Scary stories from a lovely place
Maths was not my forte at school. In fact Maths actually really stressed me out. I did well at the writing subjects, English and History. I did not do well when a question had only one answer, because that meant there were thousands of potential wrong answers, and statistically I was likely to hit on one of those. I scraped through – minimum effort, maximum cramming. The calculator was my best friend.
I remember one particularly frustrating day my teacher informed the class that we weren’t allowed to use our calculators for that lesson. What?! I lost it. I knew that in the future, in jobs, in the real, adult world, I could use a calculator if I needed to. So I bluntly refused to not use my calculator. The teacher lost it. I can’t remember who won, but I probably got a detention. I felt it was a moral victory though, and I was amused to learn later that during a heated telephone conversation with my poor mother about my behaviour this very experienced teacher (20+ years by my calculation) described it as the worst lesson he’d ever had. Really? Suck it up Teach. Too long in the cushy private system I think.
I do get it now, why I should have learned how to do basic maths without a calculator. I can’t multiply or divide, and even too many figures in addition or subtraction makes me go blank. This experience is also the reason why I will never become a teacher. I don’t believe in Karma, but if I became a teacher I think providence would work out some way of punishing me for my many moments of rudeness against teachers.
At least I’ve passed my fondness for the calculator on to my children. Never have I met two little people who could be so entertained, occupied and amused by the little device. They love it. Hopefully, when they are older, I can dissuade them from carrying their commitment to it through to high school.