Tuesday, March 29, 2005

To take the diaper bag or to not take the diaper bag...there is no question.

I am currently enrolled in two classes [having just completed my Accounting II class--passing with a B!], and both of my classes have homework problems geared towards the assumption that the student is working, and not a stay at home mother. It makes for some pretty interesting dilemmas in trying to get my homework done. For instance, when I need to interview my boss about how personal reviews are done in my company...I'm like, okay...anyway, I've been forced to get a little creative...and to prove my point here is one of my latest homework entries in my Statistics Class...

The Assignment:

Design and discuss a problem that utilizes expected value theory that you could use in your professional or personal life. Describe the context of the problem, how expected value can help solve the problem, and formulate a preliminary analysis (with data) and share with the group. Provide enough information about the problem and potential solution so that your colleagues understand the context.

My Answer:

Suppose I am going out of the house and I am bringing my child with me who is not yet potty trained. Normally I bring a diaper bag with me, but I do not expect to be gone very long, and the diaper bag is very heavy and cumbersome to carry around. Do I risk not bringing the diaper bag and be left unprepared for the possibility that my child will soil herself, or do I not bring the diaper bag and hope that she will remain clean until we get back home?

Diaper bag, no dirty diaper = 12
Diaper bag, dirty diaper = -7
No diaper bag, no dirty diaper = 18
No diaper bag, dirty diaper = -50 [this would be horrifying]

There is a 50% chance that my child will dirty her diaper while we are out of the house. [It's actually higher, but for this assignment I will give her the benefit of the doubt]

EV (take bag) = 0.5(12) + 0.5(– 7) = 2.5
EV (leave bag) = 0.5(18) + 0.5(– 50) = -16

Taking the bag is a higher value than not taking the bag, i.e. not taking the bag is tempting disaster. [-16 is pretty bad]
It makes more sense to take the diaper bag than leave it behind. Better safe than sorry.


No crap better safe than sorry...to go out of the house without a diaper bag is madness. In fact, there is a higher probabilty that the child WILL poop her diaper if you leave without the diaper bag. I don't like messing with those odds AT ALL.

I am glad that I didn't wait until this assignment to figure out whether or not I should be taking the diaper bag with me at all times... [again it would be crazy to consider not taking the diaper bag]...I have somehow mastered the expected value theory in regards to diaper bags early on in my position of motherhood.

See? My business management classes DO apply to what I am doing right now. I wonder if I can get my employer to pay my tuition...oh wait...nevermind.

**I'm not exactly sure if my professor appreciated my creativity on this one...


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