helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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Better studying through modern technology.

I have spent a fair bit of time this week trying to listen to the recordings of lectures that I missed last week.

By a slightly complicated route, the government has given me stuff for being disabled, and this includes a digital voice recorder. The idea is that I take it to college to record my lectures, to help with studying: like for example, if I space out during the lecture and miss something important. And afterwards I can read over the notes I've made while listening to the recording, in an attempt to get the information into my brain better. It seems pretty helpful, and I only wish I'd had the recorder when I started the course instead of not getting it until February. (Apparently the Disabled Students' Allowance assessment and funding procedure is four months of stress followed by a few days excitement as the stuff arrives, followed by frantic struggling to try to get yourself back to the level of understanding you should have been in if you'd had all the support in place the first time round :/ )

When I realised I wasn't going to be able to physically get to college, I emailed my lovely personal tutor P and asked if he'd mind recording his lecture for me. And he was happy not only to help with that, but also to liaise with Howard who teaches on Wednesday nights. So I sent a furry wuzzie up to college with the recorder, and between the three of them, I have a virtually complete copy of everything I missed. However, the DVR picks up all sounds and seems to favour things like paper rustling, overhead projector whirring, and air conditioning over the human voice, even though I can't imagine anyone wanting to record any of those noises. Despite using both the low cut filter (which is supposed to remove low frequency machine noise) and the playback noise filter, there's still an awful lot of distracting extra sound. And because the playback noise filter cuts out some human voice frequencies along with the noise, the speaker sounds somewhat robotic and some words are inaudible.

So, if my lecture recordings are to be believed, at one point last Tuesday an elephant came into the room mid-lecture and trumpeted. While, bizarrely, I get to hear other students whispering to each other without really being able to hear what they're saying. It's a bit spooky, but still not as weird as when the air conditioning starts "singing" - which is like the stereotypical "ooo eee" ghost noise from cartoons. And I swear that in the middle of a lecture about the citric acid cycle, Calvin cycle and photosynthesis, P said "I don't want to dwell on individual steps except the first one, which kicks off the Heatran cycle." No... he can't ACTUALLY be teaching us biochemistry of a Pokemon, can he?
Tags: college, disability, shiny!, stupid machine

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