It was the first day of school, and I had homework in English. I had to look up vocabulary words in the glossary. I brought home three volumes: one with the list of words in it and two with the glossary.
I don't know if I had ever used a glossary before, but I do know I didn't know how to handle three volumes. The words were not in alphabetical order,so I was having to switch back and forth from one to another to another. I was a slow reader and a slow writer.
About 20 minutes into the process, the power went out. It's August in Houston and the power is out. It's hot. And I'm moving these huge books around, sitting on the floor, trying to write out 20 definitions. By the end of three hours, my mom was begging me to just let her read them to me. I was bawling hysterically, afraid that I would get in trouble for not doing it myself, but of course I didn't know how to explain that to her.
Looking back, of course, the answer is easy. I probably would have learned a lot about problem-solving if she had helped me realize that I could have copied the list onto another sheet of paper in alphabetical order. I could have gone right down through the words. But I thought they had to be done in the order they appeared in the book.
I'm trying to document AOL with JAWS, and I feel about as frustrated as I did then. I'm trying to understand a program that doesn't work, and I'm trying to tell other people how it works. How am I supposed to tell someone how to use something I can't use myself? How am I supposed to write something professional explaining the problems I'm having when I don't even know what the problems really are??? Um, well, let's see... I don't have a clue where I am on the screen. How's that for professional? How about this for getting started tips? Have a sighted person set this piece of crap up for you.