I have a lot to complain about this week, so put on your sad face and break out the cookie dough. (Also for the record, I really am a generally happy person, despite the my-life-sucks nature of this blog. Typically I would try to add an optimistic slant to my writing, but for the sake of time and the remainder of my sanity, let's just use our imaginations and imply a can-do attitude to the following rant and be done for the day. Sound good?)
PART ONE: Where Did This Building Come From and How Do I Get Inside?
After two and a half years here, I finally feel that I have a good sense of where everything is on campus and whatnot. Naturally, this means that the university must continue to build new and exciting structures to confuse me (for an example of this, see my earlier January entry regarding the Curious Case of the Two Claude Moore Buildings). This week I had my first glimpse into the new South Lawn building (AKA the monstrosity they've been working on for three years into which they poured all of your tuition money), or should I say buildingS (TWIST!). That's right: The new South Lawn building is actually (*gasp*) TWO buildings! Bet you didn't see that one coming. I know I didn't, considering they have one name, so I was super thrown off when I had to turn in my Religion midterm in said building(s).
Here's how it went down: I enter through what appears to be the main entrance (it's hard to tell because there's still a shit-ton of construction going on in and around it), and go to the third floor. Finally I come to room 323 (the room number I was given), and find a polite secretary named Mrs. Hall. I tell her I'm turning in a paper for Professor Bard. She gives me one of those looks that says "I really want to know what you're talking about, but it's just not happening." I repeat the name, and she asks if he's a Religious Studies professor. I confirm this, and she tells me that I'm looking for the other building. I explain to her my complete shock at the existence of this mysterious second building, and she kindly tries to tell me how to get to it. I thank her and go on my merry way, thinking, "How hard can it be to find another building?"
Harder than you might imagine. I exit where I came in, and walk down a ways, looking for the infamous Other Building, but all I find is a sketchy door followed by an expanse of buildinglessness. Weighing my options, I give the sketchy door a try, and find the results promising, as the doors in the hallway all say "Religious Studies" on them. (Score!) I take the stairs to the third floor, at which point I begin to grow mildly concerned at the resemblance Other Building shares with Original Building. I make my way to room 323 only to discover (wait for it...) Mrs. Hall! (Cue 'The Twilight Zone' theme.) That's right, I'm in the same building, although I have cleverly discovered a secondary entrance.
I explain this to the lovely Mrs. Hall, and, God bless her, she shows me how to get to the Other Building. Apparently there is a secret hidden door on the other side of the elevator that leads to a secret hidden staircase which takes you to the secret hidden exit to the secret hidden courtyard which you cross to get to the secret hidden entrance to Other Building (it's all very Skull & Bones), and, tah dah! That wasn't hard now, was it?
I still couldn't tell you how or if there is a less circuitous (by which I mean less ridiculous) way of entering the secret hidden Other Building. I just went back the way I came after safely delivering my midterm. Thank God for Mrs. Hall. At least there's one person in this godforsaken university who isn't trying to break me down. (She must not have gotten the memo.)
PART TWO: Make This More Difficult. I Dare You.
As I'm sure you can imagine, I'm quite anxious to get out of this place, so I'm trying to graduate a semester early (not hard, considering my ample AP credits, single major, and general lack of ambition). With the intention of affirming this as a possibility, I attempted to meet with my advisor last semester (big mistake). For more on that failure, just click on the tag for "Saga of Advisor Ineptitude" there on the right. To recap: After two and a half years at this school, I'm on Advisor #6, and he is just as useless as the first five, if not more so. Probably more, actually, considering he has actually given me false information, while the others just ignored me. Anyway, when we left off, my real advisor (#5) was not available for undergraduate advising due to "administrative duties," and my substitute advisor (#6) was a senile (albeit well-intentioned) British professor of Spanish literature. When I approached him about graduating early, he told me he had never encountered this situation before and therefore had no insight to offer on the issue, but suggested that I visit the registrar's office to get some information on early graduation.
Fast-forward to the next semester (present day): I finally got around to e-mailing the registrar's office (I could have stopped by, but they have a new unknown location because their building is being renovated) and they directed me to the director of undergraduate registration. I e-mailed her, and she told me where they are located and that I could stop by without appointment any time during the week. I was, of course, very wary of this advice because, frankly, it seemed too good to be true. But I tried nonetheless.
Today (Friday) after class I went to visit their office (which I found without trouble! That should have been my first clue that something was wrong...) and approached the secretary's desk. She looked about as happy to see me as I imagine Roman Polanski was to see those police officers that arrested him in Switzerland. I gave her my best politely innocent smile, but there was no thawing that icy exterior. I asked if I could meet with someone to discuss graduating early, to which she replied that graduation applications will be available in a few months and I should come back then. She said this with an intonation that conveyed a certain disgruntled civility while still sounding like what she wanted to say was, "now get the fuck out of my office." Too desperate to be deterred, I tried to explain that I just wanted to make sure I was on track (because if I wait until graduation applications are released, you know they'll just find like six missing criteria that I didn't know about, preventing me from graduating and probably forcing me to stay here until 2013), but she would not budge. She told me I need to talk to my major advisor (that would be the AWOL #5) to make sure I've met all my area requirements. Rather than breaking down in tears and screaming, "But my advisor is a useless imbecile! And my idiot replacement advisor told me to come see you people! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!" I pleadingly explained that my "advisor" was not available due to his "administrative duties." Without so much as a flinch of sympathy, she told me I need to meet with someone in my major department to confirm my requirements. I'm not gonna lie, I almost had a nervous breakdown right there in the registrar's office. But instead I contained my devastation, and then ate it away with some delicious Chick-Fil-A nuggets and Mountain Dew.
When I got back to my room, I collected myself long enough to compose an e-mail to my real advisor (#5) on the off chance that he was no longer tied up with his "administrative duties." Surprisingly, he responded within an hour, informing me that he is ON LEAVE THIS SEMESTER and that I should consult my temporary advisor (#6, AKA Captain Misinformation).
Fan-fucking-tastic. You know what? Screw you guys, I'll just get a degree online from DeVry University. I can do it in my pajamas!
All I can say is, thank God it's Friday. Because I'm gonna need about 48 hours of mental recuperation before venturing out into the world of academia. So if you'll excuse me, those Cheese Balls* aren't going to eat themselves.
*Made with REAL CHEESE!