What I learned… Dr. Adrian Lottie

ImageDr. Adrian Lottie — one of my top four favorite teachers I’ve ever had — and one of the top-3 I’ve had in college yet.  To say that this guy is smart and quick as a whip is an understatement.

I had him my first semester at Eastern Michigan University — indeed, he was the second instructor I met as a student.  One thing I like about him is his wit.  If you didn’t read the readings, and tried to talk out of your butt, as I did once — he’d be the first to call you out on it… in front of everybody.  It made me a better student from the get-go.

quote-open“Oop!  You just told on yourself, Mr. Cummings!  Didn’t do the readings, huh?”

I’ve had him twice — once my first semester for PLSC 215 – “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties,” and a year later for PLSC 210 – “Political Analysis,” arguably the HARDEST math class I’ve ever taken.  Ever.

What I learned from Dr. Lottie:

Dr. Lottie helped me understand statistics in a way I never could before.  His choice in Salkind’s “Statistics for People who [think they] Hate Statistics” was an awesome choice.  I kept the book; as I think it will come in handy in the future.  I’ll always be grateful for his teaching me how to make sense of r-squared, tests of significance and strict scrutiny.

He also told a story during both semesters that stuck with me — as a non-sequitur.  When he was a young Army Lieutenant, he took his platoon out on an orienteering mission.  His Commander specifically noted “ALWAYS keep your pencil sharp when you lay out lines of bearing on your map,” as even a slightly dull pencil can throw calculations off a couple of degrees.  Long story short, he accidentally wound up orienteering his platoon on “the ass end of the rifle range!”

quote-open“The moral of the story,” he said: “…keep your pencil sharp.  Always.”

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