Saturday, August 9, 2008

Does It Clean The House?

Last week I was informed by my oldest daughter that she needed a special calculator for math this year and that said calculator would cost $100. I laughed, because clearly she was joking.

Except she wasn't.

Her teacher said she needed a TI-83 graphing calculator. Because of my habit of staying as far away from all things math as possible, I had never heard of a graphing calculator. Apparently it has an LED screen that you can use for, among other things, making graphs and charts and ... stuff. I'll bet it will find the area under the curve too. That is a phrase which I had hoped I would never hear again as long as I lived. That, and the word "anti-derivative."

The calculator looks like this:

It has some buttons that sounded vaguely familiar, things like tan, cos, sine and other hideous terms that I have tried very hard to erase from my brain. It also has buttons that I have never seen nor heard of. And, if you press that yellow button at the top left of the buttons, every button on the calculator has a different function. It is one scary piece of machinery. This is for algebra 2, and also physics. I took both these classes, and I don't remember having one of these. I'm guessing they didn't exist at the time.

According to Danni, they do have several of these calculators that are available for use in class. However, that doesn't help much if you're at home doing homework. I'm sure Google can replicate every single function on this calculator somehow, but I'm way too lazy to figure out how. I'm also too lazy to put away the laundry that's sitting on my bed right now, but that's another post.

Anyway, I bit the bullet today and bought the thing. Casio sells a similar/probably the same thing version for half the price, but I figured that would trip us up at some point. There'd be some random function that the Casio didn't have, then my kid would be screwed because I tried to save $50.

I did some research and found out that they were available at most stores, like Best Buy and Target, but Radio Shack was offering a $30 mail-in rebate when you buy one. Hello, Radio Shack.

I went by myself while Danni was at work. I picked the thing up, and I was really surprised at how heavy it was. When I got home and opened the package, I discovered that it wasn't the calculator that was heavy, it was the instruction manual.

In fact, I was pretty amused when I noticed that the manual was about the same size as the novel I'm currently reading:

I was proud of myself when I figured out how to turn the thing on without consulting the manual. There was a button that said "on." However, my husband had to show me how to turn it off, because it involved pressing the yellow button and then pressing the "on" button again, which somehow equals "off."

Then I pressed a button that said "graph", and a nifty blank graph came up on the screen. I'm not nearly interested enough to try and figure out how to plot points on the graph, though. The first page of the manual gave me a headache, so I stopped reading. Hey, I'm not the one taking the classes.

Husband walked in and picked the calculator up off the table and held it in front of his pants. I looked at him like he was weird, because he is, and said,

"What the hell are you doing?"

He replied,

"For $100, at least it ought to blow me."


Lish said...

Hahaha @ Steve!

We had to buy that same calculator last year. Staples had them with $20 got a slightly better deal. ;)

Paige showed me that there are sites all over the internet you can download games to it they need THAT in school!

Oh, and after buying that $100 calculator, she said they actually used said 'special functions' a handful of times.


But of course, she needs it again this year. The manual is in my closet, because when Kenny is a freshman by God, she's passing that thing down to him!

Kiki said...

I'm all yeah yeah.. my kid too last year.. school supplies yeah yeah I'm with you. I can relate.

And then the DH comment.Honey that's worth the price of admission right there.. SO FUNNNY.

Best laugh I've ever had over a scientific calculator.

I'm stumbling you right now cause of that last line.. really.

Greta said...

Ok...this is my all time favorite post of yours. Seriously, you should give it it's own link on your side bar.

My husband would've said the EXACT same thing.

Fannie Mae said...

AND buy him dinner!

tsumomi said...

Don't know if it will blow him but you might be able to get it to vibrate for you????

Nicole said...

Ah yes, the $100 graphing calculator... I remember I got about three dollars of use out of it because I cheated a lot in that class.

Jen E said...

your lucky it was the 83 - they make newer more expensive ones that higher levels in school end up using - I used the TI82 in high school and one year of college - not that I like actually used it, but I bought one and carried it around a lot...

Mary said...

We had to get one of those too. Usually the school will suppply a few in the library in case you don't have one.

My daughter needs hers in college now too, so I guess it was a good idea to get her one of her own. She can use it later too!

If.... it doesn't get lost.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

THAT was hilarious! And it totally sounds like something my Hubby would say!

georgie said...

and i thought the $20 i had to pay for a "scientific calculator" was outrageous...geesh I will have to take out a 2nd mortgage just to afford school supplies

Oh and the "blow me" bit friggin hysterical!

Philly said...

We had to buy the T84, don't know the difference other than price.
And guess what? Bought it in my son's freshman year and he hasn't lost it yet !! WOHOOOOO!!