outcast.  Then there are a whole slew of identities and theorems that just get used so often that you can't forget them.  I remember that I drilled some of the identities from my integral calculus class for so long that I can still remember some of them.  One that actually comes up on occasion is the derivative of arc-tangent = (1 + x^2)^-1.

Anyhow.  This morning we had a quiz in investment.  I think I was able to drag it out to 5 minutes.  It was 4 questions from our incredibly simple homework assignment.  Afterwards we went to the atrium and studied for the life con exam for a bit.  We had about an hour and a half, and we mainly just quizzed each other over equations and such.

The test was fairly straight forward. There were 8 questions and 6 were pretty basic.  The other two were a bit confusing.  I got one of them answered, but by the time the exam was over only 2 people finished.  So Tim (word-smith that he is) convinced Dr. Foley to let us take the exam and finish it by Monday.  Foley agreed.  He also said that we can work on it in a group if we'd like.  So Tim, Kathryn, and I marched right on over to the library to finish the exam.  As soon as we sat down I figured out how to solve the last problem. I just was getting no inspiration while we were in the room.

After we finished I went to go work out.  I did biceps and triceps today.  I got to the locker room at the same time as Timbo, so we discussed the exam and the problems on which we were stuck.  When we got to the gym we saw Adrian.  He was in my stats class last semester.  This was the first I'd seen him all semester.  He currently has an internship working for.... something involving basketball and something or something.  If I knew anything about professional basketball I could give you a little more info.  Regardless, it's a great internship and he will almost certainly get a job with them, which is pretty much his dream job.  So I'm pretty happy for him.

When I got back home I showered and got to work on FM for a couple hours.  This exam in particular had about 4 problems that I felt were very poorly worded.  Ugh.  And two problems that I just had no idea what to do.  I keep doing about the same on the exams, getting right around 70% correct.  I only have one practice test left, and I'm going to take that as a timed exam tomorrow.  Hopefully I can do better.  And hopefully there aren't so many bogus questions.  Some of these questions aren't difficult, but they just make you assume such outlandish things.  I'm not always sure how I'm just supposed to know what they're implying.

I also talked with grandpa on the phone.  He's going to let me have his twin beds that he's getting rid of, so now Kimmy and I won't have to buy a bed for next year!  Yay!

Anyhow, I made tuna casserole for dinner.  It turned out well.  It was a bit of an adventure because, as usual, I didn't read the entire recipe before I started cooking.  This proved to be a bad things, as one of the last lines involved "mixing with the cooked and drained noodles."  At no point was I told to start making noodles... so I hadn't!  thankfully my front left burner is very powerful and in about 10 minutes I had boiled water and made pasta.  My kitchen was a mess, but it tasted good.

I worked on some probability problems during/after dinner.  After an hour or so I needed to get out, so I went to Wal-mart to pick up a new pair of gym shorts and some protein powder.  I've used protein a couple of times at Dustin's apartment after our work outs and I really liked it.  So I'm going to give it a go and see what happens.  I just need to make sure I'm drinking more water than I am right now.  I usually drink about 2 quarts a day and I'm supposed to drink about twice that.  So... this will be fun.

When I got back I worked a few more probability questions, but it got to the point where I wasn't getting anywhere.  I couldn't get my brain in order to actually solve things.  I didn't want to just keep referring to the solutions, so I stopped for the night.  Then I watched some youtube videos for a while, and  now I'm going to bed!  So good night everyone.


Day 255

Well.  Today was Thursday.  Indeed.

I had oatmeal for breakfast.  I think I'm almost out, but I can't remember if I have another box or not.  For the past couple of weeks I've been getting one box of oatmeal and one dozen eggs for breakfast.  I really like that combination.  It keeps everything fresh and I don't get tired of anything.  Though I'm not a huge fan of using American cheese in my eggs.  It way cheaper... but not very good.  I need to get some other cheese.

Today in the lab I just graded.  There was a lot.  And some of the problems were very detailed.  So out of my 5 lab hours today I graded for about 4 of them.  Even though it's not difficult work, it's very meticulous.  And looking so intensely at the work is tiring.  I had class as well.  In life con Dr. Foley just worked through the practice exam.  It was sort of useful.

After class I had lunch then went back to the lab.  I really like the salad dressing I got this week.  It's some sort of creamy catalina.  It's really good.  And the taco seasoning is amazing on the chicken.  I think that I'm going to start getting salad dressing at Meijer.  It's not that much more expensive ($2 versus $1.75) for way better selection.

Today I realized yet again that I don't fit in well with some of the other actuarial students.  Many of them are mainly in this for the money.  I guess I just don't care enough about money.  If I end up enjoying this, then I would definitely do it for less.  As long as I can pay my bills and save part of each pay check, I don't see why I would need more money.  I guess that back when I was in education I had resigned to the fact that I wouldn't be making much money.  So I've always been in a mindset of having a low cost of living.  And being a graduate assistant has made me realize that I really don't need that much money to live.  Sure, I'm not paying for everything at the moment.  I'm paying for the majority of my daily expenses, save phone and insurance.  But I'm learning how to live on not much money.  And how to be happy even when I don't have an abundance of money.  I like the simply life.  And it will be nice to be paid well, but it's not necessary.  If I realize that for some reason I don't like being an actuary, then I'll work somewhere else.  For me, liking the job and job security are the two biggest priorities.  If I like my job, then I can be happy and work and at home.  If I don't like my job (a sacrifice for more money), then I will only be happy at home.  I read a study once that one average, a person's happiness does not increase with their income after around $60 or $70 thousand a year.  And I think that's a matter of economics.  Having more money doesn't mean that you're going to buy more things that will give you more satisfaction. a $300 item and a $5 item could give you the same satisfaction.  All of that to say: as long as I can pay my bills and have money left over, then I will be satisfied.

Also: if anyone has spare furniture that they don't want, I will probably happily take it off your hands.  Kimmy and my current collection of furniture for next year includes: an office chair, a rocking chair, a futon, and a recliner (maybe).  So if you're looking to get rid of furniture, we would probably be interested!

I've also come to realize that my grad school experience has not really been photographed at all.

When I got back to my apartment I studied for FM for a bit.  I was kind of surprised at how many poorly worded questions there were on the exam that I started.  It's frustrating to know that there are going to be poorly worded questions on the exam and there's nothing I can do about it.  Actually that's false.  If I can remember the question, then I can send a letter to the SOA and tell them why I felt like they were bad questions.

Timbo and Dustin came over for dinner and then for more studying.  We formally decided that if we can get enough studying done between tomorrow afternoon and Sunday evening, we're going to have a little superbowl party.  So hopefully I can get enough work done before then.  Anyhow, we studied life con and investments.   And after they left I worked on FM some more.  And now I'm going to go to bed.  Good night!