My manager and I were recently in the Boston area to do some research and finish out a trial from which we recorded over 2,000 numbers. We finished early and made it to the airport with 3 hours to kill before our flight, so I decided to start averaging the numbers to see how the results turned out.
I always keep my TI-30x calculator handy while traveling so I started crunching the numbers. I was able to get a third of them calculated before the flight and even made a hand-drawn graph to show my manager the results. I did have my laptop with me, but it would have taken me longer to try and input all the numbers without a number pad.
We then boarded the plane and while everyone was finding their seats and the flight attendants were showing everyone what to do in case of an emergency I pulled out my calculator to keep going. But then came the announcement of turning off all electronic devices. I was not sure if my calculator was included, but it is an electronic device and I didn’t want to be THAT person on the plane.
I still really wanted to keep averaging, so I decided to start doing it with my pencil and paper. The adding was easy enough, but then came the long division. I tried to think how many years it had been since I had to do long division and then I realized it had been decades! Oh boy, this might take a while.
But actually it was quite easy and I remembered what I was doing fairly quickly. It was just like riding a bicycle. Once the electronic devices were allowed to be turned back on I did pull out my calculator and check my math. I would say that I was about 75% correct. I erased my math after each set, so I wasn’t sure if the wrong ones were off because of the adding or division.
I guess I’m all set for when Jake brings home his math homework in a few years. Jamie and I were both able to pick up math very easily, so I really hope Jake will too.