Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Hives Are for Pussies

It's January 2nd & everybody else in my house has gone back to work & school, so that means I've seeeeriously got to get back to work on the dissertation thingy. Dammit - and I was so digging all the holiday bullshit.

I don't think I've mentioned that I'm a complete math ree-tard. Just thinking about all that number crunching bullshit gives me the shingles. Yeah, that's right baby. Shingles. Hives? They're for pussies. I skip totally over hives & it's straight on to shingleville for me. I don't even balance my checkbook, fergawdsakes! I just eyeball online the balance vs. outstanding checks, and if it all looks Kosher I'm happy. See? I'm damn near hyperventilating even talking about it. Where's my shiraz?

When I got the minor revision request from my "stats person," a coupla weeks ago, one request was a power analysis and another was a proposed data analysis. Fuuuuuuuuuuck. I don't even remember what that means! I scraped through stats 2 & 1/2 years ago and had a ceremonial burning of everything statistically-related once the course was over and my grade was posted, thinking that by this far in the game, that shit was the stats person's job, but NooooOOOOoooo! (my apologies - John Belushi lives on in my head...).

When people start talking that weird-ass convoluted goddamn math language, my eyes glaze over, roll up into my head and my inner 5-year-old immediately clasps her hands to our ears and sings (albeit quite loudly and off key - but with gusto), "IIIIIIIIIIIIII'mmmmmmmmmm nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooot llllllllisteniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnngggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!" So naturally amid the din I miss the entire conversation. They could be speaking Mandarin Chinese for all I know. How the hell I ever got this far is beyond me. I think I was mathematically traumatized as a child but at this point the memories are still repressed...somebody call Oprah.

One would think it could be assumed that with over 300 participants in the study, we'd be a shoe-in for that thing called power, right? Turns out that's way more than enough to do the job (bless you forverandever Dr. Soper!), but do the goddamn math nerds have to talk all the fucking way around it to get you there instead of using plain English? Hell yeah they do. They get off on watching non math nerds squirm, stammer and generally look stupid because we don't speak their language. Surely it's yet another conspiracy to keep me pissed off.

Then there's the "Proposed Data Analysis" she asked for. WTF? I'm a neuronerd, not a math person. I don't know what statistical analyses I'm going to do yet. That's why we have statistical analysis software, isn't it? You mean to tell me I can't just run every possible fucking scenario in SPSS and report whateverthefuck turns up? (insert rabid Sam Kinison-esque screaming here). Surely with enough orthogonal rotation, SOMEthing interesting will turn up. If it don't fit, force it, right?

Gawd I hate math. Wait. Is that a maddening itch around my midsection? Shit. Where's the Zovirax?


Kate said...

See, clearly you didn't plan this out properly. I'm not 100% certain I'll ever actually DO my dissertation... proposal accepted, lit review done, dust collected... but I married a mathematician. Aren't I wicked smahht?

drsharna said...

Lucky. Were you so motivated you could let him do the stats and be done. Clearly I did not plan accordingly, having married an executive/weekend farmer, but then again it's hard to meet math people when one runs screaming in the other direction when one sees them coming and when one avoids the math department at all costs.