Once a month, the advising center offers a Saturday session, so these crazy-busy recent high school grads can come in and do their schedules. This Saturday was one of those, but I was busy with not-so-Bridezilla Laci. Apparently, I missed quite the spectacle.
The student advising center is filled with computers. Some of them are for the incoming students to take their placement tests. We use a software that has a really ridiculous acronym like DUMASS - Dedicated University Matriculation And Scheduling System. After students take their DUMASS tests, then they go over to the "real" academic advisors who have a whole different set of computers to make course suggestions. And then the poor students finally come to the undergraduate students who find open sections of the recommended courses and then
they come to me. I register them for classes and then tell them to get the hell out of my sight!
On Saturday, one of the students wandered out of the designated waiting area and plunked herself down at a DUMASS computer. I guess she was there for quite some time until one of the undergraduate workers, Stephanie, approached her. That conversation went like this:Stephanie:
Did you need someone to put together a schedule for you?Student on DUMASS:
Well, I'm busy right now, but you can come over here and wait for me.Steph:
I can't create a schedule on that computer. It doesn't have the right software. You
have to come by me
I'm in the middle of very important business right now. I'm instant messaging my cousin. It'll have to wait.
Poor Stephanie was so perplexed, she ran to get the advising center director. I can't blame her. I would have been beyond speechless, too. The director of the advising center told the soon-to-be-freshman that she wasn't even supposed to be
on that computer and that schedules were, in fact, created over on the other side of the center. I guess the student with the very important business was not swayed. She had, you know, her very important business. She and her cousin, it would seem, were in the middle of planning that night's party.
Yesterday, on my way back from lunch, I saw another freshman who had busted out of line and plunked himself down in an empty cubicle and he was just playin' some Solitaire. Part of me wanted to give him a good smack to the back of his head and part of me wanted to just run away and pretend I didn't see anything. Of course, because I'm spineless, I did the latter. But as I find myself asking more and more each day: What the hell is wrong with these kids? In what world is it okay to walk over to someone else's workspace, into someone else's cubicle and plunk yourself down to start playing Solitaire? Are you THAT incapable of waiting (at your new school, no less) for 15 minutes, by yourself, with no one to talk to and nothing to read? Are unattended computers today's water fountains? It's there, it's clean, it's operational. Clearly, it's for me.
As I may have mentioned once or twice, I'm getting old. Or at least I must look like it. Today, one of the freshmen sat down and before I could say, "Hi, how are you?" she said, "Can I ask you a question?" I said yes. "Okay, like, does everyone here have to take a foreign language?" I didn't know. "What did your advisor say?"
Now let me back up: College academic advisors are literally highly trained people who also happen to have the patience of saints. None of the academic advisors has anything less then a master's degree in counseling or higher education administration. People go to school for a long time to get these jobs (although, personally, after the past two and a half weeks, I have no idea why.) Me? I am a cog. A grunt. A plebeian. You wanna talk about your genital warts? I'm all yours. But foreign language requirements? What the hell do I know? But I digress.
She rolled her eyes at me, as if to say, "You know - advisors." But she said, "My advisor said everyone in the College of Arts and Sciences has to take a foreign language, but I didn't think that sounded right." I just looked at her. Sounded right to me. "Um, no, I think she's right. That's why she signed you up for Spanish I." Why this kid thought I had something resembling power is beyond me. "Well, I don't want to do that. I won't. So, you don't have to sign me up for it." I signed her up for Spanish as I was instructed. "You need to listen to your advisor," I said, handing the schedule back to her. She just shook her head. "I'm pretty sure she's wrong." Twenty bucks says that two years from now, I'm blogging about her in my class.
Labels: Kids Today, Tales from the Trenches