Day 495

I slept in yesterday.   I don't think I actually got up until 8:45 or 9.  It felt great.  Kimmy got up a little later and we had some breakfast, then went off to the farmer's market.  We got there pretty late, so the corn vendor was already sold out.  Boo.

We finished the rest of our grocery shopping, then came home and had lunch. It took us longer than normal because we were looking for a few things that apparently are hard to find.  Like lunch boxes.  And most of the ones we did find were either way too big (basically coolers), too small, or had Hello Kitty on them.  But eventually we were able to find a good one.

After we got back home we had lunch, then I started on homework.  That ate up the rest of my afternoon.... Kimmy had to go to work a little before 5.  Then I went to a church cook-out with Jessie and Richard.  It was fun!  We got some food, talked with Pastor Mark, then a few different people came up to talk with us.  After we were done eating Richard and I played a yard-game with a couple of other guys.  It was sort of a mix between corn-hole and disc-golf, I suppose.  According to the all-knowing Internet, it has been merchandised as Flimsee.  Here is the basic idea:

The people are trying to throw the frisbee in between the poles.  If it goes directly between the poles, you get get two points.  If you hit a pole and the cup gets knocked off, you get one point.  But if you knock a cup off, the other team can try to catch the cup and earn a point.  My team lost, but it was fun.

When I got back home I did some more homework for a while.  Kimmy got home around 10:20, so we talked for a while, had some food, hooked up the Xbox to the TV with a new cable, talked some more... then went to bed.


Day 494

Yesterday started off with some studying for my test.  I ran through formulas again, did some practice exercises, read the text... I felt pretty prepared for it.

In other news, it's official: my bike tire has a leak in it.  So until I can afford to fix it, it looks like I'mm be walking to school.  Which isn't so bad, it's only a mile or so.  I left to go study with Dustin and Timbo for a while, but we'd all studied pretty much everything that there was to study.  Dustin had to tutor someone (he was working his office hours) so Timbo and I went to a different room to study.  We went over some things from class that *probably* wouldn't show up on the test (since we hadn't really covered them at all), but we had time so we looked at them again and tried to make sense of it.  We also discussed economics.  Someday when I have time I'd like to read some good books on history, economics, and sociology.  I think I'm just really interested in how things develop over time.

The test went much better than I had anticipated.  It was nearly identical to the practice test, so I'm pretty sure that I got 100% on it.

During the other class we learned more things about the stock market.  The things we're discussing are a little more theoretical than most of the things we discuss.

After class I came home and considered getting work done... but ultimately did not.  I needed to relax.  The next week is going to be very long, so I needed to take a break before getting into it.

Jessie and Richard came over for dinner.  We had the test of the lasagna that Kimmy made.  So we talked school and jobs and weekend plans and such.  It was fun.  They're in the process of getting the details finalized on their house, so they've had many many trips to Fishers over the past few months.

Later on in the evening I went to go see a movie with Dustin.  Every Friday there is a movie night on campus that is free for students.  It was pretty good.  The movie was called "Seeking a friend for the end of the world."  The premise is that a meteor is about to hit earth and everyone has three weeks to live.  So it follows one guy and how he spends his last days alive.  It was written as a comedy but obviously had some pretty dark undertones.  I was so emotionally drained when it was over.  I'd go from laughing to being sad to getting very contemplative... all within a couple of minutes.  For the entire movie.  I needed a nap when it was over.

Then I came home, talked with Kimmy about her day and everything, then went to bed!


Day 493

I did my standard routine this morning: get up, get ready, go to class.  This morning in my class we talked about different sampling methods.  There are so many cool things that could be done with these chapters... but I just do not have the time and energy to look for really good, engaging ideas for the students.  On the one hand I feel bad that I'm not doing a better job and trying to make a class that so engaging and exciting for the students.  On the other hand... I feel that I'm doing the best that I can with the resources and time that I have.  But I've been giving them projects to do each chapter that get them thinking beyond the text book.  So my goal is to give them an assignment that has them reading about and examining different sampling methods and such.  I'm not quite sure yet, but I want to make a good project for them.

Anyhow, after class I finished working on the project for my Regression class. There were a few other people from my class in the computer lab, so Timbo and I were able to help them out with some questions they had.  Then I had a quick lunch and went to a meeting with the other MATH 125 instructors.  It was fine.  Since every student has to take this class there are some assessment things that need to be done to make sure that everything is getting taught.  So... yeah.

Then there was class.  Yep.  It was....class.  I'm not sure what else to say about it. After it was over I came home and Kimmy and I went to the store.  Tomorrow is Timbo's birthday, so I had some of my friends over for dinner in celebration.  So I made hamburgers and Kimmy made fries.  It turned out really well.  But Kimmy had to go work, so she couldn't stick around for very long.  Dinner was good though.  We talked math and movies and geographical preferences.  It was fun.  Then after dinner we did some studying.  I feel pretty confident about the test... but anything could happen!

Yeah.  So i'm gonna go to bed now.  Good night!


Day 492

Quick recap of today.

I got up early this morning to prepare for my interview.  I had some really good notes from the presentation yesterday, so that gave me a good start to doing some preparation for the interview.

On my way to school I noticed that the road seemed a bit bumpier than usual.  So when I got to campus I looked at my bike and sure enough, my back tire was entirely flat.  So hopefully I haven't broken anything in my bike.  That would be sad.  I got to my interview a couple minutes late, but since I was the first of the day the interviewers had not yet arrived either.  So I took a minute to prepare and then went up to the office room for my interview.  I thought it went well, but (as always) I'll wait a couple weeks and hope to hear back from them!

After the interview I went back to campus and worked on my regression assignment a little bit more.  I'm getting closer to completing it, so hopefully I'll get it done tomorrow.

I went down to the atrium to have lunch with Timbo and Dustin.  We all had interviews with Hannover Re so we discussed how those went.  And... how badly we just want to get a job.  I hate how much I think about it, but it's hard not to when I have presentations every week and interviews and all of these things to remind me that I need to be getting a job.

Then we had class.  In Foley's class we did some review for the test on Friday.  In Owens' class we talked some about... the rate of change of the different variables (stock price, risk-free interest rate, dividend yield, volatility, time, and strike price) with respect to the option being priced.  There was a lot of new information, so we will thankfully be continuing our discussion on Friday.

After I got home I took a little time to plan out all of the things I have coming up.  I have a test and an assignment due on Friday, a take home exam due a week from today, a test next Thursday, and then another test next Friday.  After that Friday test I'll be writing my next exam for my class. So I wanted to write out a schedule through Sunday so that I could stay on track.

Kimmy and I had leftovers for dinner.  Then I did some work for a while.  Studying, then lesson preparation.  After I was done I browned some meat for Kimmy and she made lasagna!  When I was done with those things I played a game with Miles for a little bit to wind down from the long day.

And now I'm gonna go to bed.  Good night!


Day 491

And now for your daily dose of "What exactly does Joel do with his life?"

The answer (as usual):

This morning I got up and went about my morning rituals.  Then I went to go teach.  I felt like the lesson went better than most.  This next chapter is on statistics, so I tried to explain things through examples a lot.  I did a few different examples so they were able to get a general feel for the definitions and terms.

After class I went to my office for a little bit, then I worked on homework with Timbo.  We worked on a project for a couple of hours, but then got stuck.  So we went to get lunch.  And after lunch we went to class.

I had a couple of hours after class before I had to be back on campus, so I went home and made some dinner with Kimmy.  We tried the cream-cheese stuffed chicken again.  It was pretty good.  After dinner I went back to campus for a company presentation for Hannover.  I have an interview with them in the morning.  Their session was really good and both of the recruiters were personable.  When it was over I went up to talk to them for a little bit and thank them for coming.

After I came home I did a little bit of work, then decided to be done for the evening.  So I had some ice cream and watched a TV show with Kimmy.

And now it's bed time.  I have an early start tomorrow.  Good night!


Day 490

Today felt... familiar.  Like many other Mondays.  It wasn't bad, nor was it especially good.  Parts of it were pretty great, but in general it just went about like one might expect a day to go.

Before going to class I entered grades into blackboard and started looking at the next chapter.  Then I went to go meet some class mates to work on an assignment for my Regression class.  We got a little bit done before I had to go.  One of my students was unable to make it to the test on Thursday, so I proctored that today.  While my student was taking the test I read a few articles on economics.  The first one was on the economics of stealing bicycles.  It was really interesting.  The author figured that if people are stealing bikes, there must be some incentive (logical deduction).  But since bikes aren't a very liquid asset (something that can be easily turned into cash), there must be some other reason.  The realization was that it's an easy petty theft with essentially no risk.  Police officers aren't going to stop looking into a murder or bank robbery to look for a stolen bike.  And quite frankly, I don't want them to.  Murderers are a more pressing detriment to society than bike thieves are.  However, since there is no risk and some amount of reward (known as an arbitrage opportunity), bike thieves go for it.  Another article (same author) talked about how iPhones are the most profitable phone to purchase because of the resale value.  That was an interesting aspect I'd never considered.  It's not enough of a reason for me to buy an iPhone, but it was a unique perspective.  And then I read an article about a guy who makes $750 a week reselling things on Craigslist.

Then I had class.  It wasn't quite as exciting as arbitraging bicycles, but that's ok.  In between classes we went to the Atrium and looked over the homework problems before turning them in.  We collaborated a bit to make sure that everything made sense.  I think I understood it... for the most part.  After I turned in the assignment I realized that there was something from Friday's class that Mr. Owens had added to the homework that I'd forgotten to do.  So I'll do that for next week.

When I got home I talked with Kimmy for a little bit before she went to work. But she had to work at 5.  After she left I put my things away and made some dinner.  I was feeling lazy, so I tried something new (and super healthy). I call it: Mexican Spaghetti.
It's basically just spaghetti with cheese, sour cream, and salsa on top.  It was so good.

After dinner I did some lesson planning.  This next chapter is on statistics, so I'm going to do my best to keep things relevant.  We'll see how it goes.  I don't want to make them do long tedious calculations, but the course curriculum mandates certain things.  And so to an extend I will have to make them all do some long tedious calculations.  Yarg.

Then Kimmy came home.  There was a stray cat outside, so Kimmy brought him in while she called the number on his tag.  She just wanted to make sure that he was, in fact, supposed to be outside, which it was.

I think that's about it for now.  Good night, all!

Day 489

Yesterday morning began with some of the usual breakfast and studying nonsense.  Actually, I didn't do school work.  I some organization of the papers for my class.  Everything is graded, but I just need to put all of the grades into Blackboard.  Since I'm going to be giving back two homeworks and a test, I figured it would be worth my time to organize everything.

Church was good.  Pastor Mark talked about how it's so much better to be a good influence and bring people to Christ than to just come to church and "be a good person."  The fact remains that being good does nothing on its own.  I like that he puts such a focus on actually doing things and helping people.

After church Kimmy and I made some lunch, then Kimmy took a nap.  I did some stuff around the house and started my homework.  That was most of the afternoon.  Then we made tacos for dinner!

After we cleaned up from dinner I did more homework.  By the end it was getting late and my brain was totally worn out.  So I called it a night.  I played a game with Miles and Mark for a bit.  We had lots of fun.  Then it was bedtime!  The end.


Day 488

Yesterday morning began with the usual rituals: breakfast, then grocery shopping.  We didn't need anything from the farmer's market, so we didn't go.  Kimmy could only accompany me to one store since she had to work at 11.  So after I dropped her off at home I went to the other stores.  I bought a fire-proof safe!  I figured that would be a good investment.

When I got home I ate lunch, did some grading, did some other stuff around the house... and just alternated between those three all afternoon.  When Kimmy got home we made hamburgers and fries for dinner.  Kimmy tried a new recipe for fries and they were really tasty.

After dinner I finished up my grading and did a correlation study between the grade and the order in which the students finished.  When determining how to variables correlate, one way it can be done is by observing their "correlation coefficient," which is a number that ranges from -1 to +1.  If the number is near  -1 then as variable A goes up, variable B generally goes down, such as the number of years of corn harvested and price.  If the number is near +1 then both variables go up at the same time, like dollars earned and the amount taken in income tax.  I will not explain how you get the correlation coefficient... but it uses math.  Anyhow, a 0 means that there is no correlation between the two variables.  Well.... there was a 0.04 correlation coefficient.  So it is almost completely uncorrelated.  Oh well!

Around 8:40 or so, Kathryn, Erica, and Paul came over, then we all went down to Indianapolis and go to the dueling pianos club "Howl at the Moon."  I had a lot of fun.  They had a band of probably two pianos, drums, and a handful of other instruments (such as guitars and violins and such) and they played a bunch of songs.  I knew about a third of them.  But it was fun.  It would have been nice if we'd been able to sit down at one of the tables, but it was pretty packed.  Dustin met up with us later on with a couple of his friends.  And then we left around 12:15 and came home.  We were all pretty tired.

The end!


Day 487


Yesterday morning I did a little work.  Usually Fridays are my "productive no schoolwork day."  So in the morning I researched Aon Hewitt before my interview and did some dishes.  Then I went off to class.

In my first class we finished our discussion on "Bayesian Credibility Theory."  The entire idea of Credibility Theory is trying to determine the expected value of the next observation.  So... suppose that I work for an insurance company and we open a new line of business in a new state, such as Fire Insurance in the state of Delaware.  Well, I would want to determine how much to charge those people.  So suppose I just pick some amount to charge them, but I want to get a better price.  I also want to figure out how big I can expect each claim to be.  After the first 99 claims, I would probably want to estimate how big the 100th claim would be.  By using Credibility Theory, you could do that.  And after you've figured out the average claim size for fire insurance in Delaware, you could use Credibility Theory to help you figure out how big your overall expected claim size would be.... since 100 claims is not sufficient data.  You generally need 1092 to be 95% certain that your data is sufficient.

Then during my other class we discussed a new way of pricing derivative options on stocks, using the popular Black-Scholes formula.  Black-Scholes is really neat because it takes all of the input values that are needed (stock price, strike price*, volatility**, dividend yield, risk-free interest rate, and time until the option expires).  Using all of that data you can determine the price of a call or a put, which are the two basic derivative options.  It's much more concise than the formulas and methods we've been using.  It's not perfect, but as time has gone on people try and try again to make better models.

*The Strike Price is kind of a funny guy.  But here's how it works: it determines how much money you make.  Let's say that the stock price is $100 and the strike price (at the time when use our derivative option) is $75.  A call is an educated gamble that the stock price will be higher than the strike price.  So if you are correct (which in our example you were), you would make $25.  But if the stock price fell below $75, you would not make or lose anything.

**Volatility measures how much the stock prices change.  It is equivalent to the Standard Deviation of the prices over a given time period, usually a year or more.

So after my classes I went to go interview with Aon Hewitt.  Before it started one of the two people who conducted interviews came to talk with me.  So we just talked about our days and I asked a couple of questions about what to expect from the interview.  So then she took me up to talk with the actual interviewer.  I thought that it went well.  I was happy with most of my responses to the questions... and hopefully he was too!

When I got home Kimmy was at work.  I tried to have dinner ready when she got back, but there wasn't enough time.  So it was not ready.  Harumph.  Kimmy had a sandwich and corn, I made some spaghetti.  And then she had to go back to work.  After she left I did some budgeting.  Then I did some other chores, played a game, and then talked with Jared while I did a little grading.  When Kimmy got home we talked about our budget and groceries for the week.

And that about sums up my day yesterday!


Day 486

At the beginning of the day I went to the library to print off the tests for my class.  Then... you guessed it... I went to class and gave my students a test.  I think that I'm going to start running statistics on the exams.  Specifically I want to see if there is any correlation between the exam score and the length of time taken to finish the exam.  I didn't think to do this at the beginning of the test, but I do know the order that they finished, so I'm going to run a quick correlation and see what I can find.  It will be cool.  I might also throw in attendance.  And conveniently I have more than 30 students so I can safely assume a normal distribution (instead of using the Student's T distribution).  What I'm actually speculating is that people who finished around the mean completion time will do best.  But we'll see what happens.

After class I went to my office, ate, and started grading.  Then I went to go get coffee with Tim.  We had a lovely time talking about classes, the job search, how silly this whole situation is (and how we really just want to get a job), and about married life.  We came to the conclusion that Tim and Erin share a lot of the same background and differences that Kimmy and I have.  So it was very enlightening to hear about some of the exact (or approximately equivalent) issues in different people.

When I got home I did some grading, then Kimmy and I made dinner.  We had corn and sandwiches!  They went well together.  Then I went to a company presentation.  Today's was with Aon Hewitt, which is a consulting company out of Chicago.  I figured it would be a good idea to go to this presentation since I have an interview with them tomorrow.  And I'm very glad that I did go because I had a really good time.  The company seems pretty great and the recruiters were very nice and personable. So I really hope the interview goes well tomorrow.  After the presentation I stayed and talked with some of the other people in the program and one of the recruiters.

When I got home Kimmy and I did some grading.  We got about halfway through grading... so hopefully I can finish that sometime soon.

And now it's time for bed.  Good night!


Day 485

This morning began as usual.  Some of my friends and I decided to meet up and work on our project.  We didn't meet until 10, so I worked on writing my test beforehand.  When I got to campus we worked on the project for a couple of hours.  We'd done most of the analysis on Monday, but today we just needed to interpret the results.

After lunch I had my classes.  They went... pretty much how they always go.  We learned some things.  After class I went up to the computer lab to work on my test some more.  I finished it up, then applied to some jobs.  Most of the companies that do presentations order pizza or Subway or something like that.  Tonight's company (Nyhart) has a tradition of taking us to Scotty's, a local restaurant.  Even though I don't have an interview with them, I figured I'd go and talk with the recruiters.  I enjoyed talking with them and with my friends.  It was actually nice because I wasn't necessarily trying to impress them so I was able to relax a lot more.

When I got back I talked with Kimmy for a little bit, then she looked over my test to make sure that it was readable and not too intimidating.

And now it's time for bed.  Night!


Day 484

Well, another day has been completed.

On this particular day, I got up and had some breakfast.  Kimmy woke up and ate with me.  Then I went to school after I made my lunch.  It was a little chilly today... I liked it a lot.

During my lesson today we did some review for the test on Thursday.  I thought it went well, but I guess we'll see how things go in a couple days!  After class I went up to my office to do some work.  And some studying for my Regression class.  Then I went to class.

When I got home I put all of the things away, then Kimmy and I started making dinner.  I didn't think about the fact that the chicken was all frozen together, so I tried to defrost it fast.  Which turned into about half an hour of my being frustrated at a huge slab of frozen chicken and not making a lot of progress.  Eventually I was able to get enough detached to make dinner.  We made this recipe that basically has you cut slices in the chicken, fill it with cream cheese, then bread it with crackers, cheese, and basil.  It was really good.
And we had corn.  It was really good.  The recipe called for tomato pesto, but Kimmy doesn't like tomato so we didn't use it.  Personally I think it would have been pretty awesome with some tomato pesto in the cream cheese.

During dinner we watched a movie about some astronauts getting stranded on the moon.  That would have been a nightmare.  In other news, I still think that it would have been awesome to be working at NASA during all of the space missions.  Heck, it would have been awesome to just be alive during all of that.  I feel like there were so many exciting things going on during the 60s and 70s!  Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places.

After dinner I did some organizing of my school papers, then worked some more on the exam I will be administering on Thursday.

And now it is bed time.  Good night, and thanks for reading!


Day 483

I don't think I started today properly. Actually, I know I didn't.  I got to campus early to work on an assignment for my Regression class. My mistake was that I tried to learn the material from my class while also trying to teach myself a new programming language (SAS)... and I did not have very good instructions for either thing.  So that was pretty frustrating.  I ended up just using Excel because I'm far more familiar with it.

Then I had class.  We talked a little bit about a new method for determining credibility (a measure for how good our data is).  Then we had a quiz.  I think I did well on it.  I knew how to do all of the problems... let's just hope that I actually did everything correctly!

After class we went to the Atrium and I tried to do some homework.  But my brain needed a break.  So I discussed some of the homework problems with the other people at the table, but I didn't start any of the other homeworks.

So then I had another class and we discussed more pricing of stock options.  We're getting into material that deals with pricing things based on how risk-adverse (whether you're willing to take risks or not) you are.  And how all of those things are measured and contribute to the price of stocks and derivative options.

After class I had an interview with Lincoln Mutual Insurance.  I thought it went well, but I guess we'll see in a month or so!

When I got home Kimmy and I had leftover pizza for dinner.  Then she had to go to work.  So I washed the dishes, tried to fix the refrigerator (and failed), did an assignment for class, and then wrote a couple thank yous.  I know that I was supposed to get all of the thank you cards written about a week ago... but it didn't happen.  I'm not going to sweat it and I'm almost done.

Then Kimmy came home!  And we had ice cream.  It was tasty.

And now it's bed time.  Good night!


Day 482

Today felt like a really long day, and I'm not quite sure why.

After I got up I did a little work on my computer.  Specifically, I tried to fix my mouse.  I've been having some weird issues with it for the past couple of days, so I tried a few other things this morning. I had it working... for a while.  But I didn't have time to look into the issue anymore.  Kimmy and I had to make a quick trip to Wal-mart before church.  Then I dropped Kimmy off at home so that she could get ready for work.  When she started working she told that she didn't want to work Sunday mornings... but I guess Macy's has their own agenda.  Hmph.

Church was good.  I probably always say that, but it really is a good church.  Today Pastor Mark talked about the things that don't really matter to God.  I've heard a lot about how God cares about everything we do and all of that... but it's not often that someone talks about what doesn't matter to God.  Things like where we work, our political party, how much money we make... none of it matters.  The only thing that actually makes a difference is whether we're open to carrying on conversations with God.

After church I got some lunch with Jessie and Richard.  We discussed our family vacation next summer.  And their continuing saga of house-hunting.

When I got home I worked on my computer some more.  I tried a few more things.... and they ultimately did not work.  So for the time being I'm using my old mouse.  Ick.  But it will work for now.  I sent an email off to their customer service, so hopefully I get a response soon.

I made some pizza dough for dinner, then did some studying.  When Kimmy got home she made some bread sticks and we had dinner!

It was all quite yummy.

After dinner we went for a walk in the park near our house.  There's a garden, but it closes at 5:30.  And we always forget to go early or don't have time early.  Oh well.

When we got back we did some laundry.  I tried to fold Kimmy's shirts an failed pretty miserably.

And now it's about bed time.  Tomorrow is going to be a bit of a day: homework in the morning with Alex and Timbo, class, then an interview at 4:30 with Lincoln.  So I need to get some sleep.  Night!

Day 481

It seems that I didn't update for Friday.  So I'll summarize Friday and yesterday.

I had class and things.  After class Kimmy and I got some dinner with Jessie and Richard at Ruby Tuesday.  Actually, Kimmy and I had just gotten seated at Ruby Tuesday when Jessie asked if we had dinner plans.  So we invited them.  We had fun.  After dinner Kimmy and I went for a short walk on the walking/running/biking path in Munce.  It was nice and I'd like to go back sometime.  There's a cute little smoothie place on the path called The Island. It's made to look like a beach.  The smoothies were decent, I suppose, but I think they used the same smoothie mix as Mount Vernon.  But the smoothies came with ice cream on them!

Yesterday morning we did our grocery shopping.  Kimmy joined me for the farmer's market and Aldi, but she had to work so she couldn't join me for Wal-mart.  So we got all of that accomplished.  When we got home I researched some things I can do to fix our refrigerator.  The rubber seal is pretty old and dirty... and the door won't stay completely shut.  I don't know if those are related or not.  But I'm looking into options to fix it, ranging from cleaning the seal with baking soda to replacing it entirely.  It's keeping our food cold but a lot of moisture is building up near the door and I have to clean water up two or three times a day.

Anyhow, yesterday afternoon I went to the library and did homework with Timbo.  We were there for about four hours, but we got it all done!  For that class, anyhow.  It's going to be a very busy week with assignments and interviews.

When I got back I took a break for a while.  My brain was very worn out.  Then I started making some dinner.  I think I figured out how to make hamburgers taste like restaurant hamburgers: pepper and garlic salt.  I tried to make thin hamburger patties because Kimmy prefers those, but they ended up just being really small.  Oh well!  They still tasted good.  After dinner we finished watched the movie we started on Friday night.  Then it was bed time.

The end. 

Day 480


Day 479

This morning started extra early.  My brain was too tired last night to research Humana for my interview today, so I woke up a little early to do some research on the company.

I thought that the interview went well.  But to be fair, I feel like most interviews go well.  At the end they said that they'll be making their selections in the next two or so weeks, so I should be hearing from them at that time.

Then I went to go teach.  The lesson today was pretty in-depth, but I thought it went well.  After class I talked with one of my students and asked him for his opinion on the class.  He told me, then he gave me some really helpful tips that I want to start implementing.  I'd like to get the opinions of some more students over the next few weeks.

After class I did some prep work for the next exam.  I'm giving my class a test in a week, so I sent them a study guide for that.  Then one of my students came into my office for some help.  After my student left I went to go get some coffee and ran into some students I had last fall.  So I talked with them for a few minutes (about 30 seconds), then we were all on our way.

I went to my Regression/Time Series class and we talked some more about matrices and such.  We got our next assignment so I'm hoping that some of these concepts will make more sense after I get some practice.  I've found that most stats classes make more sense after some homework practice.

After class I came home.  I talked with Kimmy for a bit and then I called mom and dad.  As I was on the phone with them our landlord's son came by to replace our refrigerator.  It works!  We had to give it a good cleaning.... and the seal isn't the best, but it works.  Quite well, in fact.  So now our food won't spoil!

After dinner Kimmy had to go to work.  I did some cleaning: I cleaned the refrigerator out, I did the dishes, then I set up our microwave stand that Kimmy's parents brought us.  Then I spent the rest of the evening relaxing and doing a little job searching.

Kimmy got home a little after 10 and we've just been talking and things since then.  And now it's time for bed.  Good night all!


Day 478

Two days from now I can take a breath.  It's going to be awesome.

Today started early.  Actually it started at the regular time... but that's always way too early.  I got up and got ready for the career fair.  Riding my bike with my suit on was an adventure, for sure.

I got to campus around 8:30 and went to the computer lab for a while.  I printed off some resumes and did a little research on some of the companies who were attending the career fair. Erica was there when I arrived, then Alex and Timbo joined us shortly thereafter.  So we talked resumes and... I think at some point Alex got on his political soap box.  But that was short-lived, since we all had work to do.

So the career fair.  It was busy.  But I was able to talk with all of the companies there and even got an interview for tomorrow morning with Humana.  They do (mainly) health insurance and are based in Lousiville.  So I'll be sure to keep you all updated on how the interview goes.  I also stopped by Lincoln Financial Group's table because I interview with them on Monday.

After the career fair I went to class.  We started talking about an advanced version of our previous topic (binomial pricing).  I'm going to have a lot of work to do this weekend between this class and my actuarial models class.

When class was over Dustin and Timbo and I just killed some time until the company presentation.  I like learning about these companies.  I think it's been helpful in trying to decide where I want to work.  But the first step is to get some job offers!

When I got home I did some lesson preparation for my class tomorrow.  And some grading.  I was going to do my research for my interview tomorrow morning (8:30... woohoo!) but my brain was too fried from today.  So I'm just going to get up early so that I can be more refreshed.

Well.  I'm off to bed.  Good night, friends.


Day 477

Part 1: Teaching

The lesson went decently.  I'm always amazed at how the entire room changes almost exactly at 10:30.  For the first hour of class they're nearly lifeless... but as soon as 10:30 strikes they're attentive and ready ask or answer questions.  It's really quite remarkable.  There are a few students who try to participate throughout the class, but it really picks up at 10:30.  I gave their exams back today.  I don't think many of them were thrilled, but with a 75% average and not too many low outliers I wasn't upset.  They have plenty of time to acquire more points.

Part 2: Studying and class

After I finished teaching I worked on an assignment with Timbo.  It took us a little bit to figure out what was being asked and how to answer it, but after we got started it went pretty quickly.  Then we got some lunch and discussed farming.  Well, kind of.  We talked about how it sounded like fun and that maybe someday in the future (like post-retirement) we might give it a try.  I think that for me it's the idea that physical labor is so satisfying.  But alternatively I like a job that is a little more mathematical.  And stable.  When there is a drought... I'll still have a secure job as an actuary.  Maybe I can get my fill by growing a garden.  I would like to do that after Kimmy and I get a house.  I'd like to grow some herbs and small vegetables.  It would be fun!

Then we had class.  We've been talking about how to augment multiple regression formulas into a matrix and apply linear algebra to manipulate those matrices.  This allows us to make models more precise, but also makes things more complicated.

Part 3: Errands, dinner, and the Allstate presentation

When I got home Kimmy and I got ready to run some errands.  We stopped by the Social Security office to get her new card... but they closed at 3:30. You know, because 9 - 3:30 is a normal work day.  Then we went to Chase to get her jointly signed up onto my bank account.  The guy there was really nice and helpful.

After errands we had left overs for dinner.  I had to go shortly after dinner for a presentation.  Ball State's actuarial club brings in some companies from around the midwest to give presentations and to do on-campus interviews.  These positions are usually pretty competitive, but I'm hoping that my resume and interviewing skills are good enough.  The presentation was good.  It was more geared towards some of the younger students who are less familiar with the field, but I still learned a lot about their company.  Two of the three presenters are Ball State alumni.  Afterwards I talked with some people in my program about jobs and things.

Then I came home!  And now it is bed time.  Tomorrow will be a long day.  Night!


Day 476

Today was a pretty full day, I believe.  I spent most of the morning studying for my test today.  I felt pretty confident... I'd memorized all of the formulas and could work every homework problem with ease.  In the areas where I was struggling I worked the extra problems in the book for those sections.  I took a break from studying to look at some more job postings.  One of the companies is going to be looking at resumes over the next few days, so hopefully they will be requesting interviews soon.  And maybe they'll ask to interview me!

My first class went well, I suppose.  I think I understand what's going on.  I have a quiz next week and usually doing the problems helps me feel confident on the material.  After Wednesday.  Everything gets done after Wednesday (the career fair).

The test went well.  I'm about 98% certain that the questions from the the homework.  Granted, that was probably about 40 questions (of which he picked 6), but I'm pretty confident  that I did well.  He didn't put any questions about currency exchange, which was fine by me.  It had been a pretty complicated topic that the book did not explain well.  I was starting to finally understand it, but I am not sad that there were no questions on it.

When I got home Kimmy and I made corn chowder.  I really need to start my food blog up again and put that recipe on there... because it's really good.

Over dinner we watched a movie.  Kimmy fell asleep during it... she's silly like that.  After dinner we cleaned up the kitchen a little bit, then I went off to plan some lessons.  Well, a lesson.  I'm not quite sure when I'll plan the other one, but it'll happen before Thursday.

And now I'm off to bed.  Tomorrow I teach, work on a quiz, run some errands, then I'm going to a company presentation tomorrow night.  Cheerio!


Day 475


Today began with the standard Sunday routine.  Wake up, breakfast, homework, church.  After church we went to First Wok for lunch.

When I got home I did a little cleaning then set to work on studying.  My test tomorrow is only over a few sections and maybe 8 formulas, but some of the questions on the homework were a bit tricky so I wanted to go over them again.... especially the currency exchange section.  There are a lot of moving parts and it's easy to get them mixed up.

So that was my afternoon.  I made some spaghetti for dinner.  Kimmy and I finished watching Firefly then cleaned up.  And I went back to homework.  Actually, after dinner I worked on re-writing my homework so it looked nice.  It took almost an hour and a half.  Not because it was so illegible the first time, but I had to show a few more steps and make sure everything was sufficiently labeled.

And now it's bed time.  I think the test tomorrow will go well... but we'll see!  Night!

Day 474

Yesterday's adventures began with the usual things: breakfast and grocery shopping.  We went to the farmer's market, but then I had to drop Kimmy off at home so that she could go to work.  So I finished up grocery shopping and came home.  I'm pretty excited that we have a working fridge again.  It's awesome.

After I put groceries away I went to go watch a little bit of Dustin's soccer game.  That was fun.  Kathryn and Erica were also there.  As we left Paul and Timbo came to watch Dustin's second game.

When I got home I started doing homework.  It took a while, but I got it all done.  Kimmy came home on her break at work and debriefed a little bit.  It had been a rough morning, as "shadowing" turned out to be "you're on your own.... good luck!"  But the second part of her shift went much better.  Someone else was in the same department and was able to help her out.

I made stir-fry for dinner.  It was good.  After we cleaned up from dinner I finished grading.  Finally.  The average on the exam was a 75%, the standard deviation was about 16% (which seems a bit high, but oh well), but I think that's due to the fact that one person hasn't been to any of the classes but has  yet to drop the course (at least she still shows up on Blackboard).

We had a little adventure later in the evening.  There was water coming from underneath our fridge.  So I moved it out and noticed that there is a little tray in the back that is meant to collect condensation.  However, after the fridge was defrosted all of the water collected there... and overflowed onto the floor.  That water was so disgusting.  We spent about half an hour emptying the tray and cleaning the floor.  But it's much better now.  I hope we don't have to do that again.  I forgot to take a picture... shoot.

Ok, I think that's it for now.  Today's going to be more fun (studying)!  Woohoo.


Day 473

I began the day with some errands.  I went to the dry cleaners, then stopped at the barber to see how much a hair cut was.  Then I came home and did some grading.  I think I'm nearly finished with the tests.... I hope.

I went on campus early today so that I could get some help from Mr. Owens on my resume.  He gave me some really helpful pointers which I implemented.  I think it's pretty finalized for now.  Then I went to the computer lab and reapplied to some jobs with my new resume.

It started storming this afternoon.  It was gross.  I don't like when my bike gets rained on....  Boo.  After lunch I did some more grading.  Then we had class.  We did some review for Monday's exam and I am now even more aware that I will be doing lots of studying this weekend.  Ugh.

After class I went to go get my hair cut.  It was very much needed, especially with the career fair next week.  Then we got dinner with Jessie and Richard at Scotty's.  I had fun.

After dinner Kimmy and I met with some of my friends from my program and went down to Fisher's to watch a soccer game at an English pub.  It was really crowded because the game wasn't being broadcast on regular channels and there were a lot of people who wanted to watch.  And it was raining really hard.  Unfortunately, this caused the satellite for the TV to go out right before the end of the first half.  Which was dumb.  We decided that we were going to go down to the dueling pianos club in Indianapolis, but it was raining too hard... so we decided to postpone that for another night.

So we came home.  But it was a good day.  And now it's bed time.  Night!


Day 472

Well... the chronicles of fridge-less-ness continue.  The rumor for the landlord is that someone is supposed to come over at 10am tomorrow to fix it.  We'll see what happens.

So I started the morning with breakfast and going to class.  This chapter I'm teaching is on scheduling.  I don't like how vocabulary heavy this book is, but since they need the vocabulary to do the homework... I'm not quite sure what to do.  Anyhow, I was about halfway into my lesson when I decided to break from the notes and get a little classroom involvement.  So I talked with them about how they make schedules and calendars, and how it applied to the theories we're discussing.  That seemed to get them marginally more interested.

After class I worked on homework with Timbo.  Then we got some lunch and discussed being actuaries and what all we have ahead of us for the next five years.  It's going to be a lot of work, that's for certain.

Class was fine.  I actually felt like I was able to follow along reasonably well. It's funny (not really), but when I took my Linear Algebra course at Mount Vernon, I knew that it would be useful someday, but I had no idea how.  As it turns out, Statisticians use matrices a lot.  In other news, I'm convinced that if someone looked at my notes or homework, they'd assume I was just throwing symbols around haphazardly.  There are rarely numbers in statistics... mostly just letters.

After that I came home and talked with Kimmy about her day, then attempted to do some work.  My brain was just tired... so I took a short break.  Then we made some chicken and canned corn for dinner.  It was fine.  I'm quite ready to have a working fridge.

I just remembered something.  Before I went to class this morning I cleaned out some of the rotting food that was in the fridge.  Oh my word... it smelled so bad.  It's going to be a while before I can smell carrots or look at mashed potatoes again.  It was so gross.

Anyhow.  We made dinner.  And ate it.  Then froze the left overs since... well, that's the only option we have.

Then I worked on my resume.  I gave it a major overhaul (again), so I'm going to see if Mr. Owens has time to look at it tomorrow.

I was going to do some grading, but my brain is just done.  I was tired from three consecutive long days and stressed because of our fridge situation.  And kinda hungry.  It's going to be a long weekend, but I needed a break today.

And now it's about bedtime. Night!


Day 471

Well.  We made it through another day!

Today's adventured began with homework for a couple hours.  Our refrigerator still wasn't working, so our food is getting pretty limited.  Hopefully it gets fixed soon.

I had a meeting for graduate assistants today.  It was five minutes long.  After we were done I finished up one last homework problem.  Then we went to class.  Oh!  I had an exciting and brand new experience today.  I got my quiz back and received a 65%... but all of my answers and methods were correct.  On the last two questions I (and many of my classmates) did it two ways to show that you could get the same answer both ways (I'll say Method A and Method B).  However, we were apparently only supposed to show Method A.  Therefore... we missed 7 out of the 10 points for each questions.  So that was neat.

In between classes I worked on some homework with Alex and Timbo.  We got it mostly done, but I need to take a look at a few more things before I turn it in.  I'm going to try to do that tomorrow at class.

During our other class we did a little review.  We've been doing a lot of problems of the same type, so I've been able to get really good at them.  It's been helpful.  Mr. Owens also discussed a project that will be due later on in the course.

After class I came home.  Kimmy had her first day of training today, so I asked her about that. Apparently today and tomorrow are mostly training videos.  Woo!  I did some grading, then we had dinner.  After dinner I graded for a little while longer, then worked on my lesson plan for tomorrow.  I had intended on working on my resume, but I was just too tired from going nonstop all day.  So I didn't!  I'll do it tomorrow. I don't have a lot of work... just a few things I'd like to change.  So that's tomorrow.

And now I'm off to bed. Night!

Day 470

These days need to stop feeling like they're a week long.  It's painful.

I got up and got ready for class.  I got a bit of a late start today, but I was able to make it to pack my lunch and make it to the library to print off the tests... and even made it to class a few minutes early.  So that's how most of my students started their day: with a test.

After the test was over I went up to my office and started grading.  Then I worked on some homework with Timbo and Alex.  We got a decent portion of it done... and then we got to class and found out that we have to do it out by hand.  We'd used a program called Minitab, since originally our professor said that our homeworks would have to be done in some statistical software.  But today in class he decided that since this material would be showing up on an exam, we should learn to do it by hand.  Therefore: we'll be doing the homework again tomorrow.

I hadn't had enough to eat at lunch and I was tired.  So I was a bit cranky when I got home.  On top of that, our refrigerator is officially not working, so all of the food in there that needs to be refrigerated is spoiled.  Yay.  I emailed our landlord yesterday about it... the serviceman is supposed to come tomorrow to fix it.  Hopefully he gets it working... because I'd like to keep at least some of my food (like produce) though I think pretty much everything has gone bad at this point.

I graded for a while, then got hungry.  I considered making stir-fry, but a) I didn't want to just waste any leftovers we had, and b) I really didn't feel like cooking.  So we looked through our coupons and found one for steak 'n shake. Apparently almost all of our coupons are for pizza and oil changes, so we had to do a little looking for something else.

After dinner I attended a resume workshop.  They had some good advice and I think I'm going to make some changes... tomorrow.  Not now.  Now is bed time because I'm tired.

So good night!


Day 469

Today feels like it was such a long day.  It was really good, but I'm actually quite astounded at how long it has seemed.

I got up around 7 to get started with the day.  After I finished showering Kimmy got up to get ready for her interview.  Macy's called her back and wanted to set up another interview.  So while she got ready I got some breakfast and worked on homework problems.  I did that for the rest of the morning.  It was such fun.

Kimmy came back from her interview and she got the job!  Yay!  Now we can pay the bills.  Life is wonderful.  She needed to get some new clothes to wear for work, so she went to a couple stores and did her thing.

While she was gone I got some lunch and entered some grades into Blackboard.  I also made my dish for our potluck.  We had some potatoes, so I just chopped them up and made fries.  I need to get some good spice mixes.  The ones I have....well... I don't really have many.  So usually I just have to hazard a guess and mix some spices together.  Usually it turns out well, but I've gotten some weird results.

Anyhow, after Kimmy got back we got ready for the potluck.  We made sure we got there at the beginning because I volunteered to cook the chicken.  The potluck was at Kathryn and Erica's apartment, so we got over there and I started doing my magic.  And by "magic" I mean "putting chicken in a dish and cooking it."  I think that someday I'd like to try something really fancy.  Something that tastes amazing, looks good, and isn't just a functional dish to satisfy an appetite and be edible.  It would be fun, provided that I have the time and resources for it.  We'll see.  Once I start studying for my next exam.... I really don't want to think about that.

So the potluck was fun.  There was this show on TV... I don't even remember what it was called but it was about this family Georgia, like super rural Georgia.  And the entire point of the show was to point out how ridiculous, uneducated, and pathetic these peoples' lives are.  Their drawl is so heavy that subtitles are often used, and most of the time the "sentences" don't even make sense.  At first I was just mesmerized by this show... then I just felt sick.  I have no regrets concerning our lack of cable TV.  None at all.

Later on Tim and Erin came with one of their friends.  Tim and Erin tend to be the conversational center in our outings.  Which is really amazing because the rest of us are significantly sub-par at carrying on a conversation.  Alyce (the aforementioned friend) is starting a grad program in Actuarial Science in New York, so she had all sorts of questions for us.  Actually, since about 5 of us were new faces to her she had many questions to ask everyone.  It was entertaining.

After well all left we came home and... did something.  Hmm.  I'm sure it was super important.  But then Kimmy and I watched some more Firefly.  I'm sad that there is only one season of it, because I have been enjoying it.  Oh well.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.  I got nearly all of my homework done, I just need to finish a few more problems.  So homework, I give a test tomorrow, I'm working on homework for another class with some classmates, and then grading.  I have much, much grading to do.  Joy.  And there is a resume workshop tomorrow evening, which I will be attending.

Well.  Cheers!


Day 468

It's not quite bed time, but I feel like writing this now so I don't forget about it.

Well.  Let's see here... I got up around 9.  I took today as my relaxing day and will be absolutely taking advantage of having a three day weekend.    Tomorrow I'll get things done... but today was for relaxing.  We didn't go to church today because there was a combined service (I don't remember Pastor Mark saying why) and with the timing of Kimmy's parents having to check out of the hotel we would not have been done with church in time.

Kimmy and her parents and I went to the south side Walmart to pick up our mattress topper.  Which.... is still in the dryer.  I need to go get that.

Meh. It's not going anywhere.

When we got back Kimmy and I did some cleaning of our extra room to try to sort boxes.  We've started a box of Goodwill things, so as we sort we can decide what we need and what someone else (at Goodwill) might want.

So we worked in there for a while, then I did some grading.  That took a good chunk of the remainder of the afternoon, as well as playing a game with Jared.  Kimmy took a nap.  When she woke up she started making a pie for tomorrow, then we got dinner.  I think that we're going to have to have someone come fix our oven because it never got hotter than about 350.  Which is not good, since we had the oven at 400.

We started watching the Fellowship of the Ring during dinner, but neither of us really had the attention span for a long movie.  So we stopped for now.  We didn't really do anything productive after dinner, which was nice.  I know I won't be able to do this very often, so I'm taking full advantage of having an extra day tomorrow to get more things done.

That's about it from over here in Muncie.  Ciao.


Day 467

I successfully had a Saturday!

I slept in... a lot.  Like, until 9!  It was wonderful.  After I got up I showered and things.  Then Kimmy and I had breakfast.  After breakfast we did our grocery shopping for the week.  The only thing we got from the farmer's market this week was a pepper.  It seems that the only fruit at the market is watermelon.  Speaking of watermelon, ours started to ferment in the fridge, so we threw it out.

After lunch I got to work on writing the exam for my students on Tuesday.  And... that was the rest of my afternoon.  Yep!  I think I have it pretty well finished though.

We went to dinner with Kimmy's parents at Chili's.  It was nice.  Then we came back and talked for a while.  I had to go get some more work on grading and test-making done.  Kimmy and her parents made a trip to Wal-mart after a bit and I finished up my work for the evening.

After I finished working (and applying to another job) I played a quick game with AJ and his cousins, then had some ice cream with Kimmy.

And now it's bed time.  Good night, friends!

Day 466

It appears that I slept in today.  And it felt amazing.

But I didn't sleep in yesterday.  Yesterday morning I got up early, paid some bills, applied for a couple jobs, then did some studying.  Apparently when I applied for the jobs on Thursday I didn't realize that they all had questionnaires, so I did all that nonsense.

After studying I had lunch and went to class.  We just had our quiz, no real class worth mentioning.  And since the quizzes are just questions off of the homework (this is his way of making sure we do the homework, instead of turning in the entire assignment), I was done in a couple of minutes.  During our other class we continued out discussion on "The Binomial Pricing Model for European Puts and American Option for 3 or more periods."  It was pretty intense.  But it was really just an extension of our discussion on the Two-Period Binomial pricing model for European calls from Wednesday.  After class I stuck around and talked with Mr. Owens about teaching.  He and I are both teaching the same math class, so we talked about different methods we use.  I told him that I avoid using Powerpoint slides because I tend to go to fast, but if I write things on the board I maintain the same pace as the students.

When I got back I talked with Kimmy a little bit, then we went on a date to Pizza hut!  We decided to be adventurous and get a stuffed crust pizza.... it was really good.  I imagine that will be happening again sometime.  When we got back we played some Left4Dead, then a game on Kinect.  Kinect is basically a web-cam that you attach to an Xbox.  It tracks your body movement and there are certain games you can play with Kinect.  The one we were playing involved some jumping.... and apparently our ceiling is really low.  I hit my head on the ceiling.  It didn't feel good.  But surprisingly I didn't get a headache or anything.  So after that I didn't really feel like playing anymore.  So we watched an episode of Firefly, then went to bed!