Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2014 Summer Courses For Alex



Song:  Expression

Artist:  Helen Jane Long


As described in my previous article...
Alex is attending the University Of Nevada Reno for the Summer Session.

He is taking Probabilities and Statistics.

As his third day in the course has come to a close...
I asked him how he likes it...
and of course, how he is doing in it so far.

Alex said that he enjoys the course...
and that he is doing well.

We had him take an online course in Statistics a while ago...
so he hasn't run into new material yet.

Alex has also studied problems in probability before.

However, as he is taking it at a University...
it will be coming at him quickly...
so it is crucial that he stays on top of the material.

After Alex's class today...
his professor took him to the library to get him in the on campus computer system.

While we were there...
I talked with Alex's professor.

He seemed young and energetic.

Alex said that his professor had just gotten his Ph.D. in Math
(Doctoral Thesis on Probability).

His professor showed me their text book.
He said the campus bookstore had inadvertantly ordered for only half the class...
but that it is available on line.

One of the librarians, upon hearing this...
offered to send the online book to Alex.
She said that she had taken the same course.

Speaking of libraries...
when we walked into the campus library...
I felt as if I had walked onto a movie set for a futurisitc show.
There were long curved tables with computer monitors and keyboards...
 set in low lighting with an overall futuristic blue glow...
and all in a very comfortable setting...
and with no books.  
Everything was either online or was a portal to the university's main frame!

When we got home...
Alex had his text book waiting for him on the computer.

He now has the whole text at home on his laptop.






Alex will be doing a lot of reading this summer...
just for this one class.

I had first taken Statistics over 30 years ago.

It is such a valuable course to take...
as it shows how easily stats are manipulated 
to manipulate people...
what they buy...
what they allow to be done to them...
and how they vote...
besides being so valuable in the sciences and business.

I think that this should be given to all students in High School...
especially now that the Internet makes everything so readily available.

"...back when I was in school...there was no Internet..."...
my generation's version 
of the old having to walk miles to school knee deep in the snow bit :)


Although Alex had completed Calculus I and II last year (online at home)...
we wanted him to brush up on his Calculus 
to ensure he hasn't forgotten his material...
as he will be taking more advanced math in the future.


As I had also described in a previous article...
my wife had purchased two online courses from thinkwell...
AP Calculus BC (I and II)...
and AP Biology.

Alex has been studying these every day...
and doing very well in them.

Alex really likes the thinkwell courses as he says they not only explain
the concepts very well...he says the instructors are very interesting 
in their lesson delivery.

Alex says he loves Summer because he may take more advanced courses
than what is available during the school year.



My wife will also have Alex start a computer science programming course very soon
(online from edX).







Although Alex has already read Les Miserables...
it was an abridged version.

He will now get to read the unabridged version.


My wife always orders plenty of books for Alex to read...
as he just devours them.

I am reading one now...
as I await on campus for Alex's return from his class.


I cannot stress how vital reading is for children.

Their love of learning and exploration...
is born through the books they read.


We are preparing Alex for a more rapid pace of learning...
and to a greater degree of research in his papers.

After his Summer course at the University...
I will start Alex on his writing and research project.


So...
 Alex's 2014 Summer Schedule:


Summer Schedule

Morning 
(Alex may sleep in until usually 8 - 9 AM)

He will then eat breakfast and just relax on the sofa as he does his daily reading 
of a classic piece of literature.

At least 1 hour:  Summer reading

30 minutes:  Study for Statistics class

This block of studying is his class note and text review
(he has a test everyday in his Probabilities and Statistics class).

He then free reads, works on his novel, or just relaxes until lunch.

Afternoon:

1:00 – 1:30:  Study for Statistics class

In this session, he will read forward in his Statistics text to get ahead of the curve...
so to speak  :)


1:30 – 2:00:  edX Computer Science course
(he will be starting this course shortly)


2:00 – 3:00:  Thinkwell courses (Calculus BC, Biology) 

Although half an hour seems short for each online session...
Alex moves very quickly through his material.

Besides...
taking many smaller bites...more often...is a key to learning well.


3:00 – 4:00:  Exercise and shower

(the timing of his exercise and shower will refresh 
and prepare him for his course at the University)


4:00 – 4:30:  Study for Statistics class

(this is a last minute class note review for his daily Statistics class test)


5:30 – 7:00:  Statistics class


7:30 – 8:00:  Study for Statistics class

(this is to ensure he understands all of his class notes)


8:00 – 9:00:  Dinner

(Alex loves to eat his dinner in front of his laptop as he looks things up...
free writes...or just enjoys web surfing.  We talk sometimes too  :)


9:00 – 12:00:  Free time

(Alex will frequently use this time to further his novels...or just free read on the sofa)



This is his normal weekday routine for this summer...
until he completes his scheduled courses.

We will modify this schedule once they are completed...
and his writing assignment is emplaced.

The weekends won't be much different...
with the exception of his attendence at the University.

We will go mountain biking on Saturdays...
and I will take him swimming on Sundays...
after he has completed his daily studies...
of course :)


-----------


Alex's eyes get so bright whenever he steps on to a University campus.

He gets excited thinking about the day
he will be submitting his Doctoral Thesis.

Alex will remember this Statistics class as his first solid step in that direction.












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