Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Best Laid Schemes

I don't always have things planned out. Especially not planned out really well. This semester, I did. I had everything all figured out, and a lot of plans laid out ahead of me.

But, as Robert Burns so eloquently puts it, "The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go often askew" —And indeed they do.

Very askew.

I was going to graduate in May. I was already registered for the last classes I needed here at A&M, with the exception of one. Business Math. I tried to take it here last semester and it totally ate my lunch, so I dropped it. This semester, I planned to take it online at the same place I took my last two Spanish classes; Midland College.

Which should have worked out fine. I had the go-ahead from my advisor and knew the credits would transfer. Piece of cake, right?


When it came time to register, I didn't have my student ID. It took me several days and even more phone calls and emails before I was finally able to get in touch with someone who would email me back. No one ever answered the phone—I left three or so voicemails—I have yet to hear back from them, even now. When I finally did find someone who could provide me with my student ID, I instantly logged on to register. Only to find that the class was full.
Maybe Midland college employs sloths.
This would explain why they can't reach the phone before it rolls to voicemail.

I went into panic mode. Without this class, I wouldn't be able to graduate in May. I started sending more emails, making more phone calls, and being just as frustrated at the lack of response I was getting. Then on Thursday, I had the good fortune to call and actually reach a person on the phone instead of an automated message. He was very helpful and gave me the email address and phone number of the professor teaching the course I needed so that I could contact him and ask if he'd be willing to take one more student. I emailed him promptly.

But by the time I heard back from him the next day (he said he was unable to force me in, and that I'd need to call the Dean), I had learned that I didn't have the pre-requisite to take Business Math at Midland College. Which I still think can't be right because I had no trouble signing up for it here—It was just the passing it here part that I couldn't do. But I had been checking back to see if the class ever opened up, and lo, and behold! It did! It was when I tried to register for it that I got a pop-up saying I couldn't.

So I made more phone calls and sent more emails, but ultimately nothing came of it. The last possible day to register came and went. And I still have not once had someone return my phone call. Any of them. I must have left about six or seven, and their message swears they'll return the call within 48 hours.

Apparently that's a flat out lie.

I turned around and tried to sign up for another Business Math class online through a different school, with slightly better luck. The advisor there was very helpful and tried very hard to get me in, but all of the people she contacted said it simply wouldn't be possible to fit me in.

So my plans? Down the drain. May graduation? Not so much.

I don't know whether I'll take the class over the summer and graduate in August or just wait until next semester and graduate in December. I'm leaning more toward December because honestly? I have things to do this summer. And I want a formal graduation—I've worked so hard to get this degree; well, to almost get it. When I do finally walk across the stage and get my diploma, I don't want it to be in a speedy end-of-summer graduation. Which is why May was ideal. But between August and December, December is closer to what I'm wanting.

I just don't know. I suppose I'm still sort of reeling from the fact that my plans went so completely awry in the first place. At first I was livid. Beyond livid. Just ask my Mom; she had to listen to my tears and my rage and my fist-shaking fury. But now I'm trying to look at it positively.

Everything happens for a reason. Ultimately it's all in God's hands anyway, so who am I to assume that everything is all wrong? In this, I'm trying to find the plus side, the benefits, the bright side. They're there, they really are. For one, I'll be able to focus more on my writing this semester. I'm taking two writing intensive courses. In just one of those, I'm expected to write a grand total of 150 manuscript pages, which is no small task. With the schedule I have this semester, I should really be able to spend good quality time on writing and revising and perfecting. And that's pretty exciting.

Also, though less importantly, I'll be able to graduate with my Aggie ring. When I was going to graduate in May, I was going to have to wait until after graduation to order it since I have to have X amount of completed hours. Not that it would kill me to wait, but as far as looking for the positive, it'll be nice to actually order and receive my ring while I'm still here in Aggieland.

I can spend more time at the career center, working with people who'll help me figure out where to go from here and what I can do with my degree. Aggies have some serious advantages when it comes to networking, so it's a huge benefit to have this at my fingertips. And considering I really don't know what I want to do after I graduate, as far as what kind of job I want to get, this is a definite bonus in having a surprise extra semester.
At least he has a plan!
Overall, I think I'm happy. Not so much that everything got mixed up and rearranged, or that things deviated so completely from my original plans. But happy that I do have a peace about it, and that I can see the silver lining.

Though it may not be my last semester here after all, I'm really looking forward to this semester. And it's always nice to start out a semester with a positive outlook—especially when so much has been altered.

This is what they call adjusting, right? Improvising? Rolling with the punches?

Oh yeah.

I got this.

If you think these cartoons are funny, you should browse the rest of Natalie Dee's site. She is the artist of these comics and I am in no way, shape, or form deserving of any credit for them. Check out her site! Hours upon hours worth of belly-laughs up for grabs!


MissWoodhouse said...

Ugh, how frustrating! However, I love your attitude towards all these frustrations, and I'm sure that everything will work out for the best.

This just goes to prove though, that we English majors really don't get along. Yick.

Sarah said...

Thank you! I'm trying—It's not always easy. I had several choice words when I first found out things weren't going to work out like I planned.

But I think you're right. Whatever happens, I think it'll be for the best. Perhaps my time here at A&M wasn't meant to be done so soon.

(Dear God, does that mean you're keeping me around so I can meet my future husband? That'd be okay with me...Just sayin'.)

And YES. English Majors + Math Classes = Do. NOT. MIX. Though I do like using mathematical symbols. Like I just did. Hehehe Oh dear, I'm up too late and becoming much too easily amused...

jnana said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had my degree and graduation date all planned out as well. Things got messed up :/ I didn't know that one of the courses I had to take was only offered in Autumn, and that subject is a pre-requisite for most of my other subjects. :( I went through many levels of frustration and regret. Now I've reached the point where I've accepted the fate in store for me, and you're right: there might be good reasons for it. I'm just concentrating on other subjects like electives and whatever at the moment. But I still feel like my degree has gone all messed up!

Samantha said...

I think your post will help others facing similar issues. Reading your post really made me feel better about my job hunt issues. Sometimes I can't get past the first stage of the application status, but recently I've interviewed for a few jobs. Maybe it just helps to have some practice! Haha. Hopefully, I'll land the next job I'm interested in.

I'm sure the extra semester will allow you to write more and plan for the future. Good luck this semester! I'm looking forward to reading more about your writing classes.


Mel said...

I know exactly how you're feeling right now... I was supposed to graduate in May also but a similar dilemma happened with taking a language course for me.
It always works out in the end though... I'm glad you're looking on the bright side in that now you'll have some extra time to work on writing and figuring things out. Good luck to you :)