Disability: Dramatically revealed

25 May

My Physiology professor took 3 weeks to return our midterms. Throughout those weeks I brooded and kvetched to anyone who’d listen about how I didn’t have a good feeling about the exam.

You’ll do fine,” was the majority response, sometimes followed by: “If you don’t get an ‘A,’ it won’t be the end of the world.”

I definitely did not get an “A.” In fact, I scraped the very bottom of the “B” barrel and only missed landing in the “C” caldron because the decimal rounded up.


I swaddled myself in a blanket of depression and trudged sullenly home. Jay –never one to be highly attuned to emotions, neither his own nor mine– nevertheless immediately picked up on the dramatic disturbance in my emotive forcefield.

What’s wrong? He asked.

I handed him my exam. His face scrunched as he looked at the number written on the cover sheet. He pawed through the pages, stopping dramatically on page 19. And then again on page 21. He flipped back and forth between those two pages a couple times. He looked at me quizzically, then gathered his resolve and asked:

Why did you leave these questions blank?

What are you talking about?! I didn’t leave anything blank! Give me that!


Sure enough, questions 85 and 87 were basically blank. They had a few starter words, but for all intents and purposes, they were blank.

I have never left something blank on an exam. If I don’t “know” something, I will at least put down some vague topic-related gibberish in an attempt to earn a pity point or two.

And as for those two questions … I KNEW them! And I swear on Zena’s grave that I answered them. And, yes, of course I reviewed everything before I turned in the exam.

W. T. F. ???

Those questions were NOT blank (in my mind) when I turned in the exam.

And there it was.

In my mind, they were not blank.

I “saw” the complete (and, assuredly, right!) answers in my mind in the exact same way that I “saw” the word “earth” (instead of the word “world”) on the brain-damage assessment test that they gave me in the hospital back in 2011.

I saw the answers to questions 85 and 87 just as plainly as I “see” appropriate gerund endings, connective prepositions, conjunctions, and other words and chunks of thought that so often go missing when I’m writing (and even after I have multiply proofed) these blog posts.

Goddammit all.



How could I let this happen?

What was wrong with me?

How could I be such an idiot?

I fumed and vented for days.

Jay wisely allowed my tantrum to run its course before he offered the obvious observation:

Maybe you should ask for a disability accommodation for the Final?

I aimed laser beams of hatred at him which he calmly deflected back at me in a manner that warmed my heart, cooled my anger, and opened my eyes to the truth.

And so I approached my professor with my sad tale of woe. He was incredibly supportive and eager to help but, alas, there is “a process” that must be followed.

I know this “process” very well from all the pro bono work I did for students with learning disabilities. This “process” is a royal pain in the ass that requires mountains of paperwork and diagnostics that I really don’t have time for.

All I need is ~20 extra minutes for the final exam. To get those 20 minutes will require at least (at LEAST!) 20 hours worth of advocacy. With those same 20 hours, I could probably re-wire my brain in a manner that could obviate the need for the accommodation in the first place. It’s a helluva Catch-22.

But, since my cycling training is in a “rest period” this week AND I’ve been waylaid by the flu (or something) as well, AND it’s a lot easier to revert to being a deteremined advocate than it is to re-wire my brain, I might as well take advantage of this week’s “down time” to try to get the official accommodation.

I lodged my initial request with the Office of Accommodations on Wednesday. No response yet.

Parting Thought: The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it. ~Moliere

One Response to “Disability: Dramatically revealed”


  1. A Little Housekeeping & then vacation! | JustAdventures - June 20, 2013

    […] I didn’t seek a disability accommodation […]

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