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Bureaucracy 1, Pony 0

I am defending Le Thesis on Thursday morning, 9:00, as that is the single solitary time when all my committee members can get together. This is primarily my fault for choosing a committee with mutually incompatible schedules, and I accept that. I have to bring my advisor sign-off sheet and my graduation warrant to the defense. The sign-off sheet is not a problem -- that's on the Web, and after I strip naked and perform the appropriate dance under the full moon on a certain Tuesday of a certain month, I'll be able to find it and print it. The graduation warrant, on the other hand. . .

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

PONY: Hi!

INTERIM GRADUATE ADVISOR (IGA): Hi! What can I do for you?

PONY: I'm defending my thesis on Thursday morning.

IGA: Congratulations!

PONY: Thank you. My advisor said I need to bring my graduation warrant. Do you know where I can find that?

IGA: Um.

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!

"Oops" indeed!

Comments

dot_o_choillmor
Apr. 10th, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
Did you really break into Ann’s office??

Well, geez. If that was me, my next stop would’ve been the bar. I can’t believe that last person actually said oops. But you know, chances are this happens a lot and your committee people would be more surprised if you turned up with it than without it. Perelleth is right – turn this into a play. I’d go see it. (What’s a graduation warrant anyway??)

So you have to defend the thesis? I thought only doctoral theses had to be defended. Then again, nobody would have wanted to listen to me talk about classification systems for an hour. Good luck! And you might want to go get the sign-off sheet, like now ;-)

I need an icon for this kind of situation.
frenchpony
Apr. 11th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what the graduation warrant is; I think it's just a piece of paper that says that the I.N.P.O.D., the backup singers, and the music office all agree that I'm qualified to graduate.

I do have to defend Le Thesis. I think different schools have different policies for who has to defend. All Ph.D. candidates have to defend, I think, and so do most M.A. candidates (such as me). I had to defend my B.A., as well, but that's less usual.

(And that wasn't much of a defense. More like a mutual admiration society.)

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