NO CALCULATORS. This came as such a shock because, let’s be honest, calculators are more often than not, encouraged. Moments later, after walking out of that test, I headed towards my freshman physics class for my next test (do not be fooled, we freshmen are not usually this busy, it was finals week.) As soon as I got there, the calculators were out and the clicks of the buttons were rampant for the hour we had to complete our assessment. I couldn’t help but realize later that day the difference between my confidence levels in the two classes. The spike of self-assurance I felt with my TI-84 in hand was astonishing. But shouldn’t I be confident in geometry, too? I definitely know arithmetic, I’ve learned both algebras, and writing out work often leads to less error, as opposed to mindlessly punching buttons into a machine. When did the obsession begin? We all deal with calculators before we actually need them for school. Long before high school, I used to love trying to put together the two biggest numbers I could think of to make an even bigger number. When I finally needed to buy the “holy grail” of the classroom, I could spend an entire math class calculating big fancy numbers that I could NEVER do in my head. However if we forget our calculators to a science test, a standardized test, or even to a tutor, are we just going to call it quits for the day? As nice as it would be to reverse time and spend and focus a little more on mental math at a young age, that is just impossible. However, there’s nothing we can’t do that a calculator can do! Maybe that’s a lie, I definitely don’t have a sin, cosin, or tan button in my head. But, are theses NO CALCULATOR tests doable? Or, are they composed of extravagant equations that stretch our minds’ boundaries?]]>