|Photo: Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger|
While many of my fellow classmates could qualify as “mathletes,” math has never been included in my repertoire of skills. Nevertheless, at some point in all of our educational journeys, we have to face those challenging courses that attempt to derail our impressive GPA momentum. A few weeks ago, I started taking a quantitative statistics class, one of the core PhD courses. After procrastinating for as long as I possibly could, I finally had to face my demons and set aside my personal interests to take on the challenge, and what a challenge it became.
Unlike my previous theoretical courses, which required heavy amounts of reading, research, and writing, quantitative statistics is filled with calculations, formulations, and postulations. In addition to assigned reading from two textbooks, peer review journals, and other relevant articles, the course work also requires that students learn a predictive analytical program called SPSS. This software helps us fulfill the course’s learning objectives through weekly discussion board assignments, thought-provoking quizzes, and labs. I was daunted to say the least, and at the start of the course I found myself losing momentum rather quickly. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to keep up with all the course required of me in addition to my demanding career and other personal commitments. This is how I began to rely on social media as my own personal tutor.