Calculators : Collegiates

If you’re a philosophy, literature, or history major,

and you’re only taking your major intended classes,

you can probably just leave right now, heads up.


If you made it past the header of this post then congrats, you’re probably going to actually be able to do something awesome with your intended degree! (I’m not going to not say it, I’m sorry but if you’re getting a philosophy degree I just can’t even begin to imagine what you think your career is going to be unless you want to be a teacher. I’m also not saying that all of those majors have nothing to do with math, you have to take math one like the rest of the population) You’re also taking exams that require a calculator. Yes, a calculator, not your phone, not your tablet, not Excel, a calculator.

This post here is going to be my rant about all things calculator related, get ready. If you know any of these feels, please, chime in, if you don’t get it… Well, get out.

41or6esy4ql-_sy300_So, a calculator is not as simple as it seems. A calculator is not just those little four-function things they give out during standardized exams. Someone told me the other day they didn’t know what a four-function calculator was… That over there <—- that’s a four function calculator. No parenthesis, no order of operations, no going back or filling in the answer from the first part of the equation, no fun graphs of flowers or smiley faces, you get four basic functions, add, subtract, multiply and divide. (You’re welcome if you didn’t know)

These calculators became pointless to me around age sixteen, however, I still carry one in my backpack at all times because I have weird anxiety about not having a calculator for a test. I never want to be unprepared.

71rh7vj8ful-_sl1500_During high school I became real good friends with the TI-84 Plus, the graphing calculator. I drew flowers on this calculator, it had my name written on it. These calculators run for $99.99 on Amazon, my mom bought that sh*t from Staples for closer to $150. I still have this calculator, I still love this calculator. This calculator has games on it I can play when I’m pretending to follow along in Financial Management, this calculator allows me to make some cool graphs. This calculator and me will be friends for a real long time. (I didn’t have the cool one with the interchangeable faces but it’s okay)

61trji1behl-_sy355_All through high school I used that calculator. I illegally stored the periodic table on it for a chem test. I never thought we were going to be apart… And then I started Managerial Accounting. Upon starting that class I was told to purchase a BAII-Plus. So I did. That thing was like $25, not a huge investment, so I was pretty pleased. However, that calculator is a b*tch. When my professor told me to become BFFs with the calculator before the exam I thought he was joking. Nope. Relearning how to use a calculator is f*cking hard. The functions are different, it does completely different things, and everything is displayed in money. So I became BFFs with this calculator, I put it in my purse and used it instead of my cell phone until I could confidently and accurately use it at a quick enough pace.

baii_pluspro_front_rtcolAlright, so I’m an econ major, I was resigned to the fact that this calculator was replacing my old friend, TI-84. It seemed crazy, but I was okay with it, we all need change… Until this semester. My professor told us at the beginning of the semester, “You won’t need the BAII Plus Professional if you have the regular BAII Plus.” Then, before our last exam he says, “If you don’t want to fail I suggest you go pick up the BAII Plus Professional.” What. I don’t want to fail. So I went out and I spent $42.21 on this piece of plastic. What does it do differently? A nice little chart on the back will tell you but I don’t actually know. The calculator did not make it to me in time for me to use it on the exam. I got a B on the exam. I didn’t need that calculator. He tells us, “You will need it for the final.” So for the last week I’ve been walking around with a basic calculator, my TI-84 (I still carry it, just in case), my BAII Plus and my BAII Plus Professional. I did not use the BAII Plus Pro, it is essentially the same as the regular one but it’s also not.

And then, I walked into my Financial Management Final. Me, the overpreparer, and the only calculator I had was the BAII Plus Pro. No. I didn’t play with the functions, I didn’t learn the way the buttons click… I hadn’t even changed the factory settings. My decimals were all over the place, I couldn’t figure out how to change the amortization things and solve for the MIRR (the main purpose of this calculator I found out). And if you have a professor like mine they will open a brand new calculator, do the problem with the wrong rounding, and they will make it an answer choice. And you will fail your exam.


Until next time guys. Xx

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