17 September 2007

Universitiy Forgetfulness

I took a trip to my old University today, requesting transcripts of my time there. I need them for graduate school applications, but I also need one copy for a job I'm applying for. Fortunately, I live in the same town as my alma mater, so a quick phone call to them and I discovered that I could just stop there and pick up transcripts. Cool.

I haven't been on campus for several years, and at that I think the last time I was there, it was for a football game, with a big group of people. I'd forgotten how much of a pain in the ass parking is there. Eventually, I gave up hunting for a parking space on the street and drove into one of the parking decks, where I had to pay a fee to park my car. The price has gone up exponentially since I went to school there. And of course, the offices where I needed to go have all been moved.

Never let it be said that the school is living in the digital age. I had to fill out two paper forms, walk them down the hall, pay another fee, take the receipt and the forms to another building and wait for the transcripts to be printed. Lame; as my sister says, "Double Thumbs Down." They should be able to enter the request digitally and send proof of payment over the University networks as well. I don't mind walking over half of campus to get what I need; it was a rare beautiful day here in Oh-hia-ia, cool, crisp, sunny. The sky was that perfect autumnal blue, and leaves on campus are starting to turn. I enjoyed that part of it. It was the whole bureaucracy thing that bothered me.

When I finally got to the place where they actually print the transcripts, I asked for an unofficial copy in addition to the sealed copy that I had to pay for. I've asked for transcripts before and had them sent to law schools, but I've never bothered to look at them for myself.

Leaving the records office, I sat down at a table in the hallway to page through the approximately 8 pages of information about classes that I took. I thought about the classes listed for my first year, which I did while I was still a senior in high school. I remember all of them, but as I paged through the rest of it, there are bunches of classes that I have no recollection of whatsoever.

I can speak three languages; but my math skills are dismal, so why on earth did I sign up for an upper division mathematics election called "Finite Math?" Business majors were required to take Business Calc; which I did (twice). Then there's the management class called "Human Behavior" that I don't remember at all. In total, about half a dozen classes that I don't remember taking.

I don't think that the University has made any mistakes here, allow me to be clear on that point. I attended University for 5-1/2 years to get my undergraduate degree, and went every single semester of those 5-1/2 years because I loved college and loved the whole university experience. I took oodles of stuff that I didn't need for my degree, accumulating about 100 hours more time than I needed. I have minors in German and Psych, and almost enough hours for a minor in Accounting. So I did take these classes; I just don't remember them.


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