Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Education

Have you ever seen such a calculator? I can barely figure out how to turn it on-much less understand what all the buttons are for. I snapped this picture of Chitter doing her homework on the back deck. Or as Granny and Pap would say-she was getting her lessons. The schools in Appalachia sometimes get a bad wrap for their supposedly low educational standards. Nothing could be farther from the truth in my experiences. Recently, the girls’ school, was one of 5 in the entire state of NC asked to apply for a prestigious STEM program (short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). I’m just glad they don’t need my help with the calculator.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    May 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Karen-I haven’t heard ‘doing my sums’ but seems like I might have read it in a book. Thank you for the comment!
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  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    May 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Those calculators scare the pants off me. I pay my daughter to operate mine!

  • Reply
    Glenda B
    May 20, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I’ve never been good in math and would enjoy having something that made it easier for me, but the new-fangled calculators puzzle me.
    I still use an old simple adding machine that multiples and divides. For anything more complicated, I call my brother in law, the engineer.
    I glad the girls are doing well in school. That is important these days.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillps
    May 20, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I had to buy my son one of these when he was in high school. I can still remember the sticker shock! I did learn how to turn it on-but turning it off was another story-

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I have enough trouble working out which is the phone and which is the TV remote control, let alone dealing with calculators.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Its good to know that your girls
    are fluent in the modern concepts
    of education. I have a Scientific
    Calculator and its got things on
    there I don’t know about. About all I use it for is the Sine Key
    to get a Trigermetric Number and
    mulitply it by five to set up my
    Sine Plate to insure an accurate
    angle. I’m gettin’ too old and
    ornery to fool with this crap any
    more. Looks like Chitter is still
    deeply set on the Army set up
    from the magazine on her table.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    graphic calculators are pretty much standard these days. Both my boys needed them for HS. They are mighty complicated when you are used to a simple one. I know they are glad to have them but I have yet to find a use for my day to day living so I stick with the fool proofed one 😉

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    They didn’t even have those when I was in school. Thank you Lord! 🙂

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    May 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    It’s very comforting to know your girls are getting a good education. If you read the news, everything associated with schools sounds bad today. I’m not good with calculators either. My sister got all of the math smarts.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I can do the basics (usually) on them but that’s it! That one has way too much stuff on it for me to figure out!! I’m thankful for fingers and toes to count on when I was a kid!! Haha!!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Ahh it brings back memories of being an budding engineer student.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    May 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

    That looks like quite a complicated ‘machine’.
    I always get quite irritated when they start in on the school systems in western NC and east TN. Both my boys got great educations in NC and there are articles all the time of kids that have done well, gone far, from our areas. Guess it’s something that will go on until the end of time, but we know better!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 9:35 am

    My Grandma used to call it “Doing my sums”. Have you ever heard it called that before? Karen

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 20, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I had a scientific calculator in college…it was a nightmare. That was a long time ago, I cannot begin to imagine what the new calculators do!
    Better those young sharp minds!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I’ve not seen one of those. Am doing good to find my way around this computer and still learning about it. It seems like kids have no problem figuring all those gadgets out which is a good thing.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

    When I went back to school I had to buy one of those new fangled adding machines. I barely learned how to use it, only enough to get through the one Algebra class that required I buy it.
    Then my son took it. He needed it for his Algebra class. He knows more about it than I do. I prefer to do my calculations on paper. LOL

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 8:18 am

    that is some wild calculator, me to on the working it. i have one of the 10.00 ones that all i do is add and subtract and multiply when i can’t remember the tables.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I’m glad my bunch didn’t bring them home, while my son has an engineering degree, he must have used something like that only at college.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    May 20, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I remember my senior year in college (in engineering). There were two guys in the College of Engineering that had Hewlett-Packard HP35 scientific calculators. These guys were nearly celebrities in the engineering school.
    Things have changed a lot. Most of the smartphones that we carry around have more computer power than our big Xerox Sigma 6 mainframe computer on campus in those days.
    It has been an interesting career, however, and I am very happy that I chose engineering. I am still working, probably until 2012, but I still find it interesting. Made the move years ago from mechanical engineering to software and I continue to enjoy it.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 20, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I live in fear that the world will run out of batteries..!!!
    What then!
    Everything runs on them from fire alarms to cell phones…not counting the counting devices!..Ha
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    May 20, 2011 at 5:22 am

    I have a two engineer household here, and I’ve seen those things. I can’t use them either, but I also know people who can!

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