I have a problem – I’m a dataholic

Apologies if you thought this blog was going to be about me going on loads of dates and having sordid encounters, you’d better get over to Ashley Madison for that. No, I’m talking about numbers, statistics, percentages, fucking line graphs people! They fascinate and engross me in a way I never thought possible. 

My friend and I have a rule, if you’re into English, history, geography etc you shouldn’t go out with science, maths (possibly IT) guys. The two don’t mix, right? Bad idea. Science/ maths people don’t always appreciate the endless interpretations of English-y people. We like to speculate and over analyze, getting two English-y people together is a talkathon of reading between the lines. I admire the way science/ maths types don’t want that bullshit. In maths there is an answer, how you get to it might have different routes but in English you often will never know the answer. And science, they love a bit of speculation too but they won’t base it on the tiniest of things that a writer may/ may not have meant for you to pick up on, they want facts, physical evidence…and though I’m so English-y, I’ve been turning to the dark side for a while now. 

I am having a data affair behind English’s back.

It’s kind of English’s fault really. I’m tired of English’s need to pull apart every minute detail, until all feeling and passion behind what was written has been lost. Data lets me interpret and find right answers, I can feel secure in what data tells me, English leaves me hanging on and vulnerable.

Data impresses me. You can’t argue with it, it is in front of you, it can’t lie. Although I felt a little sad when SISRA was born. Before this data and I used to spend a lot of quality time together, I’d be manually sorting, inputting massive ‘if’ formulas and the ultimate – the v look up! Ahh! Those were enlightening times. 

I don’t write my SEF as an excuse document anymore, I hardly say anything. The numbers speak for themselves. 

Don’t like my setting? It’s based on boy girl ratios, CAT scores and prior attainment. It’s got evidence behind it. The other day a parent made a complaint about her daughter’s progress in one of my teacher’s classes. I unleashed a torrent of data to the contrary which shut her the hell up. Data did that. 

Data gives me confidence to argue the toss whereas in English if someone doesn’t agree with you (although apparently there’s no right answer) they can dismiss it (frighteningly commonplace amongst university tutors).

Therefore English, although I will keep teaching you and reading like a maniac, our best times are over. I can’t rely on you to back me up anymore, you’re too abstract. And I need some stability. 

It’s finished. 

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