By Sarayu Pai
I profusely apologize for never baptizing you with a new name before, but TI-84 just fits you so perfectly, seeing as it contains two integral parts of your identity — the Texas Instrument (the company where you were born and bred) and your series number. You are unique to me, with your light-up screen and slim design, fitting perfectly into my pencil pouch.
I would also like to admit my deepest remorse for the trauma you have sustained after being dropped on the floor, either from slipping between my fingers or being knocked off the side of a table. Fear races through me as I dash to pick you up and check your condition, and, luckily, your tenacious spirit and will to survive always prevail. Despite all the adversities you have faced, your light-up screen glows brightly (unless you run out of battery). Another thing — why must you be compatible with only that funky charger with which you were brought home? Why are you not USB-friendly on both ends? I guess that just serves as a testament your uniqueness.
You were brought home during my sophomore year of high school and started working diligently for me in AP Statistics. From creating residual plots to finding normal distributions to running the gamut of tests ranging from t-tests to chi-square, you never failed to provide me with answers. Your infallibility is commendable. In other words, there is no need to take calculated risks. From then on, your presence was useful during all the standardized testing needed to apply to this university and in the incessant days of AP and IB final examinations. Although the days may be long, peace may be found by taking comfort in your constant answers.
No matter the difficulty of the integral or the complexity of the parametric equation, you spit out numerical answers and graphs within seconds — although, I will submit that you sometimes get a bit lazy. And, TI-84, even though your battery does not last as long as it used to, your functionality and beauty are timeless.
Over the years, you truly have aged gracefully. As an engineering and economics student, you have truly proven your worth, and I have the utmost confidence that you will continue to do so. I look forward to having you as a companion in the quarters to come, although I know that your job might change from graphing least-squares regression lines to calculating taxes, mortgages and investments as I journey on the path toward full-time adulting. Even if your battery goes kaput, know that your years of service will go down in graphing calculator history.
Your faithful owner (with oodles of appreciation),
Contact Sarayu Pai at smpai918 ‘at’ stanford.edu to chat about the wonders of the TI-84.