I’m not exactly what you would call a math savant. In fact, what most people would call me is the low end of the totem barrel. At the beginning of a semester of a math class, my high end goal was C-. You know, just enough to get by, to not get a D or F or whatever was below that. One semester of college, I had a huge jerk of a teacher that taught stats. He was good at three things: stats, sucking on his mega 85 ounce sports cup full of Diet Coke with one of those plastic bendy straws, and making sure we knew full well what his religion was, and how he was going to take days off according to it. Oh and failing students. The one thing he wasn’t good at doing? Teaching.
In fact, he was so bad, that before he even started the first class, he said that we would need extra credit, which involved going to an extra class with him later on. I knew I was going to need that, but I could barely stand 3 hours a week with this guy and having to spend additional hours with him was not worth it. Suffice it to say, that by the end of the semester, I was pulling a strong 10% in class, which I’m not sure if you have deduced this, was not an A.
Speaking of grades in general, how is it that in most things in life, doing something 50% is actually a good thing, but in school 50% is like less than an F? Like if Steph Curry hits 50% of his three pointers, the NBA rushes to give him more money than Midas, but if I get a 50% on a test, I get punted out of a class?
So I failed the class. But you know it wouldn’t be Bitter Ben story without some sort of revenge. Teacher musta forgot there were teacher evaluations. I put my full revenge/writing skills on display and gave him preeeety much zero’s (I at least learned something about stats from class) and used phrases like Bully in a China shop, and other memorable, quotable phrases. Come to find out, next semester, guy was gone. He should have learned not to mess with me. Either that or other people might have had not so nice things about him either.
I barely cared at all about percentages(other than the 10% I got on my final grade) at all, until recently. Nowadays, there is one percentage that I not only care about, but obsess about. The one percentage that rules them all. You are probably reading right now from a device that is at 65% or 5% and you are deciding if this post is even worth finishing. The almighty battery percentage(or phone data) on your phone.
It tells you whether you can send one more text, one more email, Snap another chat, Insta another Gram, Face another book, Twit another ter, or more recently, Pokemon another Go. It makes you so crazy that the first thing you do when you walk into someone’s house isn’t “Can I use your restroom?” but “Can I use your outlet?”. If they say it’s okay, the person allowing the outlet usage is like offering water to someone that has been wandering in a desert for 40 days a drink of water.
We all play the percentage game. Some of us are gamblers and like to see how far down we can go before having to plug in(or risk having slow data). Others of us are safe siders that have to have a plug everywhere, from home to car to work and even carry an emergency backup in the backpack or purse. If there is no charger, one starts to get anxiety to the point where nothing else matters. In fact, if you are one of those people, you probably know the percentage on your phone right now. (Mine is 100% right now.)
Just a suggestion for teachers of stats nowadays. If you want to get across your message to your students, make sure to use examples featuring phone battery or data. Because if you don’t you might as well be the guy sucking on the 85 ounce Diet Coke, because you are gonna be fired.
Bitter Percentage Ben