July 2017
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stats is logic, not math


My life has been completely snowed under for the past two weeks by three big stats assignments all due NOW. I've been incredibly stressed about it, but only because they're a huge percent of my grade, not because of the actual work. I feel really confident about my skills with stats.

Both of my classes involve primarily coding, which is really pleasing to my brain because even though it is very demanding of precision, the program will tell me immediately if I have made a mistake and if so where I should look to fix it. I like the puzzle of fixing the mistakes and I'd actually enjoy it less if I never made any mistakes. My favorite thing by far is looking at this code and that code and realizing that I can cut them up and recombine them and get code that works for something else entirely. I love the logic of it. It feels really good to my brain, and makes me feel satisfied afterward. I even think on the logic when I'm not actually working on stats. I also love that there are almost always at least three ways to get the same information.

I'm so relieved to no longer be in early stats classes that require implanting numbers into equations, because I have mild dyslexia when it comes to numbers and it takes me a MASSIVE amount of concentration to put all the numbers in correctly. And of course, when I transpose a 9 and a 6, the answer still looks right: I can't look at it and logically realize that something's wrong. And there is only one right way and one right answer. I hate not crossing one t and ruining all the work I've done. With code I never have to touch the numbers.

Interestingly to me, I don't think that this is true for most people in my classes. They seem to have mostly come from math backgrounds and they express less comfort with the logic/reasoning side. I guess that "only one right answer" appeals to some people (me, it repulses). If I had realized earlier that there are entire categories called 'math' which have logic-based problems rather than arithmetic-based problems, I'd have explored math a lot more.


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