Miraculous Stats—Zero to Hero

Here’s a NEW story about the mysterious ways of the Divine.

My daughter is currently studying statistics as one of her university psychology subjects. It’s her least favourite subject, but we joke that, at least, it’s not as bad as when I did statistics at age 20. The subject was simply beyond me. My maths capabilities were far below what would make the subject understandable. Nevertheless, in order to pass psychology, I had to pass statistics. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to pass and was, most likely, going to get zero.

Then a most amazing thing happened. My friend, Alex Baturnysky, was very good at statistics. An hour before the exam, my friends and I were sitting with exam-stress glumness in the university cafe. Alex must have seen the rather doomed look on my face. He asked if he could help.

I responded, “Thank you very much, but I am beyond help. Anyway, there is nothing you can do in such a short time.”

He persisted and said, “No, let’s try.”

I really didn’t want to try because I was desperately hopeless about it all, and frankly hated everything to do with the subject. I listened as best as I could out of politeness. He went through five questions that were the sort of thing that could be asked. He explained in detail what the correct answers would be. Numbers, numbers! For some reason, numbers have always been meaningless to me. Meaningless and entirely forgettable.

You would not believe it, but out of the hundreds of questions that could’ve been asked in the exam, the five he gave me were the five that were asked. Alex had no inside information. I stood up from the exam and had no idea if the answers I remembered made any sense. I may have written gibberish. Statistics was an incoherent foreign language to me. Maybe, I would still get zero.

When the results came out a few weeks later, lo and behold, I got 100% and a high distinction. It was amazing to get the exact five questions, and equally amazing that I remembered the answers. Given my inability to remember numbers, let alone lines of them like a code, the outcome was mind-boggling—more mind-boggling than the statistics.

When Alex found out about my result, he announced to all our friends that I must be a maths genius.

I laughed and said, “No, I’m not a genius.”

I tried to explain that I simply repeated what he told me. He would have none of it (I think he had a crush on me at the time) and insisted to our friends that I was, in fact, a genius.

“I know how little she understood the topic,” he said proudly. “To go from that to a high distinction from 45 minutes of help—it’s unbelievable!”

As Alex would have it no other way, I accepted his prognosis, which seemed to mysteriously disappear when he got annoyed with my lack of interest in him six months later.

The Divine works in mysterious ways. Or is our consciousness infinitely more capable than we can conceive?

More stories like this are in my books.

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