Friday, 2 January 2015

AntiFreeze: 7 Graphs That Illustrate Success... Sort Of

It’s here. It, being the Official Winter Student Games: AntiFreeze. By now, teams are probably getting parts of their scrapbooks together, working on their cardio, and mentally coping with the fact that they’re not going to a lot of classes during that first week. I know I didn’t.

By not going to a lot of classes, I mean I maybe went to a couple. I had done AntiFreeze before, but I never really competed in AntiFreeze. The team I joined, the classy clan known as “Reindicks”, was a partially committed bunch. I say partially because there were about 5 or 6 of us who were really committed, a couple who weren’t really into it, and then another dude (our captain) who literally flew away to San Diego the week of. See figure 1.1 below. 

Graph - Captain Here vs. Not Here
Figure 1.1

Of course, we left almost everything until the week of. For those of you uneducated on the field of AntiFreeze, it is a weeklong tournament, with a variety of competitions that somewhat change year to year. A sled race, a clue hunt, and a scrapbook – those are a few of the events going on. So while we could have built a sled and made our scrapbook during December, figure 1.2 below represents what actually happened.

Figure 1.2

 I’ve catalogued some trends for your pleasure in the graphs below – each with their own explanation.  

Figure 1.3

 Here we see the relation between the number of AntiFreeze days, and the amount of coffee myself, and the rest of the team was drinking. We were ingesting rather healthy amounts for the first day or so, but as the week progressed, sleep became secondary to building sleds and trying to learn aerobic dance routines. 4 to 5 cups of coffee might seem unhealthy, but… well it is. It is unhealthy. Shame on us. Not surprising is the inverse relationship between sleep and coffee. 

Figure 1.4

In case it wasn’t clear how many teammates took off for San Diego: one did. One teammate took off. I didn’t include the dates on the horizontal axis because the entire thing was such a blur, that time itself ceased to really define itself. Though, I have noted the intersection between when AntiFreeze started, and the value of our vertical axis. 

Figure 1.5

Another fun tidbit about AntiFreeze is that the winners receive a free weekend trip to the mountains. Once we had won the tournament, the trip had already felt free. When we were planning the trip, the trip still felt very much free. Once on the trip, the trip still felt free. I can safely say the trip was delightfully free, and “free” really is an asymptotic behavior of the trip (i.e. as time goes on forever, that trip will always feel free, and will have been free). 

Figure 1.6
The above is a graphic representation of how many people saw me in jorts over the course of AntiFreeze. As you can see – roughly 300 individuals saw my jorts. Given the approximate 6” inseam I gave myself (and the fact that I’m 6’3), I’m not sure how I looked in the jorts (probably either amusing or horrifying), but I assume that there are at least a couple people who every now and then see me and think, “Hey, that’s that guy – who was in jorts.” And to those lucky few, I say “yeah, yeah I was that guy in jorts.” 

And now you've seen me in my jorts too...

Figure 1.7
Here we see the expectations vs. reality of work getting done. Anyone who’s done AntiFreeze a couple times understands that the bulk of the work really gets done by 5 or 6 dedicated team members I was not aware of this. 
So. AntiFreeze 2014: Coffee. Coffee and a lot of yelling. I was so sleep deprived that it took a little over three weeks for me to even realize I was in the middle of my winter semester. If you’re not on a team, most of the events are pretty fun to watch – but anything dance related is a good time. If you are on a team, best of luck to you. Try to sneak some sleep in between your scrapbooking and your surprisingly detailed investigation into what kind of plastics will make your sled go faster. 

About the Author


Hey readers! My name is Shadi and I'm currently doing a double major in Mathematics and Economics - an amalgamation of the two most enjoyable fields fathomable.  

Now - pull up an ear and listen reader: there lives a thriving ecosystem of academia addicts and campus-culture aficionados throughout the U of A, and I'm hoping to get these stories to you. I'm hoping we can on some level create more pride in our university through what really matters: the students. Me? Yes - you! You matter. I want people to hear of what academic triumphs students are achieving, and what new initiatives leaders across campus are championing. Also, from time to time, I’ll try to make you smile with “humor”. I'm looking forward to the semester and being a part of this team, as well as learning more about what's happening across our campus!


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