Seed Views

Standard Deviant: Seed View for August 30th, 2011

This is a view of the formula for standard deviation.  Standard deviation apparently has something to do with statistics and something to do with the MBA program I’ve now saddled myself with.  I chose to sacrifice every other weekend for the next 2 years, so I guess I can’t complain.  Statistically speaking, there is a 100% chance that this won’t be the last time I rant about this.

My previous college educational successes have been…well, success is a relative term really.  I have my B.A. in Communications from SUNY Cortland, which means I got a degree in watching movies, doing some radio work, and working in fake TV studios.  College was broken into two very distinct eras: pre-Navy and Navy.  Pre-Navy college can be simply explained by multiple skipped classes.  I just didn’t feel like going.  Once you don’t go to a class for a couple weeks, it makes it so much harder to go back again, so I didn’t.  Instead, I spent my days in the library reading about my favorite bands and making photocopies of their articles from microfiche.  Ah, the pre-Internet days when research was so much more of an adventure, but that’s another story.  When I went back to finish my degree while I was in the Navy, I was an animal in the classroom.  I never missed a minute, sat in the front of the class and raised my hand for everything.  Now I’m going for my MBA.  I think I’ll be more like the Navy days with this one.

My experience with math, or anything to do with statistics, has been a big fat zero since high school.  Memorizing baseball and football stats don’t count.  I took college math in high school specifically so I didn’t have to take it in college.  Funny, the smartest thing I did for my pre-Navy college days, I actually did in high school.  I got credit for passing college math in high school, but I wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire like my man Robert Oppenheimer (BOOM!).  Instead, I spent many a day playing with my calculator (and that’s not a mathematical expression for masturbation).  I would usually press 1 + 1 = 2, then keep hitting the = sign to go up by one to see how high I could get the number by the end of class.  As Mr. Jones would try to teach us about the Pythagorean theorem, I would be in the corner furiously tapping away at my = sign to see if I could get above 10,000 in 45 minutes.  I would even answer questions while I pounded away on that thing.

I only took away two things from Mr. Jones in that class: I’ll never forget SOHCAHTOA and I’ll always have him to thank for the nickname C-Squared.  (When I started this site, C-Squared or See Squared was already taken, strangely enough.  The closest thing was Square Seed and the rest is history.  Thanks, Mr. Jones.)

My sister has now been a math teacher for almost 15 years.  I gently poke fun at her about math and how no one gives a shit, much less cares, about what a “cosine” is.  Who has ever used that to pay bills, or figure out a car’s gas mileage, or to pay the vig on a bet.  Sure, it’s put man on the moon, but it hasn’t put food on my table.  She puts up with me, barely.  She knows that’s what a big brother does and that I still love her.

My friend Rob and I drunkenly accosted her about this one Thanksgiving years ago when we lived in San Diego.  Rob and I started our liquid Thanksgiving feast of malt, barley and hops around 9am as pre-game coverage of the first NFL game started (West Coast start times for sporting events are a phenomenal, yet underrated advantage to living there).  My sister came over a couple hours later and we almost immediately started in on her, making fun of all things math.  Then my cousins from Long Island, who were visiting friends in Southern California, came over to my house to eat with us.  They brought along a childhood friend of theirs who was living in L.A., was a comedian, and had supposedly been on an episode of Seinfeld.  He had no chance with us.  We accosted his ass to no end.  “Make us laugh, funny man.” “Give us some jokes, Mr. fucking Comedian.” I’ll have to ask my cousins where he is today.  I should probably apologize to him in person someday.  But statistically speaking, there is a zero percent chance of that happening.

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