The Lecture Dilemma

I have a PhD in education, specialization in statistical analysis, sub-specialty in measurement, sub-sub-specialty in Rasch models, sub-sub-sub-specialty in analysis of residuals from dichotomously scored test items. That’s pretty much the  end of any dinner table or cocktail party conversation. I lost you at “statistical.”

On a cruise of 108 days, or 107 nights, there are 60-plus days at sea, although I haven’t counted them up. On every one of those days, in addition to the usual fun and games, organized by crew, there are lectures, art classes, dancing classes, bridge classes, craft classes, exercise classes, photography classes, and a community chorus. Some of the classes, but not all, seem to be led by employees of Fred Olsen. There are also “dance hosts” who seem to be there to ensure there are enough male partners for all the women who show up without a spouse. I seem to recall an Italian word for that role. I have not explored how or what any of these people are paid.

For every day at sea, there are two, often three, lectures. Some are “port lectures” that tell us about the place we are about to visit. Those seem to be given by people who have traveled enough to be familiar with the place, but tend to run to self-promotion of the ship sponsored shore excursions. Those have a couple advantages: (1) they usually have a bus right at the ship and (2) the ship won’t leave without you if the tour is late getting back. For the adventuresome, you can generally do a little better cost-wise organizing something on your own. We’ve done it both ways.

The other lecturers seem to be people who have convinced the cruise line that they have something interesting enough to say to fill in an hour here and there. There have been talks dealing with volcanoes, rain forests, sea birds, John Paul Jones (nee John Paul; he added the Jones trying to avoid being hanged as a pirate.), life and times of a forensic coroner and advisor on BBC murder mysteries, experiences of an RAF fighter pilot, Jack the Ripper, and Donald Campbell, CBE, holder of most land and water speed records in the 50s and 60s. These lecturers probably don’t get paid all that much but they do get travel expenses for themselves and a significant other.

Here is my dilemma: How do I convince Fred Olsen Cruise Lines that its guests would be interested in hearing about Rasch Model residuals?

5 thoughts on “The Lecture Dilemma

  1. Ron, I think you could make a case for a lecture on Rasch Model residuals. It would be more interesting to me than a lecture on Donald Campbell, CBE. Here’s an idea…You and Dore could give an hour lecture on tandem biking. They would surely hire you on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doré thinks she’s heard enough about Rasch residuals. Her view on tandem biking would probably start with something like, “What view?” And mine would be, “Is she pedaling?”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You could certainly create a fun lecture on “statistical liars” (play on outliers) but it woukd require some (minimal) effort to generate the examples from the current headlines.
    Otherwise, you can search for a personal meaning angle. It was such an epiphany for me to learn, through study of ANOVA, that main effects can’t be interpreted if there is a significant interaction effect. That led me to get a divorce and move to Chicago. There may have been a few more variables, but that was the stimulus.
    So glad you two are on this journey!!


    1. I didn’t lose quite everyone at statistical. The analysis of Rasch residuals is the search for significant interactions, although not very thing is dichotomous (Ben sometimes tried to interpret life that way.)


      1. The goal of course is to identify and confine the interactions so we can return to the wonderful world of “normal deviates” at least locally.


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