January 31, 2018

Don't Be Alarmed

That guttural wail of despair you just heard was not someone near you being dismembered. It was a blogger in Virginia opening his E-mail.

This has been a rough week, I've been under the weather. Mom and dad have been in and out of the hospital. I've had tests, papers and all manner if issues with ODU's Blackboard system this week. 

First, I found myself unable to post homework to the secure server. This turned out to be a browser issue (the school only speaks Chrome). Then, Sunday night, I found myself locked out of my account due to a hold. 

The hold was due to a "delinquent payment". Note that I am NOT delinquent, despite issues with the finance department and bank, I'd just paid the school five thousand simolians three weeks ago. I still owe a couple of hundred, but that is not due 'till April.

Well....It appears that someone screwed up. 

Now, everyone I've talked to in person or on the phone agrees that I should be able to submit homework, use the gym and library, and generally access the campus unmolested, but no one seemed to figure out HOW to restore my privileges.

A few minutes ago I got partial access and have been told that my issue should be resolved in 72 hours. This is doing NOTHING good for my GPA but, having access to my home page I was able to access my E-mail and start digging out of the hole I was i.........


Look what's in my In Box...

Dear ****:

Your academic catalog of 2006 for your Asian Studies major has expired. Catalog terms expire after six (6) years.

Per the University catalog: 
Undergraduate students may choose to graduate under the Catalog in effect at the time of their first enrollment (part-time or full-time) or any subsequent Catalog provided that the students graduate within six years (18 semesters) from the date of the first enrollment. If students do not graduate within this six-year period, they may choose to graduate under any Catalog in effect during a six-year period preceding the date of graduation.

Please reach out to your academic advisor to choose a valid catalog. Please note that you must fulfill the degree requirements of this new catalog.

Please see the Catalog Matrix link to assist in moving to an active catalog that will provide enough time to graduate under. 
Catalog Matrix: http://www.odu.edu/success/academic/advising/catalog-matrix

UIN: +++++++

I was graduating in June.

I had a job tentatively lined up in Japan starting in August. 

Every time they've done this, it's cost me at least 2 semesters. 
In 2010 it cost me 37 credits. 

Now, I am a Virginian and aspire to be a gentleman. Thus, sacred honor requires that stoicism and maturity be adhered to in my eternal quest for arete'. 

Fortunately, this imaginary, 2 dimensional young lady is able to express what I cannot. 

There comes a point when one realizes that there is no feasible "win" condition, and that one is in fact being played for a fool. 

That may be insufficient realization however...

It is true that multiple work conflicts, dropping out to take care of relatives, 2 hospitalizations and military leave do add up and can extend ones time in college. But if one is an undergraduate and over 17 years have passed since one returned to school then one might actually be a fool.

The drop deadline (naturally) just passed. 

I am numb, nonplussed and vexed.

I do have assignments I was working on, but the wind has left my sails.

I don't know when it or I shall return.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:35 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
Post contains 609 words, total size 6 kb.

1 Bureaucracies suck. Best of luck getting the whole thing ironed out without having to extend your graduation date.

Posted by: jabrwok at Wed Jan 31 19:14:31 2018 (h8yX6)

2 Dude.  My sincerest condolences.  I had to give up college, after 11 years, two courses--my CS capstone--short of my degree, so I (almost) feel your pain.

Posted by: Rick C at Wed Jan 31 20:29:55 2018 (h8yX6)

3 Oh, no. Not just no, but hell no.

You have been screwed around by your freaking university/college for too damned long.

There is such a thing as exceptions to rules, and you bloody well are going to get one. You are a veteran, you are a good egg, and you have ALLLLLL THE CREDITS.

Do not be meek about this. Don't get angry, but get persistent and go up the chain as high as you need to go. I don't freaking care if you need to talk to your congressman/woman to do it. You are going to graduate and you are going to do it IN JUNE.

There is no intrinsic reason why you should not graduate. Most colleges actually try hard to get people graduated, rather than veg.

Heck, by now you probably have enough credits to have three degrees!!!! Plus life experience credits!

If you experience difficulty going up the chain, feel free to borrow my mother, who loves to call long distance now that long distance is free. Hold times hold no fear for her.

You are going to graduate in June. Go get 'em, tiger.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Wed Jan 31 23:18:21 2018 (h8yX6)

4 Actually, I think that in many states, if you've amassed a certain number of credits sufficient for graduation, they have to give you a degree in something. Even if they have to make up a name for it.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Wed Jan 31 23:24:13 2018 (h8yX6)

5 I emailed the help thing done by the advisors at the state university near me about this, letting them know it wasn't about their university and just asking for what stuff you should say and ask for. I know there has to be some kind of thing that can be done, and having the right buzzwords for your university admin should help a lot.

Seriously, if I had somebody at my university who'd been taking classes that long, and wasn't one of those people doing it on purpose, I'd be running a special seminar just to get them graduated and off the spreadsheet. It's ridiculous that they haven't taken better care of you.

Who is your advisor? Why didn't they take you as a priority?

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Wed Jan 31 23:38:36 2018 (h8yX6)

6 Also, you should go get a paper copy of your transcript. Two of three, if they are not too expensive; make normal copies of they are.
Take your paper copies with you to meetings with admin, so you can ostentatiously show them how long this has been going on. Give them the reference copies. Refer to page numbers a lot, to make them flip along with you. Get them to share your pain and PITA from all this.
(And then, if you need an official copy, you can have that with you in a folder.)

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Thu Feb 1 09:12:42 2018 (h8yX6)

7 "Or." " If. "

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Thu Feb 1 09:13:55 2018 (h8yX6)

8 Talk to everyone about this and get their advice, especially any old folks in the transcript/files area.
Emphasize that you have spent your years trying to graduate, not trying to be a perpetual college student. Also the new job coming up.
Be cheerful but persistent. Leave your name and email.
This is an admin problem. Get your profs to support you.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Thu Feb 1 09:44:12 2018 (h8yX6)

9 That's good advice.  I had the bureaucracy try to stonewall me once, each of two departments insisting they couldn't release information until the other one did.  I went to the Dean instead, who walked down there with me and made one of them do their jobs.

Posted by: Rick C at Thu Feb 1 15:42:21 2018 (h8yX6)

10 These really are the times that try men's souls.  As hiring a private army to destroy the college's bureaucracy is probably out, I agree that you should be raising all sorts of hell about this, and don't stop.  Somebody, somewhere in a position of power is going to hear this and be appalled.

Posted by: Ben at Thu Feb 1 18:57:58 2018 (h8yX6)

11 That's... they... how...
I am so sorry, Muppet.  I do not advocate burning down the admin building, but I do wholeheartedly support the idea of lighting a fire under some butts.
I cannot generate the words to describe how incensed this makes me... I can only imagine how you feel.  If there's anything I... or any of us... can do, let us know.  Letters of recommendation, signatures on petitions, we're here.

Posted by: Wonderduck at Thu Feb 1 20:59:38 2018 (h8yX6)

12 Everything Suburbanbanshee said.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Feb 1 23:29:00 2018 (PiXy!)

13 Well, thanks everybody.  The very first thing I did upon reading the message was to CC it to my advisor and Dean. 

Then I blogged about it for some reason. 

I heard from my advisor this afternoon, she's looking into it. I'll know something in a few days. 
In other news, I'm banned from the gym, library and some computer functionality again, no one seems to know why.  However they do understand that it's not right.  That is something.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Fri Feb 2 00:26:27 2018 (h8yX6)

14 So, thus far, the university's response is "Why do I keep hitting you?" <whap> "Why did I just do that?" <whap> "I don't understand why this is happening!" <whap>

Posted by: Ben at Fri Feb 2 00:58:41 2018 (h8yX6)

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