If I was sitting at my desk ten years ago thinking that in 2014 I would be tutoring a third year undergrad student in Behavioural Sciences Statistics, I would have said that I was nuts, out of my mind, just plain crazy–off my rocker. Well, I was asked to do just that, tutor a student who is desperate to pass his course today. He asked anyone out there who could help him out with his course work, with the lure of money per hour–to boot. With so little time in his semester left, and his current grade of less than a passing mark, the pressure was great. But I surprised myself, and luckily for the student, his last exam on “Analyses of Variance” with the focus on the computational aspects of working the data rather than focusing on definitions, paid off with a whopping 93 percent mark! So with just a few weeks left, the challenge is to pull off an academic passing mark for him in his Stats class during the finals.
Okay, Stats is not for everyone, and if you want pass and graduate in just about any academic study, you need Statistics. I remember how hard it was for me when I first sat in a first year Statistics course–my eyes glazed over, my head was spinning, and at the end of each class I felt that I wanted to throw myself out a window, even if it was on the ground floor. I Kept at it, working though the problems, memorizing the new language, and dealing with Maths at a higher than normal level than what I was used to. By the time I was in my Forth Year, I had Stats under my belt–my grade for that class was a cool “A+.” I actually started liking it, using it, even today I post stuff on forums that requires me to turn raw data into pretty drawings (graphs) and columns of numbers (descriptive passages) so everyone can understand my argument.
The trials of tutoring Statistics in this case had two issues that I had to overcome. First, was answering a letter from the Student’s instructor that I was capable, and qualified to teach Statistics. I guess when the call came asking for anyone who would tutor Statistics, there were not that many takers. And I understood the vetting process becuase there are rumours of unqualified tutors who took students’ money and taught next to nothing throughout the years. I passed the vetting process, and was given flying recommendations! Second, whether I was up to challenge to actually teach it becuase it has been a while since I last stepped into a Statistics classroom, and that kept haunting me until I started the lessons. I guess it is different when you went through the courses and survived, but I still have this “I’m still a student” complex that keeps me from standing up and say “I am a Statistician!” Yikes, even just now that sent shivers up my spine. LOL
I blew off the dust from off of my textbooks, and got a loaner-copy of the Student’s textbook so that I could re-acquaint myself with the course material–going over it whenever, wherever I could before I started the tutoring. Surprisingly most of it came back. Actually, it came flooding back to me, like a Star-Trek rerun. I was surprised at how much of it I retained.
We have had two sessions now, done over VOIP, and although he paid for only an hour on each session, I spent over three hours on the first day with him, and two on the last lesson. I felt it was necessary to go back to the basics and start from the beginning, understanding the whole concept of “Variance” in inferential statistics, and then going through the Maths manually with him until he got it. Yes, there was an Algebra lesson that took most of our time together on the first night. I remember the point when the “light bulb” went off. That “Eureka” moment.
We agreed to have three more sessions until he writes his final, which is just in a few weeks. Not much time to whip a mule into a racehorse, but I believe, and so does he, his last mark is a good indicator. Oh, the joys of being a student.