The Calculator Debacle

Diodon are the funny fish. They are the pufferfish genus. The fish who can puff up like a balloon by sucking in air or water. They also have two teeth which form beak-like plates, which they use to eat little molluscs. They also like to have their tummies stroked. But that’s a matter for later.

First, the week after the mock exams finished, or not-mock-but-real exams, Lu realised in the middle of her maths class on Tuesday that her scientific calculator was set incorrectly. Which meant that some of her answers in her exam would have been wrong. Especially for the geometry-style questions.

I can see this may be one of those moments where a person could look back on it and laugh. Remember when you did that potentially important exam and we realised your calculator was set wrong? Haha.

Yeah. I guess it hasn’t been long enough. Especially for me; since I had a lightbulb moment that it could do with re-resetting some weeks ago, but didn’t follow it up then. Now, googling and re-setting the Casio, I went straight on the email – to Lu’s maths teachers.

‘Could Lu please resubmit her answers where she got a different answer because of calculator error?’ I wrote.

Thankfully, Lu’s teacher wrote back almost straight away. She wrote, ‘Of course you can. It’s good to make these errors in the mocks before the real exam.’

Oh yeah. I started the day with scanning the news. I read that Ofqual, the UK governmental body for exams will be releasing the exam dates this week. Or they’ll be calling them off completely in England, as Wales and Scotland have already done. It’s crunch time. Another exciting 2020 moment.

We already have plan A, B and C in place to cover the contingencies – but man, I didn’t feel the exquisite stress of trying to make sure my kid has a fair chance educationally until this calculator error. And since I’m close to ranting, I’ll also admit I officially hate the IGCSE higher maths tier exam paper which is so much harder than the foundation stage maths paper. I get it though. Her teacher affirmed it too. If she wants to do science, strong maths is useful. It’s just the work required for it has been epic so far. Weeks of practice. Then the calculator debacle. Tuesday morning made me question whether fate was intervening – or at least terrible parenting. Damn you Radians mode.

Her teacher picked up on my stress. She wrote again not to worry. She had a quick look over Lu’s exam and it looked ok. That a C grade at higher maths is still a very decent mark.

It was good to connect with her teacher this way. Perhaps it’s another example of going backwards in order to go forwards. 2020 is full of these lovely examples.

We went for a night dive later on. The puffer fish were out; all of them ready to have their tummies tickled. The puffers swim right up to you, their eyes made out of marbles, ready for a cuddle. It was the best cuddle.

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