Ok, last week I was off ill from school a fair bit with a horrible stress thing that seemed to turn me into an angry, sleepy, snivelling, vomitting monster. I rose out of my duvet this monday morning feeling a lot better and ready to face school again. During my absence I missed an internal maths exam. 'Hey ho' I thought. 're-sit'. Not so easy!
The first hour of my exam went well, despite it being a very difficult paper I was pleased with my progress. I was using my popular make of talking calculator which had accompanied me to maths lessons and exams the whole of the last academic year. It's when I moved on to use my extra time (100%) that the trouble started. A whole eight minutes into my time my talking calculator made the most amazing high frequency, top volume, continuous squeal in my ear and proceeded to continue for the next ten minutes as both of my teaching assistants, after stopping my time, rapidly tried to bring it back into normal, mathematical life. They turned it on, they turned it off, they replaced the ear phones- nothing could stop it. When the buzzing did eventually die the speech on the calculator was silent, with random unprompted out bursts of "7 Trillion 300 and 1".
That brings us onto today, Wednesday. After many phone calls to the visual impairment service technicians the two; identical, seemingly broken, calculators were picked up and replaced with another calculator, also identical, but which I was assured was brand new and would work. Guess what? It didn't! I had barely started where I'd left off when the deafening screech piped up again, so loud that the whole room turned in alarm at the noise protruding from my headphones. My TA looked bewildered, and I was too frustrated and confused to be anything else really. I went back with her to the VI office where she made yet another call to the technicians who guided her through several steps to make the calculator shut up. All the time my other teaching assistant, who witnessed calculator saga one and two, could only say "How?!". At this point I was becoming mildly perplexed that at some point, someone might accuse me of purposely doing something to them. But I couldn't be, it was a perfectly normal calculation, the kind i'd used done on this kind of calculator for years.
|My Dad trying to work out how to stop my |
That must be it- I have magical hands of mathematical destruction. So there is a lot to sort out tomorrow, such as calling the company to ask if it is some kind of suicide chip in all of the calculators we've tried, and working out what to do. So there you have it- four calculators which had never had a single fault before, including one new out of the box, broken at the same time. I don't believe I am being hasty in calling this a calcutastrophe!