Follower Analysis…and Some Hotdogs

I wish to talk today about a milestone. My first ENTRY in this blog was July 1st, twenty ought oh nine. On the 30th day of May, twenty ought eighteen, I got my 100th follower. I thought it might be time for some “analytics” as the captains of e-commerce like to say (to me, they’ll always be “statistics”).

The numbers below that you will contemplate shortly after I finish this statement, are a data hotdog – it’s comprised of this and that to form a deliciously fulfilling tube of meaning. The “parts” I’ve so revivified include – time, number of posts and number of followers. Each factor represents an obscure part of an animal that can’t survive cuisinically (why not?) by itself. Like a butcher of information, I will grind these ingredients together, and produce…

Listen, I like this analogy, but I’m ready to get on with the data processing. To that end –

VARIABLE #1 – TIME:
It’s been 8.8 years, or 465 weeks, or 3,255 days, or 78,120 hours since July 1st, 2009. One or all may be used to represent time in my calculations. Therefore, I’ve decided to call any variable dealing with time, “TIME”.

VARIABLE #2 – LABOR:

You are reading my 200th published entry. That is, it wasn’t published at the time of the 100th follower. Therefore, I put in 199 posts worth of toil. Moreover, I estimate my total word count to be in the neighborhood of 85,291, by adding the word counts of every 19th -20th post and averaging it. That average came out to 428.6 words per post.

VARIABLE #3 – FOLLOWERS:
I have 100 loyal readers. That can be construed in many ways – such as 200 pinky toes connected to 100 brains that enjoy stimulating content. Or 93 or so appendices occupying space inside 93 or so of my readers. This assumes that my followers are consistent with the statistic mentioned HERE reporting that 7 percent of the population experiences an appendicitis at some point.

I feel like I’m flagrantly digressing. Getting back to the point – as a function of TIME (t), FOLLOWERS (f) increases at a rate of about 3.1% of a new follower everyday or a new follower every 32 or 33 days. I think of it like earning followers piece by piece, by this time tomorrow I will have earned a foot or perhaps a hand and forearm of some lucky reader.

As a function of LABOR (l), I gain one follower for every 1.99 posts. At a fitting rate of 199/3255 (I move so very slowly) – one post every 16 days.

Using my word count estimate of 85,291 – that’s 100/85,291 or .12% (.1172%) of a follower for every word, or one follower for every 852.91 words.

Application: up to and including HERE, there are 466 words or about 466 x 0.1172% = 0.546152 (55%) of one new follower. In more practical terms, I only need to write ~387 more words or work 83% as hard to gain a complete follower. At my current rate, such a task would take 85,291 words/3,255 days = 26.2 words/day. Three-hundred-eighty-seven (I can’t start a sentence with a number, so unsightly) more words divided by 26.2 words/day = 14.77 days. Thing is, I’ve written 77 more words already and I’m not done, so this post might earn me 1.4 or even (dare I say it?) 1.75 more followers!

In short, (f)=0.001172l, where l=t/0.038163. Thus, assuming everything remains constant, a period of say, 214 days (π x 100) would result in 214 days/0. 038163 = 5,607.526 words, netting me 0.001172 x 5,607.526 = 6 full bodied followers, the torso and part of the hips from another (6.57).

Inferences: like any blogger, one of my goals is to reach as many whole people as possible. Based on the numbers, reaching my next milestone – 1,000 followers, gaining 900 more – would take 29,306.058 days. If there is no change in the time I commit to blogging, that will take about 80 years (29,306.058 days)/ 0. 038163 or 767,918.45 words. In 80 years, I’ll be 117 years old. I’m not going to bet on living that long – I don’t think blogging would be high on my priority list anyway.

Listen, I transposed the 5s and 2 in the number of days figure (3,255 became 3,522). I’ve just spent an afternoon not only correcting those figures but editing the portion above “Application: up to and including HERE, there are 466 words…” so it stayed at 466 words, lest I recalculate the figures. That said, I don’t want to fade this post out gracefully; I’m hungry, I’m just abruptly halting now to go eat…a hotdog sounds good.

—–

One more thing. there are 779 words above the line, this post should snag me 779 x .001172 = .913 or 91% of a new follower. Assuming this individual is a female of average weight (168.5lbs), that’s 153.335lbs of follower. For the average dude, weighing in at 195.7lbs on average, that’s 178.07lbs of flesh that will soon receive an email every time a spin a yarn.

In closing, I’d just like to point out that the numbers listed above, notably the near 800,000 words and ~30,000 days, as big and unwieldy as they seem, are perfectly rational to me. If you’re like me, you feel belittled when some fatcat starts spouting off about Apple being worth 40 kajillion dollars or that Trump paid $17 million for this or that trivial thing. When used in this way, numbers are meaningless – merely a device for the bourgeoisie to show the proletariat how high they can count. I don’t see the numbers in this post as numbers, but as little pebbles I can collect to someday make a mountain of meaning. Won’t you be one of my pebbles?

Webp.net-gifmaker

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

No Culture Left Behind

I’ve a third component for my list of agitators resulting in school violence, read about the first two HERE. I’ve pontificated HERE on the dog and pony show that is standardized testing. The third element in this trinity, along with 1. The second amendment(al), and 2. “Snowflake Syndrome” (we’re all part of the same compost heap), is the education system itself.

 

I’ll start with a picture –

Snap 2018-03-03 at 19.06.44
*http://healthycures.org/everything-rigged-medicine-elections-food-media-living-fabricated-fairy-tale

This image doesn’t reflect the myriad of technological changes in education, which is the point. I wouldn’t be out of line if I say that learning modalities and the tools to cater to those modalities are vastly different. In a manner of speaking, it’s like trying to upload rotary phone firmware (insofar as it has firmware) onto iPhones using a coaxial cable.

 

That is to say, the content is outdated and the transmission medium is incompatible with the hardware.

 

What should we do? Give the kids more tests and give the teachers guns!

 

I think it’s time for some fun facts about standardized testing –

 

Listen, I don’t have access to fancy databases like I did in college. I know what I’m looking for, but JSTOR or Ebsco Google Scholar is not. That being the case, the information contained here is a curious mix of stuff I go looking for and what Google allows me to have. In this case, I would’ve liked an article from a longitudinal research study based on data from a tidy sample of a few thousand students from all grades across the country (notably high schoolers and people who were in HS during the NCLB transition from 2003-2007). I actually did find something like this, but I found myself more concerned with figuring out how NCLB SOOO left children behind.

 

Allow me to digress briefly – among educators, NCLB is a four letter word (… you know what I mean).

 

Briefly, it turned teachers into robot bureaucrat prostitutes (hereafter referred to as “robureaucrutes”) whose primary functions are to submit a form for just about everything that happens in the classroom or during school hours and turn their tricks (teach) to tests whose validity and reliability are questioned to this very day. In exchange, they are given a pittance.

 

By its title, we are to conclude that no child will be “left behind”. There isn’t a “No robureaucrutes (Teachers) Left Behind” bill.

 

Indeed, I am one of those lost souls, but that is a horse of a different color – I will digress no more.

 

In fact, I’m at a good place to relate it to our troubled times. If NCLB can be said to have one lasting impact on public education, it’s unrest. Students are nervous that, despite high grades, they’ll perform poorly on the state exam, and potentially get held back, or denied entry into a desired academic program – be it college or maybe a HS AP class.

 

Meanwhile, the robureaucrutes are scared they’ll lose their jobs if their students’ scores don’t cut the mustard.

 

That’s okay, these rigorous assessments hold every child to a high, transparent achievement standard, right?

 

If by “rigorous” you mean hard on minority groups, the answer is yes. We know this because, in many cases, test scores have stagnated and the achievement gap has widened.

 

For example, according to THIS ARTICLE, math and reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP (a standardized assessment of student achievement in a variety of subjects – scores are reported by demographic group, race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status), shows both a widening achievement gap between minority students and white student and diminishing returns in both math and reading in grades four and eight.

 

Much time and resources go into teaching strategies that target minority students.

 

But all the shooters have been white dudes, right? I can only speculate that white students feel marginalized by an increased emphasis on closing the achievement gap.

 

Another theory – school staff are so busy with minority groups that they don’t notice the warning signs.

 

NOTE: I AM IN NO WAY PROPOSING THAT AN EMPHASIS ON MINORITY EDUCATION IS BAD. MERELY THAT A POTENTIAL UNINTENDED SIDE EFFECT IS THE DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF WHITE STUDENTS.

 

More to the point, I am pointing out that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Assuming this is true, we can expect school officials to start scrutinizing the metrics of their white male students, to the detriment of minority groups.

 

Thus the cycle of extinguishing the fires of the American public education system continues.

 

What about the tests themselves? THIS ARTICLE says students spend 20-25 hours each school year taking a test. This amounts to “about 2.3 percent of classroom time for the average eighth grader.”

 

This may not sound like a lot until you consider the hours upon hours of test prep. Put another way, teachers are forced to forgo more useful skills – say, coming up with a simple monthly budget or reading and writing cursive to have more time to “teach to the test”.

 

Concerning the former, the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) contains a “financial literacy” component that purports to measure –

knowledge and understanding of financial concepts and risks, and the skills, motivation and confidence to apply such knowledge and understanding in order to make effective decisions across a range of financial contexts, to improve the financial well-being of individuals and society, and to enable participation in economic life.

I tell you what, dear readers, in my ~12 years in education, this is the finest example of educationese I’ve come across – it lithely straddles the hair thin line between ingenuously vague and technically obnoxious. It’s verbose – pregnant with buzzwords (“effective”, “knowledge”, “skills”, etc.) to show the reader how important it is, but it doesn’t state any concrete or measurable parameters. Fear not, dear reader, I’ve waded through the mire of needlessly grandiose *ahem* verbiage contained in the PISA supporting documentation to give you a clearer idea of what 22% (roughly one in five) of our nation’s youth don’t understand.

Here’s the gist – “financial literacy” as defined on the PISA includes an understanding of –

  • Insurance policies
  • Pensions
  • Budgeting for “household goods and personal items”
  • Bank accounts
  • Inflation
  • Interest
  • Accessing financial information
  • How to calculate a percentage
  • Currency conversion

There is quite a bit more, find it HERE if you’d like some stimulating reading while on the toilet or some such situation.

It is long time for me to get to the point. In short, the focus on testing has pulled the rug out from under the culture of our education system. Education doesn’t serve students anymore, it serves itself. The result has been the neglect of students who feel lost. They’re given little direction beyond always having a #2 pencil and filling in the right bubble – this is not a life skill. Imagine your outlook on life if you suddenly discover that the “real world” is a place where you have to manage your own money, but you have no money because “bubbling with extreme care and meticulous detail” is not counted as a worthy skill.

While writing this, quite a few ideas poured into my skull related to this issue. Firstly, are testing companies, like ETS and Pearson, pulling strings at the US DoE? Seems to me that a company that has made a name for itself through standardized testing would go to great lengths to make sure the government continues to mandate tests.

 

Also, I’ve posted a few times about peddling the English language like so many products at your local convenience store (HERE and HERE if you’re still on the toilet or like to read great writing). I teach English to Chinese kids online. In a recent conversation with an older (age 16), nearly fluent student (fludent?) the issue of school shootings came up. He likes to talk about lofty, philosophical stuff so he perked right up. I asked him, with an education system far more strict and intrusive than ours, why weren’t they having trouble with guns. He thought about it, and he answered it jokingly, but it was more profound than he realized. He joked that they do shoot each other with guns…water guns.

 

Then I jested that I hope he didn’t melt, as per Isaac Asimov’s “Rain, Rain Go Away” and that led to a discussion about how the commoners of today are the sugar people and the government is rain… it was way philosophical.

 

The profundity comes from the idea that he would find humor in the very idea of someone shooting up a school in China. I’m not suggesting that education is without dysfunction in China, but that is another horse of a new hue…

 

For a third time, I’ve wandered away from my thesis – “trigression” to be sure.

 

I’ve produced a flow chart summarizing my stance –

 

As I was producing this graphic, I investigated mass shootings and found that many are not in a school. However, most were perpetrated by a white male who was school age when NCLB took hold – this is a broad generalization I know – I think I’ll look at the shooters themselves next time to get an idea of their school lives.

WORKS CITED

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Bzzzzzzy

BeeJert Typewriter Classroom Full

Listen, I’m usually juggling two jobs, two or more reading projects, this blog, writing a book, cleaning, dadding, and I be strippin in the evenins. In a word, I’m uber busy (that was two words, but you get the idea.)

I sat in contemplation about my dizzying to do list. Right then and there, despite the objections of all 157 kajillion molecules in my body hell bent on figuring out some way to return the mayo to the fridge and throw away a cheese wrapper simultaneously, thereby saving 4.3 seconds – time which can be applied to some more purposeful activity later, inspiration bade that I conjure a verse to chronicle my raging reality.

 

What follows is the offspring of that bit of whimsy and my brain’s inclination to swaddle such whimsy in cozy, tender words –

 

On Monday, where are you going to be?

I’m subbing for Mrs. Brown,

I never turn an English job down.

Never slow down. Gotta stay busy.

 

Hey, it’s Friday. Let’s go to a movie.

Can’t. I’m working all nite,

Teaching online until the morning lite.

Sleeping is overrated. Gotta stay busy.

 

All work and no play for Jarrett Lee?

Being productive is my joy,

That make me a dull boy?

Well “HERE’S JOHNNY!” Gotta stay busy.

 

Daughter: “Dad, spend some time with me.”

Gladly, my dear, let me finish this text

Then we’ll play on the X…

…box. Make time for Quinn, but gotta stay busy.

 

What? I’ve a moment free,

That can’t be true!

Oh look, there’s some mail that I need to view.

I only thought I wouldn’t stay busy

 

I haven’t blogged lately,

Yes that is true,

I use any spare time to…

… write a book, cuz I gotta stay busy

 

OOH! A book! May I see?

There’s not much to show,

I regret that the word count is so low,

Because I gotta stay busy…

 

… and boost productivity,

By engaging in tasks that might improve my station,

Leading to a situation

Where I gotta stay busy…

 

…but do so gainfully.

Oh, I wish I may, I wish I might,

Someday get paid to write,

And break this mold of busy tizzy

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Rhyme Time: Get a Job(s)

slide2
Teaching aboard the Millennium Falcon. Obi-Wan isn’t pictured, he had to go to the bathroom. The sign with the rooster reads “this isn’t the rooster you’re looking for”

My injourney

has led me

To many

Ways to make a penny.

 

My preservation,

Indeed, my continuation,

Rests on many a vocation.

A patched together living in summation

 

The latest of these

I do with ease,

Lounging in my jammies

Teaching English to Chinese…

 

…Children. Thanks to the internet,

I don’t get wet,

Or take a jet.

I Haven’t even been to China, yet.

 

Pronunciation and grammar are my trade;

American dollars are what I’m paid.

Fortunately, I don’t have to grade…

…Papers, and the lessons are already made.

 

I simply report to the designated digital place

With a smile on my face,

Speak at a slow pace,

And keep a clean workspace

 

“No, not ‘parsent’

“It’s pronounced ‘parent’

Don’t worry about your accent

I know what you meant

 

This pedagogical enterprise

Supplements my daytime guise

Where I mesmerize

Teach and civilize…

 

…local students at the secondary age

In order to engage

Them with sage

Advice for life on the world’s stage.

 

These jobs offer little remuneration,

But, keep in mind, monetization

Isn’t the only form of “job well done” dispensation,

Much of my efforts are met with adulation.

 

Indeed, the compensation is sufficient

For spiritual nourishment,

But the commercial payment

Won’t even cover rent.

 

Such is the way

I earn my pay

Allowing me to stay

Productive and bizzay (busy)

 

Life doesn’t stop because of brain injury.

I’ve still got to get out and feed the monkey.

I just never imagined I’d be

So busy…

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

On Teaching English

I’ve been commissioned to produce a rhyme,

Thing is, I’ve not had an original thought in a long time.

That being the case,

The proceeding space

Will showcase

How the BookFace

Is responsible for these words.

I’ve just now decided that rhyme schemes are for nerds.

I’ll rhyme how and when I want,

I assure you I’m no poetic savant

I just know what I…want

Ok, enough about the mechanics of this poem,

Let me tell you the muse for this work, you might know him.

He is certainly more pleasant than an itchy, puss-filled rash

I speak, of course, of the charmingly urbane Charles Nash.

In response to a call for conscription

Into my recent pedagogical vocation,

At that request he did commission,

For me to produce a poetic vision

Of great jubilation.

You are now reading the fruit of that request,

Question is, what to do with the rest…

Of this limerick?

What about a quick…

Rundown of the previously mentioned “pedagogical vocation”?

As a supplementary source of remuneration

Through the interwebs I travel to China,

To serve as an instructor of English elocution.

Working at home suits me just fine-uh.

Detracting from total mirth

Is that our opposing locations on the earth

Mean they are awake while I would snooze,

Causing me to lose

Precious sleep that humans require.

Indeed, I wish the body wouldn’t tire,

That being the case, I’d teach all night,

Helping Chinese kids speak English, the way an American might.

Scratch that, Americans have terrible grammar,

It’s only one step above incomprehensible yammer.

The worst example of this grammatical blathering

Is to answer “I didn’t do nothing”

Which is really testifying

That you, indeed, did something.

Equally bad is ending

A sentence with “at”

Thereby offending

Anyone that

Knows it’s a grammatical transgression,

To end a sentence with a preposition.

OMG, I’m all over the place,

To avoid confusion,

And end with grace,

This sentence is my conclusion.

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

 

 

Sh*t Happens, Part Two +1

The exciting conclusion to “Shasterikit Happens” –

Ben didn’t make it to work that day to inform his staff to avoid using the pre-treated “Germicide” wipes on the east wing of the third floor. Ben was called into Dr. Hoenikker’s office the day before and told by the lab supervisor that they were working on a chemical called “item #9” for the Army and they’ve stabilized it, but exposure to noxious chemicals would cause it to become very volatile.

Unaware of this change, the evening custodian,  Aaron Ellis, used copious amounts of the wipes to clean up what appeared to be spilled milk.

Damn scientists, he thought to himself. He put on a labcoat that was wrapped around the back of a chair and started mocking the scientists. He looked through a nearby microscope, gasped and jumped back in mock amazement, shouted “I’VE DISCOVERED THE SECRET INGREDIENT IN THE COLONEL’S SECRET RECIPE!” He clasped his hands together and shook them from side to side around his head. He picked up a nearby Petri dish and held it up like it was the Nobel prize. Acting choked up with emotion, said “I would like to thank my parents for being rich and powdering my ass until I went to college; where I learned how to make drugs that help cure cancer, but never learned how to clean my own messes.” As he spoke the last few words, he reached into a large container of “Germicide” wipes and slapped them onto the counter and lazily wiped the milk stained area, leaving a sopping puddle of   “Germicide” on the countertop.

In his haste to get to the break room to eat the cheese enchiladas he snuck out of the new Mexican buffet the night before he overlooked an errant wipe on the counter.

The next morning, Dr. Frettoloso, an intern from Italy, arrived very early to show his zeal and commitment to Cheney labs. He went to the vault with all the chemical samples, grabbed a few vials of Item #9 and walked back to his work area.  He took the lid off of one and reached over for a Petri dish, but it wasn’t where he had left it the day before, his tired hand tipped and let a small drop of item #9 hit the counter.

Dr. Frettoloso really didn’t have time to observe safety precautions. He looked over and a saw a moist towel. He grabbed it and very hastily wiped up the chemical, leaving a slight residue on the counter.

The day passed on without incident until lunch. Sitting at the same counter with the item #9/Germicide mixture, he ate his lunch, the usual – a pepperoni pizza Hot Pocket with a small bottle of milk.

He tore into the Hot Pocket, anxious to finish and continue working. He had skipped breakfast that morning to save time, making him all the more ravenous.

After one particularly hearty bite, the pouch split open and spilled out a single pepperoni. It landed in the residue. Instinctively, he snatched it up and threw it in his mouth.

He felt fine for the rest of the day, even took his wife to that new Mexican buffet for dinner. He wasn’t sure about the cheese enchiladas. He made sure no one was looking and used the serving spoon too cut off a bite from a nearby enchilada, lifted the spoon to his infected mouth, leaving behind an ample amount of his tainted saliva. He decided that the cheese enchiladas were sub-par and moved on to the chicken enchiladas to sample them.

Later that evening, Dr. Frettoloso started having stomach pains – he attributed them to the buffet. Like the other diners at “El Comedero Mexican Buffet” that night, his symptoms started as what seemed like food poisoning, but quickly evolved into bloody feces and vomit, ataxia, hallucinations and paralysis before an agonizing death by stroke or heart attack.

The virus, having been spread to so many at the buffet, slowly spread across the whole town by means of bodily fluid exchange and unwashed hands. FEMA seemed to have it all contained, but it was engineered to go airborne to propagate itself. After that, it quickly spread across the nation and, with the help of some disgruntled customs officials at an airport in China, across the world.

Back at Rob’s apartment complex, patio ornament lady took her dog, Shiva, for a walk. She noticed the headline she walked past the newspaper vending machine by the apartment mailboxes, “PANDEMIC! Deadly Virus Spreads to Asia.” She contemplated this as Shiva pooped in nearly the same spot where Rob’s foot found that mound of poo weeks before.

 THE END

I’d like to hear your opinions on this story, please comment.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑