Because Helen could not see or hear, she was unable to watch her professors as they talked or and she could not hear their lectures. When in class, Helen always had to have a person finger spell into her hand whatever the professor was saying. Helen described her presence in her college classrooms as a feeling of being "practically alone. The professor [was] as remote as if he were speaking through a telephone." It was often a challenge for Helen to keep up with what was being spelled into her hand so that she could comprehend the information. The person (often her teacher, Annie Sullivan) who spelled into her hand did so quickly. Helen compared this process to a race. Despite the difficulty of keeping up with all the information, Helen noted that she was "not... much worse off than the girls who [took] notes." When the other students were taking notes, their minds were "occupied with the mechanical process of hearing and putting words on paper at pell-mell speed." She explained that she thought it would be quite difficult to pay attention while writing notes. Helen then stated that her hands were busy listening in class. By this, she meant that her mind was processing the letters that were being spelled into her hand. Helen did write down what she remembered after class, as she noted.