Day 699

Today was quite exciting.

First, I went for a run with Tim.  That was invigorating, as always.  When I got home I continued preparing for my presentation today.

When I got to school, I met with one of my team members to go over the PowerPoint that I'd made and see if he had anything he wanted to add.  Then I went to go grade in my office for a while.

So I guess that my research project is officially done at this point.  The paper is turned in, the presentation is done... yeah, that's about it.  Our final conclusion was basically confirming the articles we read from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics: the average income for women is less than the average income for men, and no one is entirely sure why.  There are some very robust theories out there that do a great job of explaining most of the difference, but there has yet to be a perfect statistical explanation.

Then I got to listen to my students give their group presentations.  Most of them, anyhow.  It seemed that each presentation had some things that stood out.  Like one guy who purposefully misspelled things in honor of me (I have a terrible time with proper spelling when I teach... so I thought it was really funny).  Or the group who actually went to the Muncie mall and surveyed over 200 people to ask if they have minivans (I frequently use examples involving statistical sampling and wondering "how many people in Muncie own minivans?").  Another did a wonderful poster board of using optimal travel routes to various places on campus (often called the "Traveling Salesman Problem"... so this was a play on words).

It was all pretty impressive.  And there were a few people that were very nervous to present in front of their peers, but they got through it all and did well.  I've learned to pick up on the nuances of nervous speakers (because I've had to work so hard to overcome my nervousness when public speaking): I can hear the shaking in their voices; I notice the places they look when they talk and the way in which they shift their eyes; I see when they shift weight and get flustered when they realize they have no idea where to put their hands; I know the temptation to read through your notes at lightning speed; or the unconscious excess of "ummm," "uhhhhh," "so...." and other filler words to by your brain some more time.  But I also know how vitally important it is that people get practice talking in front of others.

After I got home, Kimmy and I went on a walk.  It was super nice outside today!  We walked through the park near our house.  Then we took the walking paths some more and went to some other areas of town.  We had fun.

We went to go see a movie tonight!  We saw "Oz: the great and powerful," which is sort of a precursor to "the Wizard of Oz."  It was good.

After the movie, we had a bit of an adventure.  We've both been getting fed up with how busy Wal-mart gets when we're grocery shopping, so we decided to do a test run and see if Target has the type of things we typically get at Wal-mart.  We determined that Target has the items we typically need and will therefore be subject to unconstrained testing on Grocery Shopping day.

I think that's about it.  Good night!

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