Chapter 66- It’s all just Stats!

“Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

No offense Mrs. Gump, but have you looked in the box? There’s usually a pamphlet that decribes the different kinds of chocolate available, along with a picture.

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Although it’s true that some of the chocolates look similar from the outside. The square one could be a Coconut cream or a Strawberry Cream.

I have the bad habit of taking a bite out of all the chocolates. If it’s something I like, I eat the whole thing. If not, I put it back in the box. I’m an only child and my parents don’t like Russell Stover anyway.

Same thing in life. Sometimes we know ahead of time the range of all possible outcomes. But that doesn’t make it any easier. So all you can do is take a risk, pop the whole thing in your mouth, and pray that it’s a Hazelnut Nougat, and not, God forbid, a Chocolate Cherry.

But no putting it back in the box.

Johan’s potential acceptance to the University of Toronto is a much smaller box of chocolate. It’s either a yes or no with a 50/50 chance.

In Stats101, we learned that “Conditional Probability” is the probability of an event based on another event that has occurred. Our future together varies depending on his acceptance into U of T, and can be described as such.

decision treeSince the possible outcomes are finite, this is also known as a “discrete probability distribution”. When you make a Tree, it all becomes so simple! Trees are the answer to all life’s problems…

If he gets accepted, then it’s easy. We both go back to Toronto and live happily ever after! So if the probability of A(Accepted) is 50%, and the probability of B(Be together) is then 100%, then P(A and B)  =  P(A) · P(B|A) =50%x100%=50%!

50% chance. Not bad odds.

If he gets rejected… Well…I’m going back to Toronto, does that mean we have to break up? But I don’t want to break up!!! I mean we could try long distance but how often does that work out? Sure, Wesley and Mary got married after 7 years apart. But Lisa and Luke broke up after half, Nelson and Mike lasted 2 but eventually parted, etc etc. So then should we even bother? What’s the probability of a successful long distance? 1 out of 100? 1/1000? Wait, is my formula even correct? What was I trying to find out again???

Tell me what to do Tree! Tell me!!! *Shakes Tree madly*lisa_simpson_screaming_300x400

*Breaks down in a puddle on floor*

So that Saturday morning, we made the decision not to make any decisions. We would eat first and check results later. We chatted as if the only decision that mattered was Thai or Indian. However, at the back of my mind, a voice was chanting “Please get in please get in please get in.”

When the bill came, both of us knew the inevitable was no longer avoidable. We walked back in silence.

As Johan turned on the computer, I felt like I was gonna throw up.

“Yep, there’s the email from U of T.” He said solemnly.

“I can’t look.” I said and ran out of the room.

“Hmm…” Johan made an inconclusive noise.

“So???” I ran back in, practically screaming.

“There’s supposed to be a letter, but they forgot the attachment!” He looked annoyed.

“Goddamn U of T! Why must they prolong our suffering!!!” Now I just wanted the results regardless.

Then we had to wait for Johan to call the university. The lady apologized and promised to send the PDF again. Johan was calm and courteous. I wanted to scream at the person for her incompetence.

“Did she say if you got in???” I asked.

“No.”

“Did it sound like you got in from her tone?” I demanded some more.

“She sounded neutral.”

“Is that good or bad???”

“I don’t know.”

Those ten minutes were the longest of my life. I paced the room and chewed my nails while Johan just sat there.

“Oh, it’s here!” He shouted and I ran away again.

A few moments passed and still no response, I started walking back into the room nervously.

His back was towards me, and the words on the computer were too small to make out. I had no clue what to expect. Will he have a big smile on his face? Was he waiting to surprise me and sweep me into his arms?

I came to stand next to him and held my breath.

Finally he looked up at me, and said “I didn’t get in.”

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