Monday, 28 April 2008

People who are good at statistics

I'm drawn to them. I really like them. And I don't know why.

There's one, Herb Blumberg (below), who creates an audible sigh whenever he comes into the lecture theatre. I'd quite like him to be my real Dad. There's another who always wears a jumper and my heart always sort of breaks when he starts talking. V necks. Still another who was so spectacularly bad at explaining simple concepts and yet lectured with such massive integrity that nobody really minded.

I think the reason is that people who aren't good at maths or stats recognise that people who are are an entirely different species. And they spend time, fruitlessly usually, trying to tell us a bit about their strange world which we know is important but can never really understand. We'll take your word for it. You seem to be convinced, and that's good enough for me. If it's a logistic regression you want, I'll do one. Just show me how one more time.

My journey in psychology has had many twists and turns, but it has been massively enriched by everyone who has tried to teach me stats. And so this one is for statisticians, and those (roughly 70.1% of the population) who love them.

Thursday, 24 April 2008


to the European City of Culture 2008 for a week.


Time drags. It's 11:20 and I thought it was 11:45. I feel disappointed and bored. Time feels like my enemy. I want it to pass. I want to be closer to the end of all this reading.

But I know that with 2 or 3 days to go time will be racing, and I'll look back 3 weeks and see that actually time was my friend. I just didn't recognise it. And I didn't value it properly.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

For Mrs Harrison (sorry Norville)

The Apprentice...and legacy

Watched The Apprentice tonight - utterly addictive as usual. This episode was remarkable for the fact that a truly impressive man got fired, Simon Smith. Yes, he was brash at the beginning and yes he lost control. But this was a man who can be proud of his legacy on the programme. Here was a man who knew his strengths and limitations and played to them. He was honest. He tried to win. And virtually no one else can say the same.

Seriously, don't people care about their own integrity?

Nearly everyone else who spoke on the show lied openly. Nearly everyone who spoke played politics and spent most of the time maneouvering for position in the hope that if their team lost, they could shift the blame.

Do people care only about winning at all costs?

Tom Peters talks about the idea of legacy. Not for a life, a career or even 15 minutes of fame on a reality TV show. He talks about the legacy of today.

So what will today's legacy be for you?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

99 problems...

Accurate portrayal of my life currently:

Friday, 11 April 2008

Exam time

So, for the third time in as many years I brace myself for exams. It's ridiculous at my age, but at least I can see light at the end of the tunnel: these should be the last exams I ever do. However, it doesn't hide te fact that I have to battle with exams. I don't keep up with work, like a diligent girl, I cram like a proper man. So when the exams roll around, I have to lock them in mortal combat. I grapple with them, like a sweaty sumo wrestler, losing all dignity and perspective along the way.

I make hugely complex work plans and stick to them. I cease contact with the outside world. I eat well and exercise. I talk to myself. I sing along to music. The radio becomes my best friend. Contact with shop owners is an event to savour. I constantly have to force myself back to my desk. Waking up is depressing.

Will it be worth it? I don't know. But I have put my heart and soul into finding the right route for me. So I assume that I won't be going far wrong in terms of doing what I am good at. And if I am doing what I am good at, then exams should be easy.

Enough procrastination. Prepare for a lot of psychology related posts. See you on the other side.

Saturday, 5 April 2008


Whilst I ramble on about nothing, living up the this blog's title, I know many of you are concerned about my fitness. People are meeting in village halls up and down the country to ask: yes, but what about the runs round the park? How are the new trainers? People are no doubt thinking of writing in their thousands to demand an update.

Well, the new trainers are fine, the I regret to inform you that the body is less fine. I am the same weight as last year, but less fit. I am niggly when I run, so I don't enjoy it as much. Whereas this time last year I was bouncing round the park and setting records in June (16:30) and August (16:25) today I loped round in a miserable 18:53.

It's time to redouble efforts. Cut excuses. To fight the advancing years.

Today I saw an old man of about 65 shuffling round the park, slowly but not inexpertly. A few years ago I may have seen only his ludicrous tight shorts and a vest. Today I saw a role model.