Coping Without A Graphing Calculator

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I’m a junior in high school in Benicia, California. It’s a couple of months into the school year, and I still haven’t bought a graphing calculator. It’s not something I can easily afford.

This year I’m taking Math 2 — Basically a mix of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Almost all the homework requires a graphing calculator. My school does have a set to lend out to students. But there are only 40 of them, and there are 250 kids taking my math class alone.

So here’s my typical day. I have math right after lunch, which means as soon as the bell rings I have 38 minutes to find someone with a calculator, convince them to lend it to me, and do my homework. It usually works out, but it’s not a perfect solution. I often don’t have time to eat, and it’s embarrassing having to beg my friends to borrow their stuff.

I’m considering dropping my math class and taking an easier one that doesn’t require a graphing calculator. I care about academics, but the cost of being successful in math shouldn’t be this high.

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