>”Concern”. This was the subject for an email I got from my dean last Friday. “Concern over some strong, gross comments I’d made regarding my school, the T&I department and everyone in it” last Thursday with a couple of friends. I guess you can say my opinions were very strong and uncalled for, but of all the things I’ve learned in my twenty one years of life, shutting up isn’t one of them. So I dropped a couple angry bombs, one even literal, and ranted on about how much everything sucks and how I want to kill everyone, etc. You know, the usual angry stuff you say when you’re pissed off/joking with your friends. What, you don’t say that? Ok, I guess it’s just me then.
Right now I think I pretty much made myself look like an asshole here, so I guess I should explain in full the circumstances under which I made such inappropriate comments. It’s rather long and retarded, so whoever is reading should just sit down and grab a cup of tea or something.
As some people may know (most may not), I finished school in March. Okay, not really finished forever, but rather finished with my curriculum and awaiting the formal stuff you need in this country in order to graduate (graduation seminars, thesis, final T&I exams, Spanish proficiency exam, ice cream trip with my T&I classmates, etc.). I have been waiting for an answer as to when this wonderful stuff is gonna start happening practically all year, but hadn’t bothered to ask because I had been busy one way or another, either with school or work, to actually think about it. But last week I did think about it and I got a little depressed. I felt hopeless and alone in this quest for enlightenment, and the only one to blame was my dean.
You see, the way the system works in my school, they can’t open graduation seminars for less than 15 people. This wouldn’t be a problem if I’d studied something normal like Economics or Law, or what-have-you, but not me. I’m never normal. I studied Translation and Interpretation, the best, most awesome major in the entire world, with the grand total of 50 students enrolled in its program. Of these 50 people, only 6, including myself, are advanced and close to graduation. And as it turns out, the people who are ready to graduate (3, myself included) have to wait for the others who are not quite ready yet, so we can all take the seminars together, cause sadly, they can’t open seminars for only three students. Ya following here? Guess I’m not so much of an asshole now, am I? Well, wait, cause the best part is yet to come.
Enters the government and its fucked up nature. In 2008 a new education bill was drafted, and it stirred up some trouble, as it literally destroyed the country’s entire educational system. Not sure if it’s already in full effect, but it would appear so as every school is going nuts over it and students are already rioting about it. One of its main points of focus is the addition of credits to every major’s curriculum. We’re not talking about 10 more credits or any of that easy stuff. No, we’re talking about 80 credits, give or take. Even though all government institutions clearly stated from the beginning that this law would not be retroactive, meaning it would never affect people like me and my T&I group, my school has taken upon itself the arduous task of making students miserable over the new Education Bill. That means that everyone who is about to graduate, well won’t anymore, unless they take more subjects following the new curriculum and accumulate more credits.
My dean met with us a few times last year to discuss the new adjustments made to the old curricula. The evil Education Bill had pretty much destroyed my old ’06 curriculum. Some of the subjects I’d taken no longer existed! But here’s the cool part: Since me and my five T&I friends were already pretty close to graduation, she insisted we kept taking the classes we needed according to our initial curricula, and then, as an option, take extra courses to either get a minor or just to take classes for the sake of it and get credits for them. She explained in detail she would give us credits for practice hours, our graduation seminars/thesis/graduation exams, plus some other stuff that, if added up, gave us the desired number of 225 credits we all need now, supposedly.
So I did this. I did exactly what she said I should do. I took about 8 extra classes and, according to the dean’s recommendations, I should be fine, right? Hell, with all those things she said she would give us all credits for, we were all ready to go. WRONG!
So this is where we fast forward to last week. I emailed the dean at 3 am asking her what had happened to the seminars and if she had an answer for me because, naturally, I was getting a little impatient. She replied first thing in the morning saying she was working on it, counting all my credits and adjusting them to the new curriculum, and she would give me an answer soon. And then, as typical of her, a slew of emails followed, vaguely explaining that we all needed to take extra courses because, as it turns out, the horrible, horrible Education Bill had changed yet again, and we were all short of credits. Ack. She summoned us up to a meeting on Thursday to discuss the new changes that had been made to our poor curriculum and to talk about the “great new classes she had available for us”.
Ok, so the meeting with the dean went pretty much like this:
Dean: Ok, you guys need to take about 8 more subjects cause the Ministry says I can’t give you credits for the seminars/thesis/exams.
Students: :O :O :O
Dean: But don’t worry cause I have some great new courses for you! I’m bringing professors from Hunter College and Spain and some other great people and this is gonna be good for you!
Cat: But hey, wait a minute, I had all the credits I needed, I don’t need any more courses!
Dean: Oh hey, well I don’t know about that but you must have miscounted. So anyway…
Cat: No, no, look, here! I have enough credits, see?
Dean: Oh, oops! I guess I should work on that again, cause it seems I made a whoopsie and didn’t adapt these 5 courses on the new curriculum. Don’t worry, I’ll work on that. But the rest of you guys have to take 8 more classes, otherwise you can’t graduate.
Student 1: I want to kill myself.
Cat: And what about me, what do I do if I have all the credits I need?
Dean: Oh, you wait for the rest to finish taking classes and then you take the seminars with them.
So this is when the insanity starts. I made these comments I mentioned above in my usual campy, un-serious way, in the company of close friends who understand my situation. And yes, this is when I said “I wanted to beat the living shit out of everyone at this school, cause everything is fucking bullshit and I’m sick of this fucking stupid school, hahahaha!”. Yes, it’s pretty bad, but dude… I’d just been told I would graduate in 2078! Whatever.
Now I don’t know exactly how she found out, but she did, cause next thing I know, the dean is emailing me about how inappropriate and unprofessional I am and how disappointed she is in me and how much I suck. Yeah, yeah. Not only that, but she bothered to CC EVERYONE in the department, including professors who don’t even work at the school anymore! She also sent hate emails to my friends telling them practically the same thing she told me in the first email. I obviously replied telling her that these comments were made in an informal, private setting, and they should not be taken literally, because they just express the anger of the moment over a very difficult situation I’m being put through. She replied saying I can’t be two people at the same time and if this is how I am with my friends, this is how I am everywhere else. So basically, I’m an awful person. Horrible.
Dude, seriously. Cut the crap. Anyone with a little common sense would understand these comments were NOT serious and I do not want to beat them all up. And what’s up with the massive CCing?! I mean, she’s trying to ruin my reputation here! In all my years at school, I have had a clean record, a 4.0 GPA, several awards for outstanding academic achievement, and countless opportunities to prove myself and how capable I am, and she just ruined that for some stupid comments I made when I was angry? I know it was my fault, but come on, you can’t be serious about this. Now, I don’t know how I’m going to fix this, but it seems to me like such idiotic, square bullshit. Sorry to be crass, but this is how it is. If a person who gave the impression of being wise beyond her years, educated, understanding and experienced comes and gives you and your academic history the finger over some silly immature comments you made UNDER EXTREMELY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES, then they don’t deserve to be in that position, you know? And why try to ruin my reputation in the whole department? These are people who knew me and talked to me as friends, not as professors. How can I not be outraged if she’s singlehandedly putting me at the top of everyone’s shitlist including hers! So now I’m depressed, blackballed and hopeless.
I’m sorry, maybe I’m wrong here and she’s right. I’d like to think some of my argument is right though, cause if it isn’t, then the world is more fucked up than I thought. At this point, I don’t care if they love me or hate me, I just want to graduate. I hope the dean understands that she ruined every single plan I had after graduation, and I am losing my head over it. I guess she doesn’t, otherwise this wouldn’t have ever happened.