No, That’s Not a Bluetooth

I had an exam yesterday….one that I’ve been studying for forever. I was scheduled to take it at a specific place yesterday morning.

Let me explain that I know Murphy pretty well and he likes to show up pretty often….Murphy as in Murphy Law.

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

It’s only a ~15 minute drive to the test center. I had planned on leaving 30 minutes prior to my appointment, but then I got a bit worried that Murphy might show up….so I decided to be on the extra safe side and leave an hour before the appointment.

Sure enough.

Traffic was backed up on the highway due to an accident then I had problems finding the center. It ended up taking 45 minutes instead of the expected 15 minutes.

I had asked in advance several times if the test administrator would be willing to write things down. I was reassured that he would. Did he? Nope. I asked but he didn’t seem to understand why. He was pretty hard to lipread too because he kept looking away from me while talking.

At that point I was just glad I had made it to the center and INSIDE the center.

Upon my arrival I discovered the building was locked and you had to use an intercom to get inside. Well erhmm…shall we say…not deaf friendly.

So I’m standing outside pushing the intercom button and hoping someone will let me in. I can hear people talking over the intercom but can’t understand what they’re saying. It took a bit before they finally let me in.

Then I found myself trying to convince the test administrator that my cochlear implant was NOT a bluetooth with someone feeding me the answers during the exam.

Oy vey. Unfortunately some kids have had their CIs stolen by people who thought they were bluetooths. CIs aren’t….exactly….the cheapest things to replace.

So all I’ve been doing for a while is studying. I decided to just take a break the night before the exam so I could go in with a fresh mind. I went over to D’s place to just chill out and forget about genetics for a couple of hours. We both sat down to watch some TV and the very first 2 sentences that came up on the captions was something like this:

“Huntington Disease can be inherited within a family and you have a 50/50 chance of having it. You can have a genetic test if you want but some people decide they don’t want to know.”

This was Scrubs.

I just stared at the screen and laughed. It seemed like every time I decided to take a break from thinking about genetics I would find something about genetics. Magazine, friends asking me about their family history, TV shows, and blogs. It is nice to see that genetics is slowly seeping into everyday life and people are becoming more and more aware of it.

The whole process of preparing for this exam did remind me of how much I enjoy genetics.

I’m rewarding myself this weekend with Jodi Picoult’s new book “Handle With Care” which happens to be about genetics too! I can’t seem to get away from genetics! šŸ™‚

3 thoughts on “No, That’s Not a Bluetooth

  1. Kelly, there's an old saying in Appalachia:Sometimes you have to hit a mule over the head with a 2×4 to get his attentionFirst, patiently explain that your cochlear implant is not a super-secret device from the DARPA or the CIA where answers are magically beamed straight into your brain. (Well, not yet, at least!)Next, remind them they are obligated under the law to accommodate you… And in almost all cases, you are protected under a law that is both older and with even sharper teeth than the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) [which was shepherded through Congress by Senator Bob Dole (R, Kansas) and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990].The law you want to invoke is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It only applies to entities that receive Federal funding of any sort (such as (all but 2) colleges & universities). This is what I used when I had an intransiegent professor (who was also the English department dean) at Georgia Tech back in 1988, who balked at using an FM transmitter in class. This was in the days before the ADA; but in fact, here is the 2×4 I used:After the first class (which was mostly just giving us the book list & other administrivia), I took a hundred yard stroll over to the President's office. I explained my plight with this lady, reminded him that Georgia Tech (at the time) was receiving about $200 million per year for (mostly Pentagon) research, politely explained that all of that money was subject to Section 504 regulations.Then, I made it clear that I expected his employees would follow the law, regardless of their "tenure" or other such academic nonsense.Oh, and that piece of paper on top of my notebok I made sure he saw? It was a one page application to the Federal District Court in Atlanta for a temporary restraining order (and motion for a hearing to make the TRO a permanent injunction) barring any and all remittances from the Federal Government to Georgia Institute of Technology, including research grants as well as tuition assistance.Guess what?When I walked into class two days later with my FM gear, she was surprisingly receptive to using the transmitter.The Americans with Disabilities Act has some very sharp teeth; but sometimes Section 504 can put the bite where ADA only has bark.

  2. Kelly,You left out several details that are important for people reading your blog who are following so that they learn from your travails.* What is the name of the organization giving the exam — Both local and national?* Is this a professional organization, such as ASHA or IEEE?* Was the "testing center" a contractor? If they were a contract firm, did you notify the organization (or other entity that sponsored this exam) about this contractor's behaviour?* What is the name of the exam sponsor, the name and address of the testing center, and the name of the examiner? Sometimes, all you can do is a "name and shame" campaign, which can be surprisingly effective….Especially since you suffer from a genetic (Connexen 26) disorder with the symptom being deafness.If you're going to blog, do it right and make it count so others don't have to endure the same crap you just did!

  3. Yep, genetics just can't seem to stop popping up for us genetics folks! I am assuming you took the ABGC genetic counseling exam. I took it this year as well. Good luck and I hope we receive the results sooner rather than later! I enjoy reading your blog!Kiana S

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