Tuesday, November 09, 2004

How I miss UT

(Too tired to type this up last night, but composed during the day.)

Those of you near and dear to me may remember me bitching (when have I not?) about the lack of central organization when I began studying at the university last year. Well, it tried to strike again, but I struck back and conquered!

The state government has declared that every couple of semesters, students must prove that they are making progress in their studies (i.e., not dead wood). There is no central database (!) for course completions and grades; we get a little certificate at the end of each course saying if we passed or not. We have to collect and keep track of these slips of paper, because no slips = no degree at the end.

So when you've reached the end of your couple of semesters, you have to hand over the slips to your academic department to prove you've been attending class. Then you get *another* certificate saying you had the right number and kind of slips (kind of like the McD Monopoly game, ick), which you get back.

According to my department, once I got the certificate, the main university would be notified electronically, automatically, without any effort on my part, that I am making progress toward my degree and to let me stay enrolled.

Do you see where this is going?

Didn't happen. Instead of getting my long-awaited student I.D., I got a letter informing me I was exmatriculated, or in other words, kicked out. Son of a bitch!

(Darling daughter wondered why I was bothering to do my homework since I was kicked out. Obviously, to her, I'm nuts!)

So I was the first person in line when the doors opened (which is no mean feat; the damn things are probably 12-feet tall and the handle is at eye level on me)—certificate in hand—and everything was fixed in about five minutes. The university people would have to deal with fewer bad-German-speaking people like me if they'd just hire a programmer so some administrative stuff could be automated.


After months of badgering by lovely husband, I finally cut D.D.'s waist-length hair. It's now just below the level of her armpits, and I rounded the bottom. D.D. has been fighting us tooth and nail about it, but suddenly decided as I was about to begin that she wanted it short-ish, to the top of her shoulders. I didn't think she'd like that (she's quite vain about her hair, like the rest of us), so I went with the middle length. She and L.H. were pleased at the results, and she wondered if her friends would recognize her at school the next day.

On more than one occasion, D.D has commented that she would like spikes in her hair. (Drat the influence of her red-headed boy cousin!) I told her, as soon as she starts washing and brushing her own hair and can manage products, she can do whatever she likes to her hair. At the rate we're going, she'll be 35.


We've finally gotten into the freezing range weather-wise. The paper yesterday said the range of temps would be 1-11 C (about 33-53 F). I've finally mastered the art of layering and bundling D.D., but she won't put the layers back on to come home, so half her wardrobe gets left at school. Poor L.H. is hopeless at remembering to fetch it from her classroom (D.D. attends after-school care in another classroom), so I end up dragging home a huge bag of clothes every other day when it's my turn for the pick-up. At least we're not both that way.

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