Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reflections - Part 2

Remember how you felt your first day at a new school? That's definitely how I felt my first night of class in the Library Tech Program. I was nervous about so many different things.

Here is a list of some of them:
  • Would I enjoy the class?
  • Would I make any friends?
  • Could I handle the workload with having a full-time job?
  • Would I be able to understand the teacher?
  • Would the class really be able to help me make the decision of whether the library field was for me or not?
I can say a lot of my fears were needless but understandable. I hadn't been in school in over 20 years. I found out that I wasn't the only one which helped make the start of my journey back to school bearable. On the first night, our instructor for LIB 101, Ann Dallavalle, had us all say a little something about ourselves, why we were taking the class, etc. She made it a little easier on us by starting it off by telling us about her background which was nice as well as very informational.

You may wonder at my question of "Would I be able to understand the teacher?" For those of you that don't know me and haven't picked up on the subtle clues I've left in my posts, I'm hard-of-hearing. So it's often a concern of mine if a new teacher or even new people will be easy for me to understand or not. Granted, I did utilize captionists for my first class but this was my first time using this kind of technology.

Before when I was in college, I had used sign language interpreters and notetakers. But I decided to try this new technology so I could compare what I liked best. Considering that I was going to be in a program with the word "technology" in its name, I felt I owed it to myself to try it out. After trial and error, I found that I prefer a combination of using an interpreter and a captionist usually. In addition, I also tried using a voice captionist which is even newer technology which hasn't been perfected yet but it was exciting to be the first student here at PCC to utilize such services. Basically, with this technology, the captionist speaks into a voice box and it turns the spoken word into type onto a laptop. Even though voice recognition is nothing new, this device wasn't working up to what we hoped its potential would be.

Ironically enough, later on I ended up volunteering in a test/focus group on helping improve this new technology. Surprisingly, I was the only one in the group who had been exposed to using this technology before. But I was glad I was able to give feedback based on actual usage and not just as a test respondent.

In an effort to keep the post from getting much longer, I will elaborate more on the other questions as I will continue next Tuesday. But a few quick answers for you. I enjoyed LIB 101 thoroughly and would probably have to say it was one of my favorite classes in the program. I was quite sad when it had to come to an end. I was able to manage the workload in spite of having a full-time job by using a few hours of accrued vacation time every week to do homework, projects, and studying. I have been blessed in that I have made many new friends in coming back to school. As for the last question, tune in on Tuesday.


Toni said...

Hi Evelyn,

sorry it's taken so long for me to read your series. I agree, using accrued vacation time makes it easier to finish assignments. I used a lot of it last semester.

Evelyn said...

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! It's much appreciated! :)