[BTW: Pardon my dust. I swapped hosts from GoDaddy to Site5. Our long national nightmare is over.]
Probability only works on large scales, and then it really only approaches working. The kids all get the basic stuff, like coin flips having 50/50 odds, they all don’t get the more complicated stuff like standard deviation. They lack the tools for problems with continuous distribution, and as far as I can tell that leaves us with carnival games and card tricks. Which only work on average. By being my interested, lively self during class I managed to interest half of them for most of the time (what are the odds that youâ€š interested in this question, Johnny?). But it was a hard unit for me.
And then he kills the probability lesson anyway. It’s like watching Danny Ocean explain all the reasons why the safe positively cannot be cracked before shrugging his shoulders and cracking the safe anyway. And, make no mistake, Riley is breaking into the Fort Knox of probability problems here with Monty Hall, a problem that causes cranial hemorrhaging even among professional mathematists.
I’m grateful I have just enough classroom expertise to appreciate what a thing of beauty it is when Riley draws fifty marks on the board behind him, a subtle classroom action that’s the equivalent in precision and style to Magic Johnson flicking a no-look bounce pass between three defenders for the assist.