A different marathon

This semester in my doctoral program, I took a statistics class. It was a new challenge.

First, I settled in for what I knew would be a long journey.

I found myself reading some very boring chapters.

Things seemed pretty manageable as we were introduced to descriptive statistics.

I felt especially good after passing IRB at two universities.

However, as we moved into new territory, I was faced with a lot of work.

I realized that in statistics, interpretations and answers are rarely easy.

In fact, forget the answers. It’s tough to figure out the right questions to ask in the first place.

Then, I was enlightened on the problems with p values, and the fallacies of null hypothesis testing.

And I had to become really comfortable with confidence intervals and effect sizes, which were new concepts for me.

Finally, when I learned enough to analyze my own data, I had to teach myself non-parametric analyses, since the data were not normally distributed.

But you know what? It worked out.

I now feel confident in my ability to employ the language of statistics in my research.

Like the end of a long training season, like finishing a long race…

We cannot always predict when we will need to stretch our efforts…

But with mindfulness and dedication… two gifts earned from running practice… all is possible.

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