Thursday, November 24, 2005

Statistical Nightmare

It's been, in all honesty, a miserable couple of weeks. The cold weather seems to curl itself round me in the night and I don't think I've thawed for days. The double glazing installation is going a bit tits up and won't be finished for another couple of weeks and the radiator for my bedroom still hasn't arrived. I'm sick of getting dressed and undressed by the gas fire in the living room and waking up in a building site every morning.

But, you see, these are things that I was prepared to deal with. I knew that by changing my life I'd be broke for a couple of years and that work in the flat would take a lot longer as a result. The course I'm doing has been a major upside bringing balance to these difficulties. I love it. Training to be a counsellor is such a great experience, a journey into the unknown. Mondays at college make my week worthwhile, make the cold bearable and make the endless beans on toast palatable.

But this week's day at college brought with it a rude awakening in the form of statistics. Three and a half hours of statistics, to be precise. It's difficult to describe my relationship with mathematics except to say that I was the kid that was taken out of class for "special" help and suffered panic attacks at the thought of long division. Fifteen years on, things haven't changed. As the lecture went on I found myself feeling more and more agitated. Terms like "Standard Deviation" and "Mode" circled round my head only to slip through my fingertips and flutter away when I felt I was getting a grip. All the old feelings came back. The frustration, the inadequacy, the blind panic.

Even the guys at Amazon think I need all the help I can get. I ordered a copy of Statistics for Dummies the other day. They sent me two!