Tall, Dark, and Mysterious


Sometimes grading fifty tests isn’t so bad

File under: Those Who Can't. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 12:06 pm.

On the stats test, I gave a question about a company whose owner takes home a million dollars per year, and whose 60 employees each make $40 000 or less. I asked my students which of the measures of centre - mean, median, or mode - best described how much money the people working at the company were making.

From one test:

The median. The boss makes BIG MONEY, which screws everything up! Everyone else is making so much less, but because of the boss, the mean is really high. I mean, say you wanted to know how much money students in this class carried on them on average. Well, I carry $10 000 on me. OK not really, please don’t rob me! So anyway…does that mean that a “typical” student carries $500 on them? I DON’T THINK SO! It’s probably best to ignore me when you’re talking about how much money students have! I’m like the BIG RICH BOSS in the question!

Alas, the other tests aren’t quite as exciting, but still. Sometimes it takes only one.