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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

elliska
Apr. 10th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
*Shakes head* (I actually feel like beating my head against a desk). I completely sympathize with you. I think I work in your secret sister university. Try to look at the bright side (or at least imagine there is one): the thesis defense is the only really important part of this and you will do brilliantly on that. Later, trying to track down the signatures you can't get on the warrant will be child's play.
dot_o_choillmor
Apr. 10th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
*nudges elliska*

Hey there! How are things? You got sucked in to that job after all, didn't you!
elliska
Apr. 10th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
You got sucked in to that job after all, didn't you!

Oh Lord, that and then some. If it's any sign to you, when I saw this 'reply to comment' thing show up in my email, I was online looking for another job. I can't take this crazy place much longer. Thanks for asking though--my online friends are such a great support. :-)
perelleth
Apr. 11th, 2006 08:32 am (UTC)
Ouch! That bad! Well.. it is said that spring and autumn are the best times of the year for changing jobs, so I wish you luck with the search! Don't exhaust yourself in the meantime, please!
dot_o_choillmor
Apr. 11th, 2006 10:41 am (UTC)
Oh dear. I hate to think that you have to go to the hassle of finding a new job but you know, your hours at the moment are just crazy. And it never seems to improve. You must never see your husband! Plus, working that much will start to take its toll. Good luck with whatever you decide.
frenchpony
Apr. 11th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
The defense is the only part of this I'm not worried about. I've had hints that the committee likes Le Thesis. . . one committee member even complimented my writing. Tracking down the signatures will just have to be a necessary and unavoidable evil.
gwynhyffar
Apr. 12th, 2006 02:54 am (UTC)
If your defense is like mine was then it was be 1,000 times less painful than you imagine. Some of the profs sat around arguing and discussing various things amongst themselves while I sat there and I answered questions based solely on my research. It was actually probably the least painful part of the whole process.

You will do great!
frenchpony
Apr. 12th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
I don't anticipate many problems with the defense. After all, I know I've got a good piece of writing, the I.N.P.O.D. has been coaching me through the thesis process from the beginning, and I stand behind what I've said.

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