One of the classes that I was least excited about was Math 504 also known as "Introduction to Statistics". Of all the adult college classes I would have to take, this one scared me. I know of more than one person who saved this class until the very end of their time at Granite State College. I happened to see my friend Michelle from GSC at the grocery store one day and we both committed in the produce aisle to take statistics during the upcoming term. Neither of us was thrilled about this class, but we knew it had to be done and doing it together seemed like a good idea.
STEMPLOTS MARGIN OF ERROR
sAMpLiNG tHeoRY DISTRIBUTION CURVE
HISTOGRAMS STANDARD DEVIATION
CONFIDENCE INTERVALS SCATTER PLOTS OUTLIERS
I had heard stories from other students about how difficult this class was. I remember seeing people exit the statistics class while I was taking another class and to me, they had that "deer caught in the headlights" look. This was going to be me next term, I was not looking forward to it at all.
Michelle and I appeared for our first class. Because this was a requirement for our Behavioral Science classes there was others like us filled with fear and trepidation. We started in with all the rest. The whole class voiced similar concerns to mine. There were moments of confusion, sometimes occasions of clarity as we plowed through the first of our twelve classes, our heads swimming. What had we gotten ourselves into?
Michelle and I decided that we would meet every Sunday afternoon to review our class notes and work on our homeowrk. We met at a bookstore, ordered coffees and plunged into our work. Frequently we worked for four hours at a time. We found that we were able to get through each homework assignment one problem at a time. If one of us was frustrated or lost we were able to put our heads together. If our answers didn't agree we reviewed our work to see where we'd gone wrong! Every Sunday when we eventually finished our homework we had a dizzying sense of relief.
The rest of the students in class were a fantastic bunch of people. I have never been in a class with such a sense of camaraderie. We all wanted to succeed. We were all willing and able to help one another. We would often come to class early to review problems or concepts that we weren't sure of. Our instructor was very knowledgable and neither he nor the subject itself was as intimidating or scary as I had heard (aren't there always stories like that?).
Well we made it through, in one piece and way more knowledgable about statistics than when we started. It wasn't so bad after all. I remember during our final exam someone was making huge sighs. At one point we all burst out laughing. It was such a tension reliever to just be goofy in ths middle of the test. You know how it t is when you just get laughing and can't stop? This Intro to Stats class that I had dreaded ended up being one of the most fun and interesting classes that I ever took at GSC. I enjoyed the instructor, all of my fellow classmates and Sundays with Michelle while we labored our way through our homework. The class was so supportive of each other and the instructor was great. I never would have guessed that something so scary at the beginning could have been such a positive experience at the end.