Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Successful and Exhausting Campus Trip

I went to campus today at lunchtime to accomplish various tasks related to graduating, passing classes, etc., and I managed to miraculously accomplish all of them. I drove to campus and got 12-hour parking for $5, and then walked over to the library.

I went there last night to try to get some books on hyperbolic geometry (the topic for my Proofs paper due Monday) and I found two good books (both slim - whew) and went to check them out, figuring I could pay my years-old fine at the circulation desk. But no. My fine is in collections and I had to pay it at the admin office, which was already closed.

So that was my first stop today, and I found the admin office (in a far-flung corner of the extremely large library we have; I never realized how huge it is before) and waited a few minutes until the fine guy showed up so I could pay the money I owed. Then I got my two books from where they were held from me and checked them out. Score!

Next I went to the Math Department office, where they were holding my signed Individualized Degree Plan. It got signed two weeks ago, and I had them hold it for me so I could pick it up, but I never got around to actually picking it up. That was dumb. But after I retrieved it, I carried it over to a different building where the Center for Individualized Studies is to deliver it.

Of course, the guy there who I talked to last semester about wanting to do an IDP was pretty huffy that I had gotten it signed by the department folks without running the final one by him first. "Did I tell you to get it signed?" he asked. But once I backed down and explained that yes, I knew I was doing everything in the wrong order, but that I kept not getting it done and was trying to get it finalized this semester so I can graduate on time (because you can't file an IDP with fewer than a certain number of hours remaining to take), he became helpful and kind, and told me he would look it over and email me with any problems.

The one problem I already know about is that, when the transfer office evaluated my transcripts, they transferred 12 hours of German credits from Rice, but did not count any of it as having satisfied my "Communications" general studies requirement. For that, you need the second semester of a foreign language sequence, and I was able to skip that at Rice because I had 3 years of German in high school. So I needed to get a form from the Modern Languages department, via the head of the German sub-department (whatever they call it), stating that I've met the requirement.

I've been trying to contact the German person by email and phone, but she hadn't replied yet. I went by her office (in another far-flung building) and, amazingly, she was there, about to go to her class starting in 10 minutes. I explained my situation ("oh, you emailed me" she said) and, after she was done sternly correcting me for making mistakes - like saying I needed my "foreign language general studies requirement" (which they don't have here; it's 'Communications' and I guess you don't have to take a foreign language if you can meet it another way) - she said I could leave my transfer evaluation form and she would do the form I need and forward it to the registrar, leaving me a copy (which I already know I'll never pick up) in her mailbox. Catching her like that was pure luck.

After all that, I ate lunch in yet another building on campus, and then walked back downtown. I have classes tonight, so I'll walk down and then be able to drive straight home. So right now I'm pretty tired, but very pleased to have accomplished all of my missions, even the improbable ones.


Mosch said...

congratulations on getting it done, or almost done!

sally said...

I'm glad all the initial sternness/huffing and puffing over how you're not doing things quite right or using the right terms, etc. etc., is actually followed up by kindness and helpful action. Congrats on getting this stuff straightened out, and good luck with your paper!

Tam said...

It's amazing how much the forces at the whole college seem to be arrayed towards actually helping students succeed, pass classes, graduate, etc. It's not how I really think of things as being, but it's definitely how things are. I was so relieved, for instance, when the German professor told me she would complete the form and then send it directly to the Registrar.

The IDP guy sent me email to say I also need an approval form signed by my advisor and the department chair, and I called him and he is going to fax me that form. I should be able to easily catch my advisor before class tonight (he has a class in the same building and at the same time as mine) and give him that, and I bet he'll get it routed through the department chair and straight to the IDP office for me.

Whew. If all this can get done, then all I have do is take the rest of my classes and graduate already.

sally said...

Yeah, it's such a contrast to the work world, where everyone has their own projects, agendas, and priorities and when you need somebody else's help, it can be a crap shoot as to whether they will do it properly/competently and in the appropriate time frame. (Not because people are evil and selfish, but just because that's the way things are.) But at school, it's crazy how helping you get your shit together and graduate IS their job (at least, at a school like yours that appears to have a teaching focus and not a research focus).

Debbie said...

At my employer you apply for graduation with your dean's office and then they run our version of the IDP themselves and check it themselves.

Our IDP would let third- and fourth-semester language courses count toward a second-semester requirement automatically, even if it were part of a "communications" requirement that could also be satisfied in other ways. (However, it would not recognize other upper-division language classes with these as prerequisites as counting.)

If you did have a problem, you would have to petition to solve it and it's probably just as much of a pain as you're dealing with.

Congrats on getting all this icky annoying stuff done!