Thursday, October 01, 2009

schoolmates, drinking mates

I've registered for classes. The registration process was a little strange, and as with everything I've done lately, what I was told to have was not what was required, but thankfully I had what they wanted anyway.

"I need to see your qualifications."
"What qualifications?"
"The ones we required for your acceptance."
"Er...I was accepted based on my performance at interview. Do you need to see my portfolio?"
"No, your qualifications from other schools."
"Like the original copy of my university transcript that I submitted with my application packet? The piece of paper you already have?"
"Yes, we need to see that again."
"So take it out. You have it."
"I need to see another original."

I punched him in the ear.

Actually, luck would have it that when I purchased--yes, purchased, they're $10 a copy--official copies of my transcript from USC back in December I sprung for 5 and only wound up using 4. So I had a spare, and was miraculously able to pull it out of my notebook. But seriously? That's retarded. Especially figuring I didn't have to submit that for my visa application--you have to send the border agency all your supporting documents that the school said your acceptance was based on in the official letter they write for you. Mine said "Code 014X: Student was accepted based upon performance at audition or interview." No documents required.

Other registrants encountered similar confusions and problems. Most did not have official copies of their undergraduate records tucked away in their asses so they received a tongue lashing. In that "how dare you not have something we didn't ask for!" way.

It was wonderful to talk to other students and hear just how shitty their processes were in getting over here. Some students' visa applications were rejected due to internal errors in the border agency. Others discovered, much like I did, that FAFSA and their loan agencies lied to them repeatedly, nearly ruining everything on numerous occasions. "I thought Central had my FAFSA until July, when I discovered that they'd never sent it because I asked the finance department what the hold-up was." "I was told my official financial aid letter was fraudulent because the letterhead was in black and white." "My daddy just has a lot of money--I didn't have to take out a loan so I've had a visa since June." "My school couldn't find a copy of my transcript because of a massive computer crash in 2007." "My visa was delivered in a timely fashion, but the FedEx employee was contractually obligated to step on my foot before he left."

We had a quick tour of the library from the cheery and funny head librarian who started her presentation with "I'm certain you'll all forget everything I said by the end of the day, but let me at least show you around. As students in the past have pointed out, "Central's library is exclusively my favorite section." We hope it also turns out to be useful to you."

The head of the IT department was equally bright and funny and got us logged into the intranet--which is available off campus! Holla!

And then it was off to the pub. For the rest of the day. Yes. Ms. Kristen was pleased. Most of my new classmates are hella interesting and smart, and I only say most because I didn't meet everyone. We're a diverse group of internationals and locals, and by my reckoning we number about 35. We all have different ideas of how the course is going to run, so hopefully on Monday we'll set the record firmly crooked. But I've really liked the people I've met.

There were 3 people including me from my interview group. A local girl said 8 people from hers registered. The school has apparently told last year's students that we're a smaller group than theirs, but a girl from the 09 class isn't really sure that's true.

I may have picked up the nickname "apple-tizer" but I'm not entirely sure how. We'll see how that plays out.

Anyway, the pub was fun, and everyone's excited to get started. I think I'm in good company.