This time it's not the ineptitude of my "advisor" that is the cause of my frustration at the most recent aneurysm-inducing chapter of my perpetual quest to GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE, but rather the SIS and its creators. As you may recall from my last entry, I finally got my hands on the elusive Form that is required for all Spanish majors to fill out before they graduate (win!) but I was not able to make an appointment with my advisor via the advising website to complete the Form because for some reason the site does not acknowledge that I actually have an advisor. (Wherever would it get that idea?) By some miracle I was able to make an appointment with Advisor Number Five without using their fancy advising website. (We used the old-fashioned method of e-mail, which was actually more difficult than you might think.) Of course, this meeting was at an incredibly inconvenient time and place, but hey, I wasn't about to question it. After all, all I needed from him was his signature.
I arrive at Number Five's office to find that he is not about to just sign my Form without checking to see whether I've actually met all my requirements to graduate. He opens up my SIS record on his computer to compare it with the Form I've filled out. Then he makes some noncommittal "hmm"s and "myeh"s (he's British, just to give you some context) before turning to me and saying, "Well, it looks like we have a small problem, but, not to worry, that's why we have these meetings now so we can sort it out before the Spring."...Umm FALSE. I WILL NOT BE HERE IN THE SPRING BECAUSE I AM GRADUATING IN SEVEN WEEKS. AND HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU PEOPLE THAT?!
I do not scream that at him, however, but instead politely remind him that I am graduating this December. To which he replies, "Oh, well in that case, there might be cause to panic... No, no, I'm only teasing you." DO NOT JOKE WITH ME, FUNNY MAN. I WILL SERIOUSLY START CRYING AND THROWING THINGS RIGHT HERE IN YOUR OFFICE.
I do not scream that at him, either, but instead start laughing nervously to keep myself from panting or sobbing. This is pretty much my worst nightmare: That after poring over the list of major requirements and meticulously checking that I had met each and every one, with no help from any "advisors" to reassure me along the way, that after dozens of e-mails and visits to the Spanish Department and the Registrar trying to ensure that I would be able to graduate a semester early, I would still have to come back here for one more semester. And let me tell you, that is NOT happening.
I assure him that I have met all the Spanish requirements, producing a copy of my transcript (from SIS) to prove it. He seems a little perplexed, but mostly just slightly bothered. As if my future and sanity aren't at stake here. He peruses my SIS record again, mumbles, "This is you, isn't it?" which reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, Orange County, in which the main character deals with his moronic high school guidance counselor (she sent the wrong college transcript with his application to Stanford). This brief association is just enough to snap me out of my almost-psychotic-break and remind my brain that this situation is actually funny, and that there's no need to have a nervous breakdown, because I know that I fulfilled all my requirements. It's just a matter of convincing the computer of that.
Upon further investigation by Number Five and myself, we determine that the SIS has neglected to count my Spanish Phonetics class under my major, which has caused a chain reaction of badness in which my Grammar and Comp class is listed as fulfilling my Language major requirement instead of my 4000+ major class requirement, which is thereby inadequate. If that sounds like a bunch of random semantic bullshit, that's because it is. Basically, SIS hates me and it put my courses in the wrong order or something stupid like that. I'm pretty baffled by this entire situation. I'm thinking, okay, so the computer system is wrong. What's the big deal? Human beings created that thing, surely we can tell it to fix itself? WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT? (And while we're on the subject, who invented this piece of crap system? Because apparently I'm not the only student having this problem. I thought computers were supposed to make life easier, but that is most definitely not the case right now.)
So Number Five and I take the SIS printout and my transcript over to the secretary of the Spanish Department (you know, the one who I e-mail on a weekly basis and have visited on multiple occasions) to inform her of the situation. She, somehow, still does not recognize my face or my name, which is pretty remarkable. She tells us that there were a lot of students with the same circumstances and that it's an easy problem to fix, but I need to e-mail her (which is what she always says, and then I do, and she never responds) and she'll forward it to the SIS Powers That Be. When they fix it, she'll e-mail me and I can come back with the Form and she'll give it to Number Five to sign. Well thank God this isn't complicated or anything. It only involves about four different parties and the assurance that you actually forward my e-mail instead of ignoring it like you usually do. (Okay, I should give her more credit; she's actually been pretty helpful in the last two or three months, actually answering the occasional question that I've e-mailed to Number Five.) Anyway, I have now done as she requested, and she even responded to my e-mail to confirm it. If I don't hear back that they've fixed my SIS problem by Monday, I am prepared to stage a sit-in in the Spanish office every day until someone of authority tells me with 100% certainty that I will have a diploma in December.
All these shenanigans have exhausted me beyond belief. I'm also battling a strange urge to smash all computers and technological devices in my immediate vicinity. And my habit of talking/ranting to myself has gotten worse. Well, folks, stay tuned for the next installment, Terminator: Salvation!