Not Even Taking Calculated Risks

, , , , , | Learning | June 17, 2018

(I am in university in a town 30 kilometers away from home. The university is a famous one, and I managed to get into the Business & Economy faculty, which is one of the top faculties there. I am attending the second meeting for statistics class, at the beginning of our first semester.)

Professor: “All right, class, have you all brought a scientific calculator, as I asked last meeting?”

Class: *nods and sounds of agreement*

Professor: “Okay, does anyone here know how to use it?”

Me: *raises hand* “I do.”

Class: *silence*

(Confused, I look around and see that no one else has their hand up.)

Professor: “Just one this semester? Hmm. Well, why don’t you come here and show the others how to use it?”

(I go to the front, still confused.)

Me: “Okay, just to make sure, do you guys only know how to use the basic functions of it, or do none of you know how to use it at all?”

Class: *shakes head*

Me: “How about the calculator in your smartphones? Surely you’ve used that once or twice?”

Class: *more head shaking*

Me: “Then… how have you been doing math all this time?”

Classmate: “I usually just Google the answer.”

Class: *murmurs of agreement*

(I stand there in disbelief, long enough that the professor tells me to sit down and takes over teaching the class how to use calculators. Later, after class has ended:)

Me: “Sir, I still couldn’t believe that someone who got this far has never used a calculator.”

Professor: “It’s very common, from what I’ve seen. The most I’ve seen in a year was three students.”

(I lost the — admittedly small — amount of faith I had in humanity that day.)

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