I have to admit: in high school, I really loved math class. The trig, the calculus – it made sense to me. There were formulas and steps and definitive right answers. It wasn’t that it was easy, exactly, but it was logical. And I liked that.
However, when I got to college, I avoided math (and science) classes like the plague. I was an International Affairs major, thank you very much. I was leaving the world of black and white, right and wrong answers, and entering an entirely new sphere consisting (seemingly) mostly of that gray in between area.
The beauty of International Affairs is that, often, if you argue well enough you can always be “right.”
Of course, there were some math and science credits that Hopkins required, to ensure that they were producing well-rounded students, but there were ways around the difficult courses. Case in point: I took a class called Chance & Risk, whose description stated, “This is a ‘math’ class for humanities majors. Minimal math background required.” We learned about odds and probabilities in numerous contexts and my final group project consisted of assessing (very non-scientifically) the probability of contracting an STD while at Hopkins.
Now, though, I’m back in school and in need of a math-esque class again and I don’t see Chance & Risk on the menu anywhere. So, starting tonight, I’ll be taking Quantitative Analysis. I’d tell you what it’s about, but the syllabus reads like an entirely new language to me. There are terms that I’ve only seen as I’ve skimmed through survey methodologies, and mention of a statistical analysis program that the professor promises proficiency in.
We’ll see, Professor.
For right now I’ll settle for understanding the syllabus.
And here I thought Econ was going to be my hardest class.