and you wonder why i wait to pack until the last minute

Because otherwise, I just end up doing things like cleaning out my closet. My closet has been perfectly tolerable as a disaster for the last several months, and then a day before I’m to leave for Africa, I pull everything out of it? Suddenly I’m concerned with the many dozen wire hangers I’ve accumulated over the year from my dry cleaners?

It’s like teaching. It expands to the amount you allot to it.

I’ve heard I am going to have trippy dreams as a result of the malaria pills I’ve started taking. My dreams are normally pretty tame, especially the recurrent one where I’m wandering around ASA asking everyone “Are you Drek?” I’ll report back about that.

The course I’m teaching in Malawi is introductory Stata training using the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey. If you’ve anything about Stata that you think introductions don’t emphasize or underscore enough, let me know.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

6 thoughts on “and you wonder why i wait to pack until the last minute”

  1. I really wish I could take one of your Stata courses. The underlying principles of statistics are not so difficult as the unnatural language, DOS like commands of Stata. I really never got the hang of it, not even opening files, creating .do files, running the right commands, etc.

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  2. Hmmm. This is a case where being old helps. As I used to have to write all those commands for other software in the past, I find it a lot easier than flipping through menus and trying to guess what menu something is in. Icons without attached words befuddle that crap out of me — I can’t make any sense of them.

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  3. I would use that book by those guys called Long and Freese, it’s where I learned much of my stata tricks from

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  4. Unfortunately, I do not have your categorical data analysis book (though I have read parts and it is really helpful) — but the biggest Stata breakthrough that I had was when I really understood what the foreach and forvalues commands. My life became infinitely better after learning those two things. I can’t count the number of hours I lost trying to tell the difference between “foreach in” and “foreach of”.

    belle – I hear your frustrations, but I can honestly say that the more you use it, the more natural it becomes. Just stick with it =)

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  5. I second the foreach and forvalues commands. Macros would also be a good bet. Neither of these things is exactly “introductory” but particularly for people who don’t have other programming experience I think they’re really not intuitive concepts. I’d hate to think how bad my RSI would be if I hadn’t learned to use forvalues liberally. Working with two cohorts of longitudinal data means that pretty much anything I do with a variable has to be done twice X twenty years or so. Having just pictured what that code would look like if forced to cut and paste, I think I’m going to have nightmares for weeks.

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  6. That you can always do a google for commands/programs and then do the net install– chances are someone’s thought of some neat way to something you’re doing–or at least a simpler, faster version.

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