First Stage Complete

(My blog posts for the next couple weeks are going to revolve around two things: my trip to the Bay Area, and my attempts to work my already hectic school schedule around the vacation.)

Today was a fairly standard day as far as classes are concerned, with some exceptions. I got to algebra about a half hour early and discovered a locked door with a single student on the other side of it. She came and let me in, and together we poked and prodded at the door handle to attempt to get it to unlock. It just was not cooperating at all, so I told her that since I sit closest to the door I’d just let folks in when they arrived. We struck up a conversation about the take-home quiz that was due this morning, and that turned into learning that my classmate tends to translate her notes in class into her native Arabic. She’s originally from Jordan. I asked her how long she’d been in the States, and she said about a year and a half, and I expressed surprise at that since she has absolutely no accent whatsoever. That conversation turned into Duolingo and its limitations in teaching English speakers any language not using the Roman alphabet (Arabic, Russian, Japanese, etc.). Finally I asked if she would be willing to take notes for me on the day I’d be out of class on my vacation, and she said she would be happy to, so we exchanged numbers and emails and settled into our seats as other students began to trickle in. True to my word, I had to let everyone in the door, including the instructor. After class, I stayed behind to tell my instructor that I’d be out next Monday, and as a result I’d be turning in my current take-home quiz on Wednesday. He told me that would be fine and even offered me the handout that he was planning to give on Monday to help us review for our first test. I’m glad I spoke up.

I came home and spent the rest of the time before I needed to go pick my wife up from work either studying for my biology quiz tonight or doing housework, with the majority of my time spent on the latter. I just didn’t study well for this quiz, and by the time I’d gone to pick up my wife I knew that I wasn’t going to be prepared. I drove to pick her up and came home to study a little bit more before going to class, and once I’d figured I’d done as well as I could do, I packed everything up and headed off to class.

Once there, while other students were frantically cramming until the last possible moment, I sat quietly with my desk clear and ready for the quiz, for better or worse. I figured that if I didn’t know it by that point I wasn’t going to learn it.

The quiz came and I was the first one done. After the instructor took up the quizzes he asked if we wanted the answers, and there was a chorus of “yes” responses, so he gave them to us.

I might have missed the bonus question. Technically, my answer was correct, but not the one he was looking for, so we’ll see how that plays out once the grades come in. The actual ten questions on the quiz were all correct.

I aced it.

The lecture went well, and on my way out of class I ran into another student and asked her how she did on the quiz. We exchanged results, and I brought up the vacation. She told me to have fun, and as we exited the building together she asked me if I was a Student Accessibility Services client. I told her I was, and we talked about that as we walked. She’s also working through SAS and so we vaguely traded our stories. I asked if she would be willing to exchange information so I could get notes from next Monday’s lecture, and she said that she’d be glad to. Then she asked if I ever found anyone that would supply note taking services, one of the accommodations that SAS has made for me. I told her I hadn’t, and she said that she would love to do that for me. I finished walking her to her car and we chatted about life in general as we exchanged contact information and I gave her the letter that SAS provided to me to give to my note taker to bring to their office to receive compensation at the end of the semester. We said our farewells as we drove to our respective destinations.

So that was today. I managed to perform well on the quiz, I got study materials for my algebra test, and I secured notes for the day I’ll be out of class. I’d say it was a good day.

Tomorrow is going to be spent largely on classwork, as I have another algebra quiz and biology homework due on Wednesday, plus I’m falling behind on my first homework assignment in algebra (due on the 5th). I anticipate tomorrow is going to be a long day.

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