Saturday, July 20, 2013

Good Day, Bad Ending

Today was Saturday, so Breakfast was at 9 instead of 8. There were no athletic services (Rec Center, running, etc.), so I got up at 8:45. I made the mistake of coming to breakfast around 9:15. They were running out of food, so I had to wait for them to bring more from the basement (where the main kitchen is.) After breakfast, we had class from 10-12. We did not start with a Puzzler today, but rather another student lesson. There were two people scheduled for today, since we only had 2 hours of class.

The first lesson was on exponents. The first Mission Holder shouted out the answers instead of raising his hand to answer. The second Mission Holder had to do other work. (They pretended to work on independent study work.) The third Mission Holder got all the exponent rules backwards. (multiplying instead of adding, subtracting instead of dividing, etc.) Overall, I though the lesson when well. She started out by showing a video made by a high school math teacher about the exponent rules, and then she taught them. After teaching each rule, we did 4 problems together as a class. For the most part, she knew the material, but Dawson threw her some questions she could not answer. She handled the "Shout out" pretty well, and told him multiple times to stop. Eventually he did. She did not handle the other class work mission very well. It took a long time for her to notice, and when she did, she simply asked her to stop. The student put it away for a few minutes, and then got it out again. She did not notice the second time. I think she should have taken the other work away. You know they will continue to try to work on it, so taking it away solves the problem better. After her lesson ended, we prepared for the second lesson of the day. The next student teacher went outside, and Dawson was about to hand out the missions when the student teacher got sick, and had to go to the office. Dawson did not have anything planned except for the student lessons, so he gave us a puzzler from his archives.

You are blindfolded, and given a standard 52-card deck. 13 cards throughout the deck are turned face up. You have to make two piles that have an equal number of face up cards. Of course, you can flip any or all of the cards. How can you do this so that it works every time? As always, STOP reading if you want to solve. 

To help us, Dawson handed out decks of cards. For the first five minutes, the room was silent. No one had a clue. So Dawson changed the problem be one face up card in the deck. Then someone said you should take the card from the top and flip it. That way you have the best chance (51/52) of flipping a face down card making 1 face up card in each pile. But it turns out that this works 100% of the time. If the first card is face up, you flip it making it face down. Then there is an equal number of face up cards in each pile (0 in each.) With this knowledge we easily figured out that if you dealt off the first 13 cards and flipped all of them, it would work. There are x number of cards face up in the new pile. That means there are 13 - x cards face down. There are also 13 - x cards face up in the rest of the deck. Flipping results in 13 - x = 13 - x, so it is always true.

After this impromptu puzzler, Dawson opened a huge bag of M&M's, and divided them into 12 roughly equal piles (11 for students and one for the TA.) When he handed them to us, he told us NOT to eat them. We were supposed to sort them, and count how many of each color we have. It turns out, Mars says that 13% of their M&M's are brown, 14% are yellow, 13% are red, 16% are green, 24% are blue, and 20% are orange. He entered all of our data into an Excel spreadsheet, and totaled it up. Based on the Mars percentages, he calculated how many M&M's of each color their should be. Our M&M's were not to spec. We had .... Next we calculated Chi Squared's Goodness of Fit test. This is the sum of (expected - observed)^2 / expected. I do not fully understand what we did from here. We ended up looking it up in a table that told us there was a 5% chance of this happening based on the Goodness of Fit value. Then Dawson showed us how to calculate all of this with a simple function on our calculators. I thought this lesson was pretty good for being impromptu, but I did not understand what exactly we were doing and why. I really hate being in the dark like this. Fortunately, this is one of the less useful topic we cover, as I will not be taking statistics until college. 

After class, we had lunch, and then SOFT time from 1-5. There was a proctor-lead group going to the Recreational Center, so I decided to go along. I ended up playing basketball with various other students. We started out with a 3 on 3 tournament, and played knockout toward the end. It was a lot of fun, but I was really tired afterwards, more tired than I am after my morning run. I am thinking about going to the Rec Center on Monday morning instead of running as it is more fun and probably better exercise. At around 3:30, we met up with the proctor in the Rec Center lobby, and went back to Hank. Kathleen was one of the proctors that went with us, so on the way back, I asked her about what the admissions officer told me on Wednesday. (That if I apply through Blair I will end up with a Bachelor's of Arts, not Engineering.) She told me that on the application, you choose a first choice department, and a second choice department. She said to apply to Engineering as the primary, and Blair as a back up.  If I don't get in through Engineering, I have a second chance through Blair. When I talked with the Admissions Officer, I was worried, but after talking with Kathleen again, I am even more confident I can get into Vanderbilt. I have two ways in, and either way I can get the same degree and majors.

After getting back from the Rec Center, Kelli'i and I went with a group of students to Hot and Cold, an Expresso and Ice Cream shop. They specialize in creations that involve hot and cold things, hence the name. We are not really coffee people, so we just got ice cream. It was excellent. I ended up getting three types of ice cream: Vanilla, Carmel, and Peanut Butter. My favorite was the carmel, but it tasted more like peanut butter to me than the peanut butter ice cream. After we finished our ice cream, it was 4:30, so we headed back to Hank. I took a shower, and went to dinner at 5:45. After dinner we got on buses and went to the movie theater. I watched Grown Ups 2. I not not recommend this movie at all. The purpose of this blog is not to review movies, so if you want to here how bad it is, look it up on Rottentomatoes. When we got back from the movie, we had free time. Since Grown Ups 2 got out  earlier than some other movies, we were restricted to the first and second floors until more proctors showed up. Once everyone got back, all floors opened, and we had a proctor meeting.

Tomorrow we have breakfast at 9, SOFT time from 10-12, lunch from 12-1, a trip to the mall from 1-4:30, dinner at the commons and Trevia from 7-9. (Trevia is trivia designed by Trevor, one of the administrators of VSA.)

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