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Weekend and School Update

The girl and Sam both had busy weekends. Katie went out Friday and Saturday, playing D&D with friends first, then going to a party with her sweetie during my and Sam's date Saturday night. Sam had a computer to deliver Saturday morning, then ran around picking up some things. He went out again yesterday, to the library for me and to the grocery store and the farmer's market and I'm not even sure where else. Then he did an intervew for his podcast last night.

This is the last week of my classes for the semester, so I did a paper for one class and created my slides for a group project presentation in the other, then had a couple of quizzes. Monday night we do our presentation online, and see the other groups' presentations. That class doesn't have a final, but I do have to take the final for the management class, then I'm done.

Next week I start a class everybody is apparently supposed to take around the beginning of their studies, since one of the assignments involves creating a "plan of study." DeVry seems to have a lot of these "because we said so" classes, which is annoying. I'm also taking my first technical writing course at DeVry, though. It will involve more group projects, a bane of my existence.

It's one thing to work together in a business setting, where people's jobs depend on their performance. It's quite another to be yoked with people who just can't be arsed to pull their weight and apparently think Bs are high grades. I'm absolutely appalled by the number of people in the 400-level classes I had this semester who cannot create a coherent paragraph, much less write a paper.

I had the required "write a research paper" class over 20 years ago, at another school. Either the standards have fallen horribly, or Mercer had higher standards than I realized. (I won't even bother comparing Agnes Scott's standards to DeVry. It's too painful.) Of course, if either of those schools had remedial courses of any sort, I was unaware of them. Those "teach you what you should have learned in middle school" classes are a fact of life in all the University system schools and DeVry. I know that there were some when I took classes at Georgia Perimeter so many years ago, but they seem to be more and more important now. I honestly don't think they belong in any institution of "higher learning." If you can't read, write, and do basic math before you get to college, you have no business being there, because you do not have the essential tools required for success. I suppose that makes me an elitist.

It's going to be odd going back to 100 and 200 level courses next week. By the time most students do get to the 400-level courses, the true dregs have dropped out or risen out of that status. Threaded discussions are such a huge part of online classes that you get far more exposure to your classmates writing than in a face-to-face class, and you quickly find out who can't or won't write and who has no clue about how to discuss issues without degenerating into total nonsense. That part of this semester hasn't been as bad as others, at least. I did still run into nutcases insisting that this country was founded as a "Christian nation," but that's pretty much to be expected anymore.

School update

School is going along fine. In fact, anoth­er semes­ter is almost done for me, and Katie’s almost at the end of her semes­ter, too. She’s kick­ing ass and tak­ing names. Now that she’s set­tled aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly, she’s stretch­ing out into some extracur­ric­u­lar stuff and mak­ing more friends. We’ve man­aged to con­nect with a Girl Scout troop, (final­ly!) despite sil­ly paper­work slip-ups. 

I think I need to rearrange my class­es for the next part of the semes­ter (I’m already reg­is­tered), but this unit’s class­es are going very well, and I’ve actu­al­ly learned use­ful (in one class) and inter­est­ing (in the oth­er class) stuff. 

I had told the school when they ini­tial­ly did my tran­script eval­u­a­tion that I didn’t have as many upper-lev­el cred­its as they said I had, but they insist­ed that I’d done my major work and wouldn’t real­ly lis­ten. Weird­ness­es kept com­ing up, and I kept push­ing about things like the Hope Schol­ar­ship not com­ing up in my finan­cial aid pack­age. Some­one final­ly said, “Oh — you aren’t eli­gi­ble because you already have a bachelor’s degree.”

What? Um, no. You see, I’m in the Bachelor’s Degree Com­ple­tion Pro­gram because I don’t have a bachelor’s degree yet. Capiche?

Well, it seems that when Mer­cer Uni­ver­si­ty sent over my tran­scripts, they couldn’t man­age to just pull the tran­scripts for Cyn­thia Rober­son (my name when I attend­ed that school) with my Social Secu­ri­ty Num­ber and my Mer­cer Stu­dent ID. No, they also sent over Cyn­thia Armistead’s tran­script — some­one whose name was Cyn­thia Armis­tead when she attend­ed Mer­cer and got a bachelor’s degree, some­one with a dif­fer­ent SSN and MSI and mid­dle ini­tial. And instead of notic­ing these dis­crep­an­cies, my school blithe­ly entered this tran­script in and gave me cred­it for her work!

So there’s been a whole big deal about get­ting all of my tran­scripts again, and re-eval­u­at­ing them anew, and chang­ing my planned class­es to reflect the results. I’m get­ting two sorts of atti­tude from the bureau­crats I have to deal with in straight­en­ing out this non­sense: peo­ple who obvi­ous­ly think I should have shut up and tak­en the cred­its, and peo­ple who think I was try­ing to pull a fast one (hence the busi­ness about them get­ting all my tran­scripts again, direct­ly from my old schools) and re-eval­u­at­ing them).

For­tu­nate­ly, the class­es I’ve tak­en so far are class­es I need­ed to take. Yay. The class­es that start in a cou­ple of weeks are in ques­tion, so I need to talk to my so-called “advi­sor” about them. The “advi­sor” is the per­son who deals with every­body who is in the bachelor’s degree com­ple­tion pro­gram. She doesn’t do indi­vid­ual advis­ing, real­ly. She doesn’t give a fly­in’ flip about me or my plans, abil­i­ties, back­ground, etc. She meets with stu­dents once, when they enter the pro­gram. That’s it. That’s the plan. She doesn’t want to see us again. She’s not hap­py that she’s had to talk to me more than once.

I was just way spoiled by my mar­velous advi­sor at South­ern Poly, Dr. Mark Stevens. Nobody else can live up to that stan­dard. But this woman shouldn’t have the same title. She’s a paperwork-stamper. 

I’m actu­al­ly enjoy­ing the data­base por­tion of my cur­rent business/​computer course so much that I’m look­ing at which tech­ni­cal con­cen­tra­tion in the bachelor’s degree com­ple­tion major would give me the most oppor­tu­ni­ty to go deep­er into the topic.

Oh — with the oth­er person’s bachelor’s degree tran­script, I had some­thing like 91 trans­fer cred­its. That’s the max­i­mum you’re allowed to trans­fer into the school. With­out her tran­script, just using my cred­its, I’m com­ing in with 79 cred­its. The sci­ence class I’m tak­ing now should have been my last “core” class, but this school counts “Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy and Soci­ety as a 400 lev­el class. The STS class I took at South­ern Poly was a 200 lev­el class. So one more core class, some busi­ness and man­age­ment stuff required for my major, and then the tech­ni­cal con­cen­tra­tion cours­es. Three full semes­ters, at least, maybe four, since there may be pre­req­ui­sites required for some of the tech­ni­cal con­cen­tra­tion class­es that I don’t have yet.

That’s not too bad — just anoth­er year of school, real­ly. Wow. I can see the end.