Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Words vs. Numbers

I am taking a communications research and statistics class this semester. It's almost the last class I need to get my BA in Mass Communication. I delayed taking it until the end because I really am not good with numbers. (And how I ended up being in charge of family finances is beyond me!) I enjoyed the first part of the class on the theory of research in communication. In fact, I was feeling proud of myself because I got an A on the first test. But now we're heading into the actual math and statistics part of the class, and I'm nervous (actually, terrified is a better word). Which is why entries here may be sporadic until mid-May when I'll be done with this class.
It's interesting to me how genetics works: My grandfather graduated with honors for his masters degree in math from Berkeley during the 1920s. He also taught advanced math and science classes when he was the principal and school superintendent in his small Idaho town. I swear I was somewhere else in heaven when math genes were handed out, but they did end up with one of my sons. Ben is finishing up his masters degree in nuclear engineering and took most of the advanced math classes the university offers.
A few months ago we had a discussion on the relative merits of math and language:
"But math is so logical, Mom!" he said.
All I could say is, "It may be logical to you, son, but it's Greek to me."
When I countered that language is much easier to understand, he brought up all the exceptions to the rules in grammar. I couldn't argue the point.
What I struggle with is all the various formulas that have to be followed exactly in order to come up with the right answer.
We did agree that it's a good thing there are a wide variety of talents and personality types. Can you imagine a world filled only with mathematicians? Or for that matter, grammarians? or artists? or lawyers? or mechanics? or musicians?
David got the results of the blood tests he took last month. He's still low on lithium, so the Dr. increased the dosage. He also added depakote to help with the hallucinations. David is finally going from getting little sleep to having some sleep, and his moods are doing better.
He was a little stressed last weekend when he forgot to take his meds one night. He started obsessing (again) about my health, and what would he do if something happened to me. I would be flattered, except I know it's because he's more concerned about his own welfare than he is about my well-being. It is, however, a good reminder to get our financial house in order. That task is just simply going to have to wait until this math class is done. I can only deal with so much at once!

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