A “joiner”

One of the subjects I study is Epidemiology. The professor is a man with a lot of research experience in public health particularly in Columbia.

All course material is uploaded on the site the week before. Students are expected to read up and come before class. There is one section with the slides and the others are all research papers related to the topic under discussion that day. IF we can critique those papers, then the lesson is successful.

To illustrate the point of something following something “intuitively”, the professor talked about the head mistress of his children’s elementary school, Mrs. Schuller( or at least that is what I heard). One day Mrs. Schuller decided to start a bookclub at her school- a very nice initiative indeed and something quite innovative- for – well, here’s the catch- the parents. According to the professor, Mrs. Schuller thought the parents reading skills or lack thereof was reflected in there reading abilities of the children. Since many parents helped( guided) children with their homework, it made sense to invite parents to participate in a bookclub.

Of course, the professor joined. And this is how he put it- ” of course, I joined- I join everything- I am a “joiner”. The class burst out laughing.

After joining the bookclub, the dad( professor) went home to tell his children of his latest “joiner” activity( seems like there were plenty of them over the years’) and his daughter was so embarrassed by the latest act of shame of her father- she said, ” Dad, DO NOT GO”. The professor countered with- but I already joined baby and there is no way out now. Mrs. Schuller will be watching out for me.”

The first bookclub day dawned and the professor turned up on time all read up and prepared for the bookclub. Along with him were five other parents- all mothers. Imagine the group- one dad and five mums with Mrs. Schuller. By this time, the class was bursting out with laughter.

The point of all this was that to him it seemed that Mrs. Schuller calling a bookclub for parents was as intuitive as the steps of logistic regression, which is one of the methods used in epidemiology.