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Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Finally Over

In the pages of this blog, I have chronicled my on-going
journey to improve my communication skills. I am a
post-graduate student at my local university. I began with ASL
i in 2008. I was in ASL ii when I first created this blogs. I
have written many stories about my experiences in ASL ii and iii.

Yet, you may notice that something is missing. I have only
briefly mentioned that I was taking ASL iv this semester. I have
not offered any information or details. There's a reason for

This past semester was outright horrible. I was very unhappy
with ASL iv and what I experienced during class time.

ASL ii and iii were wonderful. ASL iv was terrible. What
changed? What made it so bad? The teacher... I really
disliked the woman who taught the class.

It's sad how a poor professor can make things so hard. I love
ASL and everything I have learned since I entered the program.
It's fascinating and amazing. ASL has improved the quality of my
life because it's improved my ability to communicate with other
people. That is such a basic and vital need.

Still, I hated going to class this semester. It seemed like
there was some major issue every class session. The instructor
wasted class time. She wasn't responsive to students' questions.
She was rude and crude. She criticized and made fun of us. Her
test questions were not clear. Her grading process was
confusing and inconsistent. She taught straight from the book
with no support activities.

I had to fight for my accommodations. I never did gain access to
all the class and testing materials. She would tell me it was in
the book. She didn't seem to understand that I can't see
pictures in the book or the overhead slides or the videos on the
DVd that accompanies the textbook.

I had a very bad experience with the receptive portion of the
final exam. It was straight from the DVD. The other students
were able to watch the videos and prepare for the test. I
couldn't study. The first time I ever saw the material was
during the exam.

I tried to explain to the instructor that this wasn't fair. She
told me there are notes in the textbook that go along with the
DVD. So I could read the notes and understand the materials.
There are video notes in the book but they don't make any sense
if you can't see what's on the DVD. Besides, you can't be
expected to read words in English and then be able to understand
signs in ASL.

She told me this problem was my fault because I didn't tell her I
would need accommodations for the exam. How was I supposed to
know the exam would be from videos? You'd think she would
anticipate the problem since she knows I'm blind. Argh!

It's finally over and done with. ASL iv is finished! Thank
goodness for that.

I have sent in an official complaint about this instructor. Next
week I will appear before the student complaint committee to
discuss the matter. I have never done this kind of thing before.
But I feel strongly that something must be done. So I am
stepping forward to do my part.

Next semester I am taking ASL v. I won't give up on this. One
bad teacher will not ruin this for me. Let's hope for a better
experience in the future. It sure can't get any worse.

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