Now that the spring semester is over, my days begin and end in the garden. Those magical moments of blossom and birdsong are priceless.



However, for every other minute of the day there is math, more specifically, statistics. That’s right, magic turns to madness after breakfast as I, armed with the TI-84 calculator I borrowed from my son and my trusty kamekaze can do attitude, leave the serenity of my garden to complete an entire semester’s worth of coursework in a ten day Maymester.

This is the definition of insanity!

Day one was encouraging. The professor, with a robust Nigerian accent, seemed ready to help us tackle the daunting task ahead. Day two, a power outage on campus meant class was cancelled. Day three, things weren’t looking so good when the professor discovered that Memorial Day is a big deal here in the good ol’ U.S.A. and the campus will be closed for the holiday right smack in the middle of the course. Today, day four of ten, I went on a quest with two other students after class to look for a vending machine that sells scantrons. Yes, test one is tomorrow and we must supply our own fill-in-the-bubble sheets.

All of the vending machines are out of order!

Tonight I will dream of standard deviation and frequency distribution. Not sexy. Tomorrow morning I will sit in the garden with my coffee and watch the sun come up. Who knows what will happen next. Will a scantron shortage cause test one to be postponed? Will the class discover that the professor decided to chuck it all and hop a flight to Fiji? Will I ace test one and pass the course with flying colors? The probability that any of those things will happen isn’t high. I don’t even need a calculator to figure that out!


25 thoughts on “Off The Cuff On The Fly

  1. I love your beautiful, beautiful garden; the calculator, not so much. Good luck!

  2. What a gorgeous garden… but oh, that page, that calculator– it’s my worst nightmare! 😉 Hope you get more of the first and less of the second! Thanks again for your lovely comments. I’m working my way through all the posts I’ve saved to read, now that I have a few quiet moments. What a nice treat this one was (well, again, except for the horrors of math!).

  3. Wow, does this take me back. My one and only statistics class was circa spring 1991, but I can feel deep, repressed parts of my brain pinging in recognition at some of the terms you threw out there. Part of me feels sad that the definition of “standard deviation” was deleted from memory sometime in the late ’90s, probably overwritten with TV schedules or something.

  4. acflory says:

    -giggles- Is this a case of ‘From the sublime to the ridiculous’? Your garden is so lush and lovely, I’m amazed you can bear to leave. As for the stats… courage mon amie, courage!

  5. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Good luck on the test. At least you won’t have a problem with hanging chads with a Scantron sheet. Ω

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Of Hanging Chads and Scantrons…sounds like the title of a bizarre romance novel.

      1. Allan G. Smorra says:

        Or a political pot-boiler? Ω

  6. Good luck! I admire anyone who takes a minimesterofanythingmuchlessstatistics. It would be an utter blur for me. The flowers on the other hand are sharply in focus. Beautiful job, Honie on the garden.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Turns out, Georgette, it is an utter blur for me too.

  7. Wow. Beautiful garden to offset the mathematic hell. Good luck!! ( isn’t it insane that you have to provide your own card at the price of tuition?)

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Yes, it is insane to charge students for such a thing. It’s like a hotel charging guests for the sheets! The garden is a refuge from H.
      Solve for H. Tuition + books + lab fees + death by PowerPoint = Hell.

  8. Your garden makes me happy! I loved statistics!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      That makes me very happy, Val.

  9. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Is it just me? I don’t see any ads below your posts.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      It’s just you. 🙂

      1. Wyrd Smythe says:

        Huh. Weird. I wonder why that is.

  10. Helen Ross says:

    Hi Honie. Love your beautiful flowers – your garden must be stunning – no wonder you start your day and end your day in your garden. And watching the sun rise is a beautiful part of the day. Hope you found some scantrons. HA! All the best.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Hi Helen. The garden is a work in progress, still some vacant spaces to seed, but every day is like Christmas.

  11. The Scantron Universe is on your side. (can’t believe you have to furnish your own) Bubble on with confidence!
    (and you always have such gorgeous flower pictures. The poppies and that sharply focused purple top one are my favorites)

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      It is hard to believe that this time last year there was nothing but grass back there. Since then, I’ve managed to add trees and shrubs and vines and lots of bloomers. I can hardly wait for the glads to begin bursting out. Their foliage is large and in charge everywhere so it should be quite a show. More pics are sure to follow.

      1. You have a real eye for it. Sounds like all your gardening efforts are paying of with a beautiful show

  12. Carrie Rubin says:

    I have faith that your p-value will be < 0.05 and your confidence interval will be small. Good luck!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      There is a reason I saved this class until the last. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  13. If you are expected to supply your own scantron, can you also supply your own grade? Give yourself an A and be done with it! At least you can begin – and end – each day in a peaceful and beautiful setting.

    I dreaded college statistics, but actually didn’t find it nearly as daunting as I’d feared. Then again, I was spoiled as my scantrons were just HANDED to me. Can you believe that?!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Oh, if only wishing could make it so, Mr. Petruska. I’d give myself that A and there’d be scantrons for everyone! The garden is a peaceful, beautiful setting, and I am infinity grateful for it.

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