I won’t post any names here, as no one has done anything wrong. I want to state that from the get-go. These are just observations from my perspective. I’m not mad, by any means. I’m just a tad frustrated right now.
I’m disabled and in college. As such, I need accommodations– more than I’d prefer to have, honestly. I’m in the disability services office at least once a week, and sometimes much more. I know everyone in that office (which is a big deal for an aspie), and they know me.
One of my favorite people there is A (remember, no names). A seemed to be the intermediary for everyone in the office. A booked appointments for B, C, and D. A organized all the paperwork about the students. A talked with all the students who would come in. A proctored tests for students that needed things the testing center couldn’t provide. A did a phenomenal job and was always positive and calm, but almost everyone in the office treated A like crap (from what I witnessed) and blamed A for anything that went wrong (A’s fault or not). A did all of this for very, very little pay (as A told me when we went out for lunch once). A week ago, A quit working for my college, and went back to an old job that paid better with much less work. I can understand that choice completely.
The department still hasn’t replaced A, and I think they’re starting to realize that they took A for granted. Things really aren’t the same.
This semester, I’m taking a class on Music Appreciation. I need 6 Humanities credits, and it seemed nice and relaxed being a musician with a lifetime of training and experience. I was right, and I love the class. I’ve learned a few neat things I didn’t know ahead of time, and otherwise it’s been very easy. No studying or note taking needed. The tests are a different issue, though. Part of each test requires me to listen to 30 second clips of songs and identify the composer and the title. I’m only allowed to hear each one once. Due to that last caveat, I cannot just be given a CD player in the test center to test at my own leisure. I have to go to Disability Services and have my exam proctored there.
My first music test went swimmingly. A proctored it, and I was done in about ten minutes. We didn’t schedule the test, but I was able to walk in and take it because no one was busy. For my second test, it was proctored by B, as A wasn’t in for the day. B didn’t know where the test was, or what to do. It took a lot of effort to get it started, and a lot of stress on my part. This one was scheduled, so they knew to expect me.
Today, I went to take my third test. A has been gone for a week or two, at this point. I scheduled my test with B for 11AM, as I expected my Chemistry lab to last until 10AM and it would give me some time to cool down in between. My Chem lab was over at 8:30AM, though, so I decided to go get the test over with. At 9AM (after calming down from the lab), I went to the office and found it empty. No one was in any office or at any of the desks. I checked the white board used to mark when people are in or out and saw lots of the people listed as out until Monday. B (the person I scheduled my test with) was listed as planning to be in from 9-12 only. After several minutes, E showed up. E was shocked I was there to test at all, today. E did one of the things I hate where E would stare me in the eyes with a giant smile, trying to elicit some response out of me that I don’t understand, rather than answering a direct question. This is why I try to avoid E at all costs. E told me that F now does all the proctoring, but was at a meeting, then needed to be in another class. I’d need to speak to F about my test, but E had no idea when F would be back. I mentioned that I made the appointment with B and was expecting B to proctor. I was told that it was with F now, as B took the day off (making me wonder what the 9-12 only thing was about, even though it was past 9). I think I made it clear that I was frustrated by the situation, but I decided to sit outside the office and see if F was coming back.
At about 9:30, another teacher stopped by to pick up a test that was proctored in the department yesterday. E was still the only person in the office, and the teacher had to stand and wait a few minutes before being addressed. E couldn’t find the test and tried to tell the teacher to come back and ask for F later that day. He said he couldn’t come back by, and he needed to grade the test to give the student their grade in the class since today was the last day available to drop. After watching E struggle for ten minutes to try and find the test for this teacher and failing, I gave up on taking my test today.
Before leaving, I stopped by the testing center and told them the situation. The director agreed that without A, it’s hard to do tests in disability services, so he’d let me take my tests with them for the rest of the semester and we’d work something out on Monday. I told my teacher about this as I was leaving, and he was incredibly shocked, it seemed.
Being disabled, my life is already harder than other people’s lives are. I spend more time at school than my fellow students because I have to do all my tests and quizzes outside of class hours. Not being able to take a test on the day I planned to take it really throws off my day, and my whole week. This is extremely frustrating for me.
This is my life.