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Bureaucracy: 2, Mark: 1 - Anomalous Space Time Piping
a stochastically driven life
mcoletti
mcoletti
Bureaucracy: 2, Mark: 1
I've been motivated by fengi's "Comment month," whereby he will strive to comment on every single of his friends' LJ posts this month. Good idea, that. So, fengi, you can safely mark me down as a data point in your favor.

(And I like one of the comments. "Now I have this mental image of you straddling LiveJournal and pounding its sternum with both fists while yelling ``LIVE, damn you, LIVE!''")

I have a lot to share, but I'll do so piecemeal ... one entry at a time. I'm hoping that tactic increases the likelihood that I will write more here. (And that I can, in turn, harness some productive writing momentum.)

Though I'd love to first share my thoughts on the last Game of Thrones episode, [GoT spoiler]The Red WeddingThe Rains of Castamere, I feel that I should more-or-less address recent events in chronological order. And that means relating an update regarding the bureacratic snafu in which I've been embroiled for years, and has finally come to a head. I can now state "Bureaucracy: 2, Mark: 1" as the school has, somewhat reluctantly, ruled mostly in my favor. Mostly. I now have until Spring '14 to finish my dissertation, which is somewhat stunning as my advisor and I had scaled back our request to include just this Fall. But, I'll take it.

("Mostly" in that really the clock should have been set to Fall '15 to be on par with the standard PhD timeline. This still bothers me, but it's moot in that I fully intend on finishing this Fall, anyway.)

Of course GMU couldn't let even this final act go without further screwups. They were supposed to mail the extension letter for me to sign. It never arrived. I made two attempts to show up in person to sign same --- I had to return for a second visit because on the first attempt the person that said they'd be there was in a meeting. And, even then, I laughed aloud when I saw they had misspelled my name. I signed the damned thing anyway and asked for a photocopy, on the spot. Damn skippy that was going into my personal records.

This is an immense relief to have this behind me. Ironically, by giving me until the Spring to wrap up the degree they've likely increased the chances of me finishing this Fall since I no longer will be obsessing over this imbroglio. It is a little easier to concentrate when one doesn't have a Sword of Damocles swinging overhead.

Tags:
Current Location: Lair of the Frazzled Grad Student
Current Mood: relieved relieved

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Comments
thewronghands From: thewronghands Date: June 6th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome! Go you!
mcoletti From: mcoletti Date: June 6th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
grymnir From: grymnir Date: June 6th, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good. Now finish.
Having been in a similar spot (my program was being discontinued), even if you feel nothing but anger, frustration, and bitterness upon completion, knowing you could do it without their active assistance will matter to you down the road.
mcoletti From: mcoletti Date: June 6th, 2013 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yessir, that's the plan: wrap up and get the hell outta here. And then burn every alumni begging letter that flies into the mail.

Not only has my personal experience soured me on GMU, but the overall direction of the university is mirroring many across the nation. It's telling that the new university president ran a very successful business school out west before moving to GMU. He's a businessman through and through, and that's how he's going to run the show. One of his first acts? Revising the university's mission statement. Oy.

We're no longer students. We're products. Worse yet, we're also lucrative revenue streams. How many decades has tuition outpaced inflation in increases? Three?

Sorry. It clearly doesn't take much to engage Polemic Mode these days with regards to school. Harumph.

In a more positive tone, you're right: that I've wended my way through this process mostly under my own funding and power, which will make graduation all the better.
alumiere From: alumiere Date: June 7th, 2013 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah!
mcoletti From: mcoletti Date: June 7th, 2013 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, indeed! :D

And, some day Real Soon Now, I'll be taking my road trip across the States, which will include LA. Can't wait to see you and the rest of the crew out there!

(Well. By "Real Soon Now" I mean "Probably sometime in 2015". At my age, you've gotta plan years in advance. Harumph.)
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