Monday, July 23, 2007

Much about Biostats

We had absolutely perfect weather all weekend. It was sunny, maybe around 75 degrees for the high. Yesterday, I finally went to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens for the first time. I'm glad I waited until summer to go, because there are a bunch of outdoor gardens that are obviously only worth seeing during the summer. My favorites were the theme gardens (some of which incorporated waterfalls and musical instruments) and the children's garden. Indoors, there are two rain forest areas, one for Madagascar and one for the cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. There were chameleons and hissing cockroaches in the Madagascar section. The Costa Rica part was a butterfly garden, and they did a great job with it. I spent spent a few months in Monteverde during college and never saw a single blue morpho butterfly in the wild. But yesterday I saw dozens of them.

The reading load for this weekend was just ridiculous. We were supposed to go through six chapters of statistics for today. Needless to say, that did not happen in my case, although I did get through half of them. We spent the class time working on doing more analyses of data sets using the statistics program JMP (pronounced "jump") and discussing probability. Afterward, one of my classmates and I completed our group assignment for the Thursday afternoon stats workshop that we have this week. The assignment consisted of questions about a data set we had been given, and it required us to perform several statistical analyses using JMP. I'm getting better at using the program already. It isn't nearly as bad as I had thought it was going to be.

Later on, I went back to the hospital and sat in on a training session where the social worker was teaching two of the residents to consent patients. It was kind of an eye-opener for me, because I didn't know anything about this particular project, and some of their explanations majorly confused me. Considering that most of their study subjects won't have completed a year of med school and may not have any science education at all, I can definitely see why it's important to boil down the concepts so that laymen can understand them.

On a not-so-great side note, I found out that next semester, my MS class is being held from 7-10 AM on Thursday mornings. I don't think I even mind the earliness of it as much as I hate the idea of losing those Thursdays every week from now until Christmas vacation. :-(

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