It's Monday, early afternoon. The defense is on Thursday morning. I decided to go pick up the warrant today so that I'd have it ready. I almost didn't, thinking that I could pick it up Wednesday morning and stand less of a chance of losing it between now and Thursday. But then, Mom Pony's words of wisdom came back to me: Everything Takes Longer Than You Think It Will. I went to the music office to ask about it today:
FIT THE FIRST
PONY: Hi. Who do I talk to about picking up my graduation warrant for a thesis defense on Thursday?
SECRETARY: Um. Graduation warrant? Do we do that at this office?
PONY: I don't know. Who should I talk to about that?
SECRETARY: Um. How about Ann?
PONY: Okay. Is Ann in?
SECRETARY: No. She's out until Wednesday.
PONY: Okay. Who else can I talk to?
SECRETARY: How about Molly?
FIT THE SECOND
MOLLY: Hi, Pony. What can I do for you?
PONY: Where do I find my graduation warrant? I need it in hand on Thursday morning.
MOLLY: Ann should have it.
PONY: Ann is not here.
(MOLLY and PONY break into Ann's office.)
MOLLY: Well, I think Ann had this all sorted out before she left. There's other people who need their warrants, too, so she had to have done something with them. But I don't know what she did.
PONY: Er, thanks. Do we get exit interviews at this school?
MOLLY: Sort of. Do you have any complaints?
PONY: Well, only that the administrative hoops that graduate students have to jump through are very well concealed. I got half of my information by word of mouth.
MOLLY: We know. We're working on that. In two years, after you've left, we should be pretty close to having a working system of communicating with thesis-crazed graduate students.
PONY: I'm so touched.
MOLLY: In the meantime, try the interim graduate advisor.
FIT THE THIRD
INTERIM GRADUATE ADVISOR (IGA): Hi! What can I do for you?
PONY: I'm defending my thesis on Thursday morning.
PONY: Thank you. My advisor said I need to bring my graduation warrant. Do you know where I can find that?
PONY: We had our official meeting a month and a half ago. Do I pick up the warrant here in the music department or at the general graduate office?
IGA: Actually. . . no. It's not ready yet.
PONY: Please tell me I didn't hear what I thought I heard.
IGA: They only got around to sending the warrants to be processed today. They won't be ready for another two weeks.
PONY: But my defense is on Thursday! I need my warrant on Thursday!
IGA: . . . oops. Sorry.
So. . . no warrant for the Pony until two weeks from now. At least it's not my fault when I show up warrantless to my defense. But come on! They've had months to get this little piece of paper ready for me! I delivered Le Thesis three weeks ago, on the school-mandated due date for spring graduation. I had my advisor meeting to start the process of issuing a warrant back in early February. And the fershlugginer thing isn't ready yet!