Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Monthly Sample: September Edition

I have decided to begin a monthly feature. I find that in the middle of a time of intense busyness, or intense stress, I think to myself that life is going to end and I will never, ever again have a full night's sleep. Then when life is good, I think to myself that oh, goodness, it wasn't that bad, and isn't the sun beautiful today?

So I would like to document, for my own purposes, how I am doing each month. I will note the level of my happiness, stress, and busyness (which I believe are unique, independent but probably correlated factors) on a scale of 1-10 each month. A monthly sample, if you will.

And being the engineer that I am, there is really only one thing to do with a monthly sample.

You chart it.

And so, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, I present the MatLab-generated control chart for the three main inputs in my life:

Now technically, this is just a run chart (not a control chart), because I'm not controlling anything and I don't yet have enough data to set proper control limits. But bear with me. I whipped this up in 15 minutes, so give me a break on the formatting - next month I will get the fonts bigger and all that. The only data so far on here is three points - one point for the month of September on each chart (happiness 8, stress 6, busyness 8). The other months are just placeholders, I will fill them in when we get there.

All I really want to note is that yes, I am quite happy. I am doing fun things I enjoy, and there are no deadlines looming in my future. I am stressed because I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. That fact happens to be correlated with busyness being high (given that it's the beginning of the semester and I'm doing orientation events for both undergrads in my role as an RA, and new graduates in my role as an officer in a graduate student club).

Ooh, the statistics we could run on this stuff....

Another day. For now, my dears, Miss Outlier is firmly in control.

1 comment:

  1. Do you also have an irresistible urge to quantify everything? It's so tempting. I look forward to seeing what kind of mathematical relationships you get out of this. You might need to track more variables, though, like "frequency of meetings with supervisor" or "papers due".