Missed the last “Nine to Five?”  Don’t worry, got you covered over here...

When asked, no one really has any concept of what my day job is.  I explain it like this.  “I help students figure out what classes they need to take in order to graduate “on time”…”  (“On time” is in air quotes since the traditional 4 year college track has now become 5-6 years…)  At least that’s what I am supposed to be doing.

The frozen expression on my face when I experience these stories…

And since I regret NOT keeping a journal of instances, conversations, wacked out situations, and the like, I might as well start now.  No time like the present, right?  Might as well, considering one day I’ll publish a book and become super rich and famous just for living life and doing my job to the best of my abilities…

…keep in mind, for confidentiality and privacy sake, I’m going vague here, but you’re smart readers, you’ll get the idea…

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Clareity:  “Okay, so now with dropping that class, you’ll be down at 9.5 credits.  Remember, to be full-time status, you need to be at 12 or more credits.  Let’s try to find something that works for your schedule and for your final degree.”

Student: “Well, nothing is open that I’d want to take.  And I only want to be in class 2 days a week.  I don’t like how ___ class meets 3 separate days, but because it’s my major, I guess I have to go to it, right?”

*awkward silence*

thoughts running fast through my head “Why does this kid want to be ___ major but doesn’t want to take the intro course?”  “How come all the 1x week classes are on a day he can’t be here for?”  “What am I going to do without wanting to reach across the desk and knock some literal sense into him?”  “Bite your tongue harder til it bleeds so you don’t say something you regret…”

C: “Okay, well here’s the deal.  That one class you are in is the foundation for your major.  You cannot NOT take this.  As this is the legitimate foundation for the rest of the sequence.  Without ___ I and the lab, you cannot proceed further.  You cannot take ___ without taking the Gen ___I and lab.  You cannot proceed.  You HAVE to take that class.”

S:  “Wait, are you the lady with the baby?”

I have two computer monitors.  The background screen on a screen is the baby and I…

C:  “Yes.  But let’s focus on finding something to take.”

S: “Well, if I take another gym class…”

C: “No you can’t.  You’ll be exceeding your Phys Ed credits, and you will be paying for a class that won’t count towards your final degree.  You have explained to me in many previous conversations that you can’t afford to pay for anything that ‘won’t count.'”

S: “So you are telling me, I have to take another class on top of that Gen ___I and lab?”

C: “In order to be full time, you need 2.5 more credits, and most of the classes you need are 3-4 credits, so yes.  You need one more class.  I’ve exhausted the options, showing you the open classes, at the times and days you want.  Clearly, we had a hard time finding a class.  You are going to have to be a little flexible.  The semester is only 15 weeks, so essentially, the class will be meeting only 30 times.  The class is 2x a week for 15 weeks”

S: “I thought a semester was 30 weeks!  So there are 4 semesters in a year?  How many semesters is a school year?”

C:  bites tongue.  Wants to scream.

C: “Yes.  The semester is only 15 weeks.  So you are only meeting in this class for 30 times.  Well, now, only 29 since class one is over and class 2 is tomorrow.”

S:  “And there’s no way we can convince financial services that 9.5 credits is full time?”

C: “No, you need to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits.  You cannot take a 2.5 credit gym class (especially because there aren’t any).  You need ONE more 3-4 credit class unless you choose not to drop the class you came here to drop.”

S: “We really can’t tell Financial Services that 9.5 credits is full time?”

C: “No.  They will laugh in your face.  They will not even look at your situation unless you are at least at the minimum of 12 credits.  They did not make this rule, it’s a aid thing.  Not a school thing, it’s a government, state/federal loan thing.  To get aid, to be eligible for full-time aid, you MUST be at 12 credits.”

S: “Come on, they can make an exception, right?  I mean I am taking the Gen ___I and lab that I need to take, doesn’t that give them anything?”

C: “No, honestly, they don’t care what you are taking.  As long as you are full time, that’s all that matters for your aid.”

S: “There’s really nothing you can do to help convince them that 9.5 is full time?”

C: “Again, no there is nothing I can personally do.  You’re going to either have to swap out ____ for ____ or not receive aid.   I can only help you finding a tutor in that class you are having trouble with, or find you an alternative to the class you swap it for.”

S: “Really?  Like you can’t make some sort of note for financial services?”

C: ” No.  Your best bet would to be finding a class or stay within your current situation.”

S: “Ugh.  Well I guess if there is nothing you can do…”

C: “You are right.  There is nothing I can do.  YOU are the one taking the ___ class, not me, you have to make the decision for yourself.  Do you want to take that class or do you want to just stay at 9.5 credits?”

S: “If there’s nothing you can do to get me the aid, then I guess I’ll just stick it out.  It’s a hard class, you know.”

C: “I gave you some options.  You don’t seem to like any of them.  How do you want to proceed,academically.  Not financially.  Academically.”

S: “I want you to help me get to full time aid on a part time schedule.”

head? –> desk

I really can’t make this stuff up.  I apparently now am a money master?  Am I wrong?  Isn’t it a legal and federal/state thing?  I don’t make up rules just to make them up to torture students. Do I feel bad about this situation?  Not really, considering there were TONS of other options for him, but he chose to put certain restrictions around what classes and what times of day he wanted to take them.  Had he been a little more open-minded, we wouldn’t have had to find a tutor for ___ class…

Oh dear.


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