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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How Does He Do It?

Law School Study: How Joseph Does It
We thought it might be interesting to share how Joseph manages to actually physically accomplish what is required of a 1st year law student. The biggest challenge is reading the text books and taking notes.

Text Books = 10,213 Pages, This Semester!
The 16 text books contain that many pages, they should at nearly $1000 dollars. How does one read them when you can't handle the books or turn the pages? The answer, thanks to this amazing age we live in, is to DIGITIZE them. If you pay for the book, many publishers will provide a PDF version. For the others the school provides the scanning into PDF files. So now that you have 10k pages of digital text. . . how do you read them.

Big Screen Monitor
Joseph found a good deal on a computer monitor and Tim mounted it vertically on his desk. Joseph can now drag the documents from his notebook computer to the large monitor to read the documents.

How to Take Notes
Thanks to the wonders of Speech recognition software, Joseph is able to dictate his notes and written assignments and print them out. The software he uses is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Legal. He previously used the standard product, but the 'legal' version recognizes the Latin phrases and special legal vocabulary.

Trackball Mouse
Joseph is able to use the trackball mouse on his notebook computer and can type one letter at a time with his handy artificial digit made from a pencil with eraser. He calls it "Pedro", named after Napoleon Dynamite's sidekick (he was wearing his "vote for Pedro" T-shirt when he and his occupational therapist figured it out). He can beat his dad at speed-texting with it.

Notes for Class
After printing out his extremely well organized reading notes, Mom helps by putting the pages in plastic sleeves in the case he carries to class on his lap. He is able to turn the pages with 'Pedro' and is as well prepared as anyone.

Gloria: Birthdays and Scrapbooking
Gloria enjoyed celebrating her sister Diane's birthday in Logan this week. It was fun to get together with the kids and grand-kids. They also celebrated with Barta, Gloria and Diane's step-mom who also had a birthday last week.

Gloria and Elizabeth enjoyed a Girl's Weekend scrap-booking together in Ogden with friends and family. They accomplished a lot and had a blast.

Goodbye Red Toyota
The family said farewell to the 1996 Toyota Camry which Tim has been driving to work in since 2000. It sold, not on or Craigslist where it was listed, but on Facebook when he mentioned the posting on the other sites. A brother of one of our missionaries saw it and is giving it a good home. Don't we love Social media!


Blogger Jen and Scott said...

I didn't realize how "Pedro" got it's name. Guess I should have asked! :) Cute pic. of the kids.

Sep 29, 2009, 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger K A T E M A R I E said...

Thanks for this post! I really have been wondering how Joe accomplishes everything! Seriously amazing!

Sep 29, 2009, 5:11:00 PM  
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