Experiences from the Abacus

by Vanessa Huang

Click-clack. Click-clack. What is that sound? It is a person moving the beads of an abacus of course! Abacus has been one of the greatest inventions of the ancient times. It has proved itself useful since the moment the Chinese started using it. Often, it is used as a calculator to count a large amount of digits together with speed and precision. Throughout the years, the human race has used the abacus numerous times thus the practice of using it is still in use today, the era of computers and electronics. This extraordinary object is not commonly used in the US but those who are able to use it had many great experiences with this treasured possession.

One of the first experiences you have with an abacus is the feeling of achievement. The abacus for many is a great experience for young and old alike. To be able to master and fully understand the works of an abacus is a true pleasure. Although some may feel that learning it is slow and difficult, once you're able to work it quickly, you feel great inside, like you've achieved something great.

Another experience you have with the abacus is focus. Once you learn the abacus, all is not over yet! Calculating with an abacus requires focus and concentration. Without these, you end up lost with the stream of numbers given and forget the place you were just about to calculate. The abacus needs the utmost concentration to focus on the task of numbers to cipher the correct answer. Focusing on the abacus may be difficult for people whose mind often loves to wander but with some practice and patience, you can overcome that and spend an ample amount of time to enjoy the abacus.

Not only can you experience such things yourself, you can also feel happiness when you share it with others. After recently helping my teacher around as a teacher assistant, I had experienced more interest to the abacus than before when I helped smaller kids to succeed in abacus. When you help a person succeed, you get an exhilarating feeling of joy that both the teacher and the student experience.

There are numerous experiences one could have with an abacus and these were just naming a few! I think that these experiences are the most important ones you probably wouldn't get so easily in life. The abacus is an amazing device and I think that everyone should learn the abacus since it can bring much in life. It is certainly very convenient when you learn how to use it mentally and apply it to your everyday math classes for speed and accuracy. Abacus has been a great experience for me and I hope that if you haven't tried learning the abacus, try to as soon as possible.

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