GALI’S VERSES FOR THE UNIVERSE: Taming the tailed devils of statistics

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By Gali Makatingkik
One needs the firm resolve of an archangel

To tame the tailed devils of statistics.

It’s literally being put to the test.

But then the question is “what kind of test?”

A bungling Isko like me would either say t-test or z-test!

Not knowing that these devils can have one tail or two tails.

“Not so fast!” The prof with thick eyeglasses would remind.

“Don’t you remember what I told you about loving these devils?”

Well, a sheepish smile seems to be the most logical refuge

As one tries to recall those damned scourges of hell week.

Until finally, one understands that those are lovable devils

because the devil t-test helps in testing the population mean/s

and the devil z-test helps in testing the population proportion/s.

Only then can one comprehend that the cryptic signs of the HA

Holds the key to knowing the devil’s number of lovely tails.

Ah, after the exams one finally knows that a greater than or a less than sign

Is a sure clue that you’re dealing with a cute one-tailed devil.

And that the ungainly and plain unequal sign

Is your troublesome but pretty two-tailed devil.

It’s rather late though to acquire that precious knowledge

As a grade of four means you’re about to fall on the edge.

But with grim determination one chants “while there’s removal there is hope!”

So you grit your teeth against the whole damned exam’s scope.

Until finally, you are rewarded with that precious grade of three

Which means that your journey towards another hell -THESIS – is now guaranteed.

(GALI’S VERSES FOR THE UNIVERSE is a poetry column. Gali Makatingkik (something that sparks fire) is the pen name of a Higaonon poet and novelist. Some of his poems have been anthologized in local and international publications. He is currently finishing his poetry collection entitled Statistically in Love. Reach him via