Sunday, 25 September 2016

Angry thoughts on Dyslexia

Second year of university life. Honestly, I thought I had moved passed all the people unfamiliar with an issue I have, namely dyslexia. Most of my teachers know about it and honestly, it hardly ever bothers me in my daily life. However, every school year I need to get a contract at my university (which the exam board has to sign) that says I'm entitled to extra time during exams. I know I'm not the only one with this problem, though unfortunately for me there are not an awful lot of people who have Dyslexia AND study English Language and Culture. But for some reason I have to get a new contract every year, which I'm fine with, but honestly, really? It's not like I will be magically cured over the summer. Like poof! I've waited for 23 years and I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen and I'm fine with that. And I don't mind have to get a contract which tells my teachers I am indeed entitled to 20% extra time, especially when a lot of reading is involved. 

I'm currently taking three literature courses (why.. I don't know I thought it was a good idea). One of the courses I'm taking is not part of my original studies. It's part of Literature sciences (no idea if that's actually the English translation for it). I was again confronted with how difficult Dutch can be for me, again, but I'm a positive person and I believe I will be able to successfully finish this course.

Unfortunately, my teacher and I are not on the same page when it comes to the extra time thing. You see, due to some changes in the office of the university during and after the summer, I have not yet received my contract for this year, which tells my teachers that I am entitled to extra time. But because it was taking so long I decided to e-mail my teachers anyways due to the fact that they have to book rooms for exams and such. However, in response to my e-mail, my teacher said the following: The room is already booked, you'll just have to try and manage. Most of the students finish within the time limit, maybe you can too.

I swear to god.. if one other person tells me that I'll just have to try... I've known that I have dyslexia for more than 10 years. I took loads of extra classes in primary school so I would learn how to read, properly. And I did (obviously). I know I don't need certain things but after 6 years of high school and 3 years of higher education I know pretty well what I do need. Which is why I get a contract that says that I'm entitled to 20% extra time only. I could have asked for a computer, or enlarged papers and such, but I know I can manage perfectly without those. However I also know that I cannot read and write a literature exam within the time given to every other student, simply because my brain does not function as smoothly as others when it comes to reading and processing words. 

So teacher, please don't tell me that I, you know, could just try to do it like other students because most of them finish the exams before time runs out. I cannot read as quickly and  as smoothly as other students, which I know and which I am fine with. Nobody is perfect. Stop trying to force my brain to do things that it cannot do. I've accepted it. Now please can you just accept it too, like this stupid piece of paper signed by the exam board, tells you to do. I have tried, over and over until I knew what I needed, when I needed it, to be able to succeed.

End of rant. Thank you for listening. Glad I got it off my chest.

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