I’d like to on behalf of the entire administration team congratulate this author on a well written paper, the 91% was well earned. keep up the great work. It’s nice to see you succeeding in school. your positive attitude towards school ever since leaving fitchburg state university is a large turn around from where you were just over 4 month’s ago. Again, congratulations.
Here’s the paper that earned that 91%.
I feel like I’ve been in school forever. I started with early intervention when I was a toddler because as a child with a disability, I was missing out on a lot of opportunities to acquire new skills and experience new things. Even on the days I wasn’t in school, I was being educated.
I had a babysitter who used to set me up for causing particularly typical toddler messes. Once, I remember a day where she protected my clothes with a garbage bag, sat me on her kitchen sink, and filled the sink with water and watch me go nuts. I distinctly remember my grandmother having a fit! The babysitter, a family friend, responded with, “Carol, she’s gotta be able to play and make a mess sometime. Might as well let her do it with supervision.”
I was placed in preschool at the McKay Campus School in Fitchburg. There, I was taught Braille at the age of 3. My local school district had no idea what to do with a blind child, but they thought they could accept me once I entered kindergarten, and they did. Everything went well there until I entered middle school. That’s when a slow decline began, because my blindness related skills were so poor that my academics suffered. I didn’t know the entire Nemeth Braille code for mathematics, so I was failing math and science. Teachers were giving me A’s because they felt bad for me. I became depressed because I felt school was hopeless and I was going to graduate without actually having earned a diploma.
My mother had always been opposed to sending me to a school for the blind, but finally when I was 16, I managed to convince the rest of my family, who helped me to convince her, that it would be the best thing for me, and it was. I got to do sports, have a social life, have friends, and a life outside of school, and my first quarter there, they sent my report card home in the mail and I earned all A’s. My mother actually cried. I spent three and a half years there, during which time I began to think of college as a real possibility. Before, it had seemed so far off, and I thought, “How can I handle college if I can’t even handle high school?” the day I received my acceptance letter to Fitchburg State university was life-changing. I was really going. I had made the choice, I was going, I was going to live in a dorm, basically on my own, and go to school, and I was going to be independent. Perkins had taught me everything I needed to know about dealing with college and disability services, right?
No, they didn’t. They taught me how to deal with a disability services office that was willing to work with their students. When I got to Fitchburg State, I realized that new staff had taken over, and it seemed like noone had a clue what they were doing. My books were either in horrible quality audio, or inaccessible pdf format, I was stuck in a class that required you to be able to identify pieces of art, and during my 3 year time there, things only got worse.
I hit rock bottom and stopped caring during the beginning of my last semester. I felt like I was wasting my time there and even attempting to be educated by that institution was hopeless. I knew I had to make a change or go insane, so I applied to MWCC. I had heard disability services were phenomenal, and when I’d only heard good things from a friend of mine, I filled out the online application and I waited. To my surprise, given my university issues, I was accepted. I was thrilled. I had a chance to succeed, and prove that I could survive in a college environment. I was able to take a lab science, something I was told repeatedly over the last 3 years that I couldn’t do. All my materials are provided to me in an accessible format, and I don’t have to fight for them. I don’t have to wonder if I’m going to get an assignment done on time because I don’t have the materials 3 days before it’s due.
I never saw myself as a college student, truly, until I came here. I was always fighting to catch up with the other students, and here, I don’t have to do that. My family have reacted positively to my change in attitude about school, and my grades so far have proven to me that I can be a good student. I never thought I could before. Most of my college career was spent fighting for access. That’s no longer an obstacle.
Graduation day is something I haven’t yet thought of. I know when I get there I’ll feel an almost overwhelming sense of relief, but also nervousness. I know my immediate family will be there. I’m not sure what I’m going to major in yet, but a degree will allow me to obtain a job, and hopefully I’ll gain skills along the way that assist me in whatever I choose to do. Frankly, I’m not sure what dreams it will allow me to achieve, but I want a job, I want to live on my own, and to function independently.