Monday, September 17, 2012

Scholastic Nightmare

In about a week I'm heading back to school to get my MS in biology. I applied shortly after graduating from college, took a year off to get used to married life, and submitted finalization paperwork earlier this spring. Or I thought I did.

This last month and a half has been nothing short of a nightmare. Apparently the university's website and affiliated websites (e-mail, registration, etc) only work in Internet Explorer. I haven't used IE since I installed Firefox the same day I purchased this computer. It's kind of a terrible program. So I did not fill out the necessary forms in IE. I filled them out in Firefox. A few weeks ago, I was turning in my stipend paperwork which does things like wave my tuition when I ran into a little hitch in the giggle.

I wasn't enrolled for the fall. sort of. I had all the necessary programs up and running. I had an e-mail, a student ID number, a stipend, but I wasn't slated to come in the fall because they never got my formal acceptance. This raised a lot of questions, the most important being, "Oh dear sweet me, does this mean that they didn't file my stipend paperwork back in April when it was due and so now I need to find $10,000 if I want to continue my education?" followed by, "Did I just make my husband's commute 20 minutes longer for no adequately explainable reason?"

Well, after running from office building to office building (nightmare--everyone in a college is on vacation in August. EVERYONE.) I ended up properly enrolled. Next, the man who may or may not be my adviser (it's impossible to say, since there aren't any secretaries to check. They're all on vacation, too. For now, let's just say I afflicted myself on him) called in a favor with the dean and made sure that I was okay on tuition and such. Then I was able to enroll in classes.

But they were all closed.

2 weeks ago I received an e-mail saying that I would have to be a full time student to get my stipend. So I scrounged around and dug up 7 credits. About 1 weeks ago a spot in mycology opened up. I enrolled. 12 credits. full time. good. (except for the mycology part--when you want to go in to molecular embryology, the study of molds really doesn't fall under your umbrella of specialization)

2 days ago, I received an e-mail from the department giving me my TA assignment. I checked my schedule to make sure all was right with the world. Surprise: it wasn't. I am currently triple-booked on Wednesday afternoons. I have to be 3 places at once, because the TBA seminar is now at the same time as mycology is at the same time as my TA assignment. Awesome. Way to go guys.

So I thought, well, I'll drop mycology if I can. What other classes are being offered? Oh. all their labs are also Wednesday afternoons. So what about a 400 level class--the grad program says I can take those. Oh. I have to take prerequisites like science 101 to be enrolled in those, but not the 500 level ones. My "adviser" said to look at some independent studies, so what about those? Oh. I have to fill out paperwork and know what I'm doing well in advance? Pardon me while I go tear out my hair.

So I'm going to go and grovel at someone's open office door. Hopefully they will be able to offer something resembling help and coherent advice.

At the beginning of the summer I joked about signing up for piano and voice lessons. Do you think the music department would mind?

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