Something Doesn’t Add Up Here

, , , , , | Learning | August 7, 2020

When I was in middle school, my math classes required a graphing calculator. My older brother and I were both math geeks, so he showed me how to use the “programs” feature of the calculator to do some cool stuff — not related to class.

Eventually, we learned the quadratic formula in class. After finishing the unit and passing the quiz, I had the bright idea to create a calculator program to do the formula for me. I then showed the program to my teacher, expecting the teacher to be impressed by my ingenuity, but instead, the teacher told me I wasn’t allowed to do that. I tried to point out that the mere fact that I had created the program was evidence that I had mastered the formula, but my teacher wouldn’t hear it. So, no time-saving shortcuts for me.

Looking back on it now, I wonder if the teacher didn’t believe I had created the program myself, but I’m still annoyed; as I said before, I had already passed the test on the formula itself, and using my calculator for the formula should have been no different than using it for basic arithmetic.

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