I know that I’m going to get an additional list of school supplies that the boys’ need the first week of school. That is just a given, as individual teachers require additional items for their classrooms that are not on the standard list that comes out from the school itself.
High school however, is going to kill me. Jonathan brought home his algebra syllabus the other day – AAA batteries, graph paper, colored pencils, TI-84 calculator, dividers – the usual. I knew (from previous experience with my daughter and algebra) that the TI stands for Texas Instruments and that it is a calculator designed specifically for scientific and algebraic calculations. No problem, I figured about $30 to $40 for the calculator should do it.
This damn calculator costs between $90 and $130. I can feed an entire freaking family of four on that amount of money for a WEEK for pete’s sake! So absolutely insane! I understand that it is a huge help but just what in God’s name is so frigging special about this particular calculator that warrants such an extremely high price?
It’s a calculator.
Thankfully, the algebra teacher sent home a little file group that enables the students to download a virtual TI-84 calculator directly to their computer to use at home. There is also an app in the Google Play store for the exact same program file – its called Wabbitemu – and the setup is super simple, and you can customize it to the type of calculator that your algebra class specifies.
So parents, keep that hard-earned money for your groceries – and download the app for the kids onto their phone, onto the computer, or on the tablet (which is where I downloaded the app to) so when your kids start complaining that they cannot do their homework without the calculator- they have it right at their fingertips.
- The unstoppable TI-84 Plus: How an outdated calculator still holds a monopoly on classrooms (washingtonpost.com)
- New standards challenge schools (utsandiego.com)
- TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition: Is TI Reviving their Old Calculators with Color? (tiwizard.com)
- Best Graphing Calculator for High School Students (tiwizard.com)