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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1866881
Phoenix learns a new programming language for statistics...
Phoenix opened the box eagerly.  Inside was a book on R, a statistical programming language that was evidently useful because he was going to have to learn it in his summer course called "Research Design" in a few weeks.  He flipped through the book.  Phoenix was not intimidated, but he was cautious as to how excited he should be.  He covered the edges with packing tape to protect them and then proceeded to find where it said in the book how he should go about downloading R.  R is a free program, so it appeals to many that way, Phoenix guessed.  He got it downloaded on his MacBook Air.  Great!  First step accomplished!  Now he had to learn to use it...

He soon realized that the R book that he had purchased was more of a desk reference and he needed an actual textbook.  He had enough reward points on Amazon.com to buy another R book, and this one was definitely a textbook.  It was also 942 pages long.  Phoenix started at the beginning.  Phoenix grew more excited with every small operation he was able to carry out with R.  There were some functions he just could not master, though.  He did not understand why.  It seemed that the data files were not available to him.  Phoenix found ways around that, though, in understanding the patterns that had come before in the textbook.  He assigned the data frames as variables and then executed them that way.  He had no one to share his excitement with, though.  His classmate friends were truly taking a break from school instead of getting a head start on this R program.  That was fine, too, but Phoenix knew he would be missing some of the classes, so he wanted to have some knowledge that would hopefully help him keep up with the class.  The instructor that would be teaching the class was a very good instructor, and Phoenix respected him deeply.  Phoenix did not want to get behind in his class.

The more tricks that Phoenix learned, the more complicated the problems became.  Phoenix expected that, but he was hoping that there would come a time when the problems would be more easily solved alternatively.  Not so.  He did get the program to make plots and graphs, though, which he was incredibly pleased about!  Amazon.com sent him an e-mail advertisement for a statistics-specific book by the same author as the textbook that he already had.  Phoenix still had enough reward points to purchase that one, too, so he did.  It would be there in a couple of days.  In the meantime, Phoenix would continue working on R with the resources he had.
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