Well it’s been an interesting day!
Firstly, I went out to the university for my appointment with the Disabilities Resources Coordinator. She was very helpful, but I’m sort of doing things in the wrong order – it was better to grab the appointment with her while I could. She made lots of notes about the changes to exam conditions I would need – can you believe that with all the technology available during term time, they insist that exams are HAND WRITTEN? How retro! (I can understand why they do it – obviously you can’t let a student have access to their computer during a “closed book” exam, especially on a wireless access campus – but for most students I imagine it would be the only time all year they are required to actually write with a pen and paper. The poor lecturers probably struggle to read the illegible scrawls that result.)
I, however, physically CANNOT write for two hours – my hands swell up if I try to write for more than about 10 minutes. Just one of the little joys of my particular f1bromyalgia. Yay. Nor can I sit without moving for long periods. I need to get up and stretch, walk around, take medicat10n… and so on.
There were other considerations – needing extra thinking time for exams (becuase of the muddleheadedness medicat10ns bring), being provided with a (blank, not connected to anything) computer so I could type exams, form letters in case I needed extensions of time to complete assignments.
Then I came home and filled in my QTAC online application. As far as I could, anyway – I have a dozen pages more of forms that I need to supply as additional documentation: I have to write a statement explaining how my illness has affected my previous study; I need supporting letters from at least one of my doctors, and I need certified copies of transcripts from my previous attempts at study. KerCHING$$ ouch! The one from the local TAFE wasn’t bad – $13, and the Australian National University in Canberra was $15, but it HURT to have to send Charles Sturt University (which waaaaaaaaaaay back in the dim distant dark ages when I Knew Everything Because I Was a TEENAGER was the Riverina Murray Institute of Higher Education) $50 to get a piece of paper showing the subjects I FAILED. OWWWWWWIE!
It’s also quite confronting having to say “Well, yes, I did try to study before, but welll.. you see, the first time I was a teenager ( and so I thought I knew EVERYTHING and I left uni to get married (and hooo boy that one was a big mistake); then I went back to uni again but that time I got really sick with glandular fever which eventually became fibromyalgia and I spent years in bed and the depression got bad; and then the LAST time I tried studying was not long before I got my actual official Bipolar diagnosis (and gosh, didn’t that explain a LOT of what had been going on….) but hey, please let me have another crack at it, this time I’m at least aware of my limitations?
Anyway. Nearly time to go work out what to make for dinner…