We’re fast approaching the end of 2009, and the end of the first decade of the 21st century as well. To say that a lot’s happened in this departing decade would be an understatement. I won’t waste time making resolutions for 2010, because I think they’re a waste of time and would rather spend my time setting goals for myself. So far, even though 2009 got off to a bad start with the loss of my job, I started school and am progressing towards my goal of becoming Cicso certified as well as gaining various other certifications that I’m hoping will help me re-enter the work force and put some income in my pocket so that I can live, if not in the lap of luxury, at least comfortably. This decade has had a fair mix of good and bad. I’m sure future years and decades will as well, but I can always hope for more good than bad. I’d like to wish everyone lots of prosperity, of whatever kind you need, in this coming civil year, and I hope you all get to spend time concentrating on the things that are important to you and your goals. Happy 2010, everyone.

The meeting was had this morning, and everything was tweeked. The questions on the final were reviewed, and 22 of them, which were image/access-dependent, were scrapped, except for the ones I managed to get correct. Also, all my grades were updated to reflect the modified assignments, and the final grade was 89, with a class grade of 91, which is an A. This is good.

Mirrored from customerservant.com.

Spartacus Spartacus by Howard Fast

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Spartacus was a book I wanted to read for quite a while. I’ve seen the remake of Spartacus that was aired as a made for TV movie on USA, with Goran ViÅ¡njić in it, and really enjoyed that, so I was interested in how closely it stuck to the novel.

In the novel, the story is told from the point of view of Romans remembering it, with flashbacks from various characters mixed in with rumored tales. The movie, on the other hand, is told from the point of view of the slaves. Both have their strong points, but I think the movie was better over-all. But the book was definitely a good, lite read, and I would read it again, probably when I’m not smack dab in the middle of a semester with a ton of work to do. It was short enough t read in a weekend. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in historical fiction of the ancient world, and especially for anyone who has an interest in the Spartacus saga.

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I just received a reply to the message I sent yesterday evening. Apparently there will be a meeting with DSS and the professor tomorrow and decisions will be made as to what will be included for the final and assignments, and he will manually update the grade. This is good I suppose. We’ll see how everything turns out. I’ll update as things progress.

All through finals, everything has gone well. Have a B in econ, and A’s in PC Hardware and Business Law. So I figured the Office test wouldn’t be a problem, my grades would get updated, and everything would be fine and I could end the semester on a really high note and keep on going to the next semester. Well, it seems I was very wrong. After all the hassle of this semester, all the work and all the meetings put into making this class accomodate ADA needs, I get into DSS this morning and find that I end up with the same final everyone else has. This final doesn’t reflect any of the extensive changes made over the semester. For instance, even though it was determined, with the help of the tech guy at dSS, that Access is completely inaccessible, and the professor agreed that it could be skipped, along with the design of Powerpoint presentations, the Word projects were modified so that I could focus on the accessible parts and dispense with the smart-art and other graphical aspects, it was as if none of this ever happened. The final was dependent on images to answer the questions, and heavy on Access and graphical aspects of Word, Excel and Powerpoint. This meant that I either had to skip questions altogether, or hazard a guess, which didn’t bode well for the grade. Also, none of the modified assignments I’ve done have been entered into Blackboard, so my grade looks like hell in that class. I sent a message to the professor asking about this aspect last night and never got a response. And after the final fiasco this morning, I sent him the following:
After taking my ITEC 2000 final exam this morning, I have major concerns as to its effect on my final grade. As we have met with the staff of Disability Services numerous times during the semester to modify aspects of the course material to accommodate my visual disability, I do not understand why the final exam was also not modified to reflect those areas of change. Final exam questions of specific concern are those relying upon image, chart, and table properties for identification. During our meetings it was decided that Access would be totally omitted along with Power Point presentations as their design by a totally blind person is not an accessible option. We specifically discussed which aspects of Office 2007 would and would not be accessible in determining course modifications. We agreed that designing and working with tables in Word; the Access application; manipulating images; and all other functions which are totally mouse driven were to be omitted. There were questions on the final exam specifically relating to the color of the green circle on an image border; many relating to the Access application; and those that were dependent on seeing an image to choose the correct answer which resulted in my grade of 60. Based on previous modifications made to course materials, it seems logical that the final exam would follow this same pattern in its content and reflect those accommodations. As final grades our due within the next couple of days, I would appreciate your prompt response since I will be leaving town for the holidays on Friday. I appreciate all that you have done throughout the semester to meet my needs; and feel confident that this issue can be resolved.

I also copied everyone involved at dSS on this. Quite frankly, this situation is really stressful. Going in there and finding that the final was the way it was was like a slap in the face. Maybe I shouldn’t take it personally, but after all the work that was done, it just seemed like that was all erased. I haven’t heard back from the professor yet, but am hoping that all this gets resolved, hopefully before the end of this week. Right now, the grade on Blackboard shows as 33%, which is also a sort of slap in the face given that I’ve turned in all assignments I’ve been given and nothing’s been updated. This is all very stressful and is definitely not how I envisioned ending the semester. I’ll post more as this situation updates.