## Friday, December 28, 2007

### My Way

We are allowed to have at least one lame song in our head, or are we not? Well this song (lamely) popped into my head this instance, and I thought of sharing it! (Aren't I so nice... but don't thank me just yet!)

Unfortnately I am still struggling with statistics. HOWEVER - even if I don't finish by the end of today, I will be starting complex analysis tomorrow. (Which I should have started today!) I am hoping that revising for complex analysis will be more relaxing in the sense that I am actually looking forward to it! My war with Cauchy has to continue and there can only be one winner *cue evil laugh*.

The song and indeed this post are a result of the z-distribution. (To be said in a spooky voice). In college I had "my way" of finding confidence intervals (for the Normal distribution). My way of doing things was systematic and we started with the information we had, and then moved along. No formulas existed. Formulas can be nice, but if you don't know where the formula came from, then it is hard to remember and use them.

In my notes, and indeed the book I am using, there is the following formula (which I would advise you to safely ignore). P( blah blah zkkdfsd) = 1 - \aplha.

Ignore it because I haven't really defined anything, but more information (if you are unfortunately interested) can be found here. My mind goes blank whenever I see that kind of notation. Today I thought to myself - "Why struggle with this when I can do it MY WAY" (hehe). So I persevered and eventually recalled my college way of doing things. And hey presto, my answer was the same as the one in the book! This was nice to see, and after much mindless staring (again) I realised that I had effectively done what the formula says. It takes longer doing it my way, but I think it is the more honest way of doing things.

The sad thing is that for my exam I will probably have to learn this formula and a few others (so I better start trying to understand them). Is stats making more sense now? NOPE! Why? Well, although I have a nice book which I am using, there is nothing remotely WOW about stats. Hence, on most occasions I can be found doodling or lost in thought about something or other. This is what has delayed my revision. Many people have told me to revise using the past paper as a guide. I should listen to them wise people but that is against my nature. (I.e. not doing something that I am told to do!)

They speak wise words indeed because past papers do give you a good indication of what to expect, and basically how to pass. My nature is such that I firstly struggle to understand the material, and then just before the exam I attempt the past paper and problem sheets. Doing this then causes me great panic because I find myself unable to answer the darn question. This I speak from experience. Last year and in all my previous "statistical years", I never tried understanding stats (for numerous reasons). Then why today am I wasting time on such an activity? I honestly don't know, apart from not wanting to get bad marks in stats! I feel extremely thick upon having done some revision. I can't believe how dumb I was in stats (not that I am no longer dumb, but at least now I know the difference between the population standard deviation and the sample standard deviation!)

That is enough about stats. I am shocked at the amount of coverage it has been getting in my blog! The shame... (Please don't tell anyone I know!)

I have an excruciatingly painful headache at the moment. It is causing me great distress and not allowing me to revise. What to do eh? I have two chapters left to complete, so maybe it is time I went to the "medicine cupboard". A couple of paracetamol, an ibuprofen and maybe some emflex won't do me any harm. OK fine, maybe I will just stick with the paracetamol. (I have never had an emflex before: "I wasn't allowed"!) Oh, and don't worry I am not addicted to these things. I only ever resort to such addictions when I am in (exponential) pain; or when the pain, although bearable, is a distraction (like now).

I should shut up. Yes - the most wisest thing that I have ever written, yet I am finding trouble doing so. I took a picture of Dr. E's book: Men of Mathematics, so I can tell him that I know who has it. At least then he won't think I have it!

Before I do shut up, here are the lyrics to "My Way". And you can listen to it here. Nice.

"And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

[instrumental]

Yes, it was my way"