Just a few moments ago I received a text from a former student. He received a text from a friend of his, another former stats student of mine, and sent it to me. Here's what it says:
I was the only person who knew what (the) empirical rule is in my stats class. So my stats teacher said he was going to say a number and see if someone could guess the next two numbers and he said 68 and (I) raised my hand and said 95 99.7 and he asked me what it was and I said (the) empirical rule.What are these other teachers teaching, and what are their students learning, if not something as basic as the empirical (68-95-99.7) rule for the normal curve??? That's the stats equivalent of being in a geometry class and saying "a-squared plus b-squared equals" and having only one person know the answer.
Still, it's rewarding to me that the young woman who sent the text remembered the empirical rule. Imagine how confident she is in her own stats knowledge now, how that can only cause her to do better in the course than she otherwise might have. And I played a part in that. Stories like this one help get me through the tougher days.