Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How I Spent the Summer Banging My Head Against a Brick Wall of Bureaucratic Futility, pt. 2

It's time to start mentally preparing for the beginning of the school year, which starts (as does everything in Israel) after the holidays. Need to sell your house? After the “chagim.” Need to buy a new couch, take out a second mortgage, write your autobiography, invent a new way of harnessing solar energy? Yeahhhh, you'll get around to it after the chagim. Probably.
If I don't start thinking about school now, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are going to keep me so occupied that school is just going to sneak up on me suddenly and I'll find myself panicking the night before because I have no school supplies, haven't signed up for classes, or even paid tuition.
To be fair, I have been trying (fairly ineffectually) to sign up for classes. For over two weeks. But I have been having slight bureaucratic and technological issues. This, I'm sure, will surprise no one on this planet. Except perhaps geologists, who literally spend their lives under rocks. And yes, I just made a science pun. Deal with it.
The week before registration for classes opened up, I went in to speak to my adviser to make sure I wasn't missing any essential courses that may have fallen through the cracks when I switched majors. She noted that my major was listed incorrectly in the system, and instructed me to manually fix it upon signing up for courses on the course website.
Well, registration opened that Sunday for everyone except Natania. And the other few people who were bombarding the registration hotline, making it impossible to get through. I couldn't even sign in because my details were incorrect. According to the website, if I called the hotline, they'd be able to change my major in the system. I was told otherwise on Monday, however, when I did finally get through to a human being. They sent me to the secretary of my department, whom it turns out is only available between 10:00 and 14:00, and not at 14:30 which is when I got there. I arrived during the allotted time on Wednesday, whereupon the secretary of my department promptly sent me to the secretary of the undergraduate department. The secretary of the undergraduate department played around a bit with the computer and “fixed” the issue. The system has a lag time of 24 hours in which to update itself, so I wasn't able to check if it had worked until the next day.
The next day, I had two majors listed, neither of which would allow me into the system. This is a fairly unhelpful thing to have. I went back the following Monday to have her actually fix it this time. She typed some things into the computer, called up a bunch of people who didn't answer, and declared the issue resolved, with the added disclaimer that the entire system was closed down until the next Sunday so I wouldn't be able to sign up for classes anyway.
I was not overly optimistic that I'd be able to get into the system on Sunday. Some may call me a pessimist, but I say I'm just a realist since I was right. A few hours later, I was back in the secretary's office (which is starting to feel like home). She opened up my file on her computer and informed me that because I was missing 4 mandatory courses from previous years, I would have to repeat the second year. I just stared at her in disbelief. It would seem to me that the two times that I had done the second year would have been enough, and that doing it 3 times would be overkill.
Luckily, we cleared up the matter. Statistics I had done with the chemists as opposed to the biologists, which is acceptable though it doesn't show up in the system, and Biology of Organisms I had done without the lab part of the course as per procedure for the combined biology and chemistry major that I had started with. I had already gotten permission from my adviser to not have to repeat the entire course.
That left only 2 classes that I still need to do, which thankfully does not require repeating the second year. All I needed now was written permission from my adviser that I do not need to take the other 2 courses and the secretary would be able to force open the registration. That evening I sent an email to my adviser requesting written permission, the next day the email with written permission was forwarded, and the day after I received confirmation from the secretary that she'd unlocked the system and that after the aforementioned 24 hour lag time, I'd be able to finally register for classes.
The next day, the impossible happened! No, my mother did not eat my dad's Rosh Hashanah sweet and sour cabbage, and the Afghanis have not yet landed on the moon. I was finally allowed into the course registration site! Unfortunately, I need to take so many classes this year in order to graduate (at least 14) that there is physically not enough time in the week to take them all (unless HU has been hiding a time machine in the physics department). Not only that, but I can't confirm registration because of the two classes that I already did but which are still not listed as having been completed.

So I've decided to give up on science and instead apply to beauty school.

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