Thursday, September 10, 2020

A British Calculator

With my long term assignment complete, I immediately went right back into day to day subbing. Yeah, I was surprised, too. I had thought I'd take a day or two to just be, but no, the sub caller had assignments for me. 

My first class back was the visually impaired class. 

I suppose I should back up a bit, considering how different things are this year. First, I'm working from campus. Some teachers are working on campus while others are working at home. But we subs have to come to campus to check in and get the access to the classes we need. 

I checked in, got a computer, and I got logged into the Google Classroom for the teacher I was covering. 

So, like I said, it was the visually impaired class. 

I had one student for two periods. Sienna. In the first class, we did English. In the second, we did math. 

Her sister logged her into our video chat, conference call, meet, whatever you want to call it. Sienna had her brailing machine out. We read a story for English class. For math, Sienna had two math "worksheets" to complete.

I read Sienna the problem. As per the lesson plan, I asked her what operation she needed to perform to complete the problem. She told me. Then I asked what numbers we needed, and she responded with those. Then she needed to do the actual problem, and she used a calculator to do it. 

None of this surprised me. And when she plugged the numbers into her calculator, I wasn't surprised to hear a voice calling out the numbers. What surprised me was the voice. 

This voice had a bit of an accent. Well, it was rather pronounced. The dude sounded very, very British.

So, I have questions. . . 

Does the calculator have a name? I imagine it would be something very British, like Clive or Nigel. Does he like math? He really hits those fours and sevens. Does he only say the single digits? I think I heard other numbers for the answers, like seventy-seven and ninety-four. 

And mostly I wondered if it was a British calculator or if it was one of those where one can choose the voice. 

I didn't get a chance to ask Sienna. We were kind of busy doing her assignments, and then her sister shut off the meet once we had finished. So, this is just going to have to remain a mystery.


  1. Theres loads of them for sale on amazon

  2. Hubby's previous cell phone had a British accent to the voice giving him directions etc. Gave the time in a London all the time. Since it was a pre owned phone we figured the previous owner was British. Seems like a good way for learning for Sienna.


  3. Ha! British calculator. I wonder where they got it.

  4. Replies
    1. I did not. If I ever go back, I'll make sure to.

  5. Interesting! It sort of reminds of the GPS voice options one can choose from.

  6. I don't mind Brit accents for voice overs. I often choose that myself if there's a choice to be made for audio :)

  7. I love British tech. We have had GPS' called Jeeves, Watson, and a woman we simply called Nuvi. I like the British ones because I can pretend they are my hot Brit boyfriend helping me navigate the mean streets of Minnesota.

    1. When I first learned of the tech, the voice that cracked me up the most was the Aussie accent. There was just something about it.

  8. When we lived in the US, we both used the Waze app for navigation. You could not only choose varieties of accents, languages, and even by "name" (Aiden might be one kind of British, but Martin might be a different British), but sometimes celebrity voices gave directions. My favorite was Terry Crews. Nothing like his voice shouting "Turn now!" at you.
    Anyway, in my head, her calculator is like that. I hope I'm right.

  9. I wonder if it's like sat-nav and she gets to choose!
    So many questions!

  10. Hi Liz - exactly ... you have to find out! Sadly I'm not fond of Clive or Nigel ... but if it's British ... brilliant!! Have a good weekend - Hilary

  11. Having worked at the TN School for the Blind I would like to say that I know about these but ....I do not. I do however know that I can change my Siri on my iphone to a different countries accent as well as my GPS in the car. However on the phone I find that Siri has a big issue understanding my southern twang so I keep that on English with an American speaking it. It still has trouble with the whole southern twang but not near as bad as the others.

    1. That's too bad. They really need to fix it so all regional dialects are recognized easily. I'm lucky in that my Californian accent is fairly standardized, but that's just luck of where I was born.


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