Remember when you were in high school or college, some years ago? Remember how, if you couldn't do the work, you didn't get the grade? Or if you couldn't take good notes, you failed on the test? That required tutoring, or remedial classes, or seeing the teacher during office hours to try and learn where you fucked up?
Here at the UCM, we want everyone to be able to pass their classes. We want to make getting a college education as easy as humanly possible for everyone involved, even if it means lowering the standard, or letting under-educated people get jobs with a degree they honestly don't know how to use, because they couldn't do the work.
The Office of Accessibility Services is here to save the day!
What has brought this lovely rant to the surface just happened in my Elementary Algebra class. Yes, I'm in elementary algebra. Why, you ask? Because I hadn't taken a math class in six years and had no SAT scores to place me in a class that was my level. So I'm taking the elementary classes to get up to speed and to serve as a refresher course for my school-atrophied brain.
I'm taking Elementary Algebra II. The first half of the course was last semester, and almost all of the students in II were there with me in I. It's very, VERY basic stuff. And when we started the class on Monday, our professor told us, "For the first two chapters, you are not allowed to use calculators, unless you've gone to the office of Accessibility Services."
We're doing integers: positive and negative numbers. You know, 3+(-4)=-1. Basic shit. Also with variables in it. Solve 4a+3b when a=4 and b=-6.
IT AIN'T THAT HARD, FOLKS.
Anyway. We're going through another section in the chapter, doing example exercises, and I glance over to see a woman only a few years older than me with one of those monstrous TI-83 calculators. I raise my hand.
"Professor, I thought you said for the first two chapters, we weren't allowed to use calculators?"
"Oh, well, Student Such-and-Such is registered with the office of accessibility services. She needs it."
"...On what grounds?"
It's official. You have ADHD? Cool, you can bypass all the rules for a class and do what you need to. In high school, it didn't matter what you had. You either found some way to make ends meet, or you flunked the class and took it over.
Also available from accessibility services, if you qualify: a note-taker, for someone who "just can't focus". So, while I'm busting my ass to take notes and be able to pass a class, I can look at the girl next to me who's texting her baby-daddy about going out to get drunk tomorrow night, and it's no problem for her, because she has someone else to take notes and pass. And if she fails the class anyway? Five to one says she can appeal to the head of the department due to her "disabilities".
I'm being a real college student, and not relying on some fake-ass disability to make life easier for me. I'm getting an education for a degree I can USE. The people that need to cheat and rely on perks from their "disability" to pass a class will be useless in the real world, unable to do basic math in a business environment.
"But I need a calculator to figure out how much of these meds need to go to the patient!"
Fuck you, and your calculator.