Last fall I decided I was going to college and I was very excited about my decision. I took the placement tests for reading, writing, and math and I got into credits classes at Lane Community College. I started in the winter term and I was ready to quit in the second week. Why? Because there was a lot of homework and speed.
My instructor told us that you have to do the 2:1 ratio in college. That means for every credit you have, expect to double that number for your homework time. For an example, I did 6 credits and 12 hours of homework in the winter term.
I stayed after the class some days, and I asked my instructor, “How I can do the homework assignments?” I had to be creative in order to do it. I did the assignments on my computer, with a program called CoWriter. I was doing the assignments every single day including on the weekends.
I needed to think about going to school. The reason why I am here at college for myself, because I don’t want a low status job. I want to teach for the deaf. My inspirational person is Helen Keller. She was deaf and blind. And she went to college. I think of her because if she could do it so I can.
My outcome for going to college is to build my self-efficacy in my writing. My grammar is improving over time. My self-efficacy in writing is building, too. College is helping me to learn how to write and to build on my self-efficacy.
I accept responsibility for my mistakes and my actions. I find that my courses are somewhat easy for me. I take action to do my homework. For example, I don’t blame my instructors for giving me a lot of homework. I know I need to do the 2:1 ratio. I make a homework plan. I have a lot of math homework, and it is a little difficult for me do it. In order to understand it, I have to go to school early to get help at the math resource center (MRC). The tutors help me to understanding the math. I believe in luck, too, but I have to work hard in order to get good outcomes.
One strategy I used was to post my writing assignments to My Life where I could see them in my blog stream, share them with others, and see any comments they had. I could also post images that helped show how I was feeling or what kinds of grades I got. For instance, I shared one post with my friend Adelka. It was a letter of appreciation to people who had helped me along the way (To My Team). Adelka commented on it by saying, “You are an independent lady.”
I also had fun posting sign language images of the letter grades I got.
My Life also helps me at college because I can blog about my frustrations to having so much homework. I created a page about the “Stress Of College.” I put some of pictures that I thought they are so funny. The pictures are really about what every college student goes through in a term.
A first-year student at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, Dorothy Miller is actively pursuing a teaching certification in early elementary education. Due to her dysarthria, Dorothy uses the TouchChat program on her iPad to communicate with staff and students and is building a digital portfolio of her projects and accomplishments using the My Life app from Cognitopia.