Sabermetrics 101 (the family that nerds together… nerds together)

So, ages ago I signed up for the Sabermetrics 101 course through EdX and it’s going to kick off in just under a month now.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to with this is that my Dad has talked about signing up to do it with me.  It’s been years since we’ve had something that we genuinely both enjoy doing – I took up playing basketball as a 16 year-old to hang out with my Dad and while we co-incided on motorbikes, both parentals were doing Ulysses and I was under 30, so we never got a chance to go riding together before I decided that I’d hit my limit of people I knew getting maimed/dead through riding. And he’s been working FIFO on the mines for years, so he’s been mostly too exhausted and displaced to have more than one hobby. And for the last little while, he’s been revisiting his hunting and fishing youth and is totally into guns while I’m… not so much. Though I do enjoy the process of making bullets and shotgun cartridges *side-eyes self*

Since everyone doing the course will be studying online, it won’t matter hugely that he’s in NZ while I’m in Australia.  And actually, given that he’s gotten very deaf (guns again), it’ll be great to have conversations that are easy for him.  I’m really looking forward to having him as a study-buddy, because I know that he can be insightful and that if he gets something before I do, he’s an excellent teacher.

He was pretty keen to sign up when we were talking about it in Sydney last week. Since he went back to NZ, he’s watched the course-intro video and said that he’s looking forward to it.  I have a little excited hop about the thought of us doing nerdy baseball things together, since we can’t actually go to games together.

I’m also hoping – partially as a method to keep myself on-track doing the extremely cheap course – to blog my weekly learnings here.  At the moment, I don’t know what form this might take.  I’m guessing something like:

  1. Terms, definitions, examples
  2. Apply to something different (hopefully something ABL, but don’t know if the numbers I’ll need will be available)
  3. Write about why it’s cool and useful to know the thing from 2.

And I’m hoping that if I have to skip a week, that Dad can come and do that bit instead 🙂

Despite my trepidation about over-committing[1] I’m really looking forward to this.  I haven’t studied university level courses for more than a decade now and while I’m confident that the grey matter is up to the task, I’m also confident that it’s going to take a few weeks to settle into a functional routine.

I still remember the glee I felt when applications for finding the area under the curve became apparent to me.   I no longer remember what those applications are, but I very clearly remember the feeling of having another piece of the world open up to me because calculus exists and I controlled it.  I already know that my delight in anything deepens the better I understand it (ref, astronomy).

I can’t wait to be even more enthralled with baseball.

[1] Yeah, I’m also signed up for a full-time Grad Cert, which will be another 25 hours. Plus the 25 hours I’m currently working and the hopefully 15 or so extra hours I’ll also be working if I succeed in the hunt for a full-time job.  Current commitment – 60 hours/week.  With full time job – 75 hours/week.  Plus mentoring, which is probably only going to take a an hour or two per week, but I’m expecting organising meetings with my mentee to be a fairly time-consuming process.  I’m going to have to be super-organised to get everything done and maintain my weekly explore!days for health and sanity.


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