Alfred? Where are you when I need you?

I registered for two classes today. Or tried to. The first one is an advanced web usability class taught by one of the best (and hardest) teachers I’ve ever encountered. It’ll be a difficult class and it’ll suck the blood out of me. But I was able to enroll in it with no problem. Then I tried to sign up for a basic entry level class in Adobe Illustrator graphics. I expected to have to monkey around to get into this class because there are a couple of prerequisites for it. One of them is a “basic Mac graphics” class. The other is something called “foundations of mathematics”. Or a passing score on something called a COMPASS test, which I didn’t have to take because I already went to college and have SAT scores on record, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Duh!

I expected to have to argue my way in because of the “basic Mac graphics” class, which is “recommended for those with little or no computer experience,” and I did. I wrote what I thought was a nice, polite note telling the “advisor” or whoever that:

  1. I had successfully completed 44 credit hours in the Internet Professional department. I even mentioned my GPA, which I won’t reveal here except to say that it’s pretty boring.
  2. I had been a user of Apple computers for 27 years and one of my best buddies is a 13″ Intel Macbook.
  3. I didn’t see why I needed the math class because I had waived all of that remedial stuff when I initially applied to the college. Okay, I didn’t say anything about remedial stuff. I was much more polite. I actually didn’t even think they would care about the math class.

I hit the submit button and a little later this perfunctory email message came in:

Anne E. Finlayson, Your override request has been denied for the course 92398 GDT 139 Illustrator Graphics.

Denied. DENIED! KEE-REIST! I don’t know who this person is or what his job is. An “advisor.” He obviously doesn’t know anything about me. He didn’t say *anything* about my Mac experience or my 44 credits. He said that I couldn’t register for an *ILLUSTRATOR* class because I haven’t taken MTH067. Here’s the class description:

This is the first of two courses in the developmental math sequence. Basic calculations with whole numbers, decimals, integers, and fractions are mastered. Applications including percents, statistics, measurement, and problem solving are introduced. A systematic method leading to algebraic problem solving is stressed. Students who complete this course, and pass the Basic Skills Exam with a minimum score of 75%, are prepared for Foundations of Algebra.

Um, say what? Developmental? Prepared for algebra? I used to get bored with worksheets involving basic computations when I was in 1st grade and figure out new ways to come up with the answers. If you can program computers, like I can (I taught myself Fortran back in the day), and if you have taken a number of coding and/or programming classes, like I have, you have a good command of algebra and that means (usually) that you can do the basic mathematics that lead up to algebra. Kee-reist, I took it in 9th grade. I wanted to take it earlier but it was not an option up there in the Great White North. Unless you were Bill Rothwell, an old friend of mine. Anyway, somehow my documentation is out of order and I guess I will have to assuage this person.

Alfred, are ya with me? Froggy? Let’s go get ‘im! Grrr-grok!!!

Yes, I have edited this post. Too many random people have stumbled over my blahg lately. When you are angry at a *system*, it doesn’t help to direct that anger at someone else who is caught up in it and make nasty remarks about them in your blahg. And it would be that much worse if they then *found* your blahg. btw, random people are welcome here.

6 Responses to “Alfred? Where are you when I need you?”

  1. isa Says:

    um, can i say that i actually have sensations of anger reading that someone is till *my* mother that she needs to take a math class related to whole numbers and decimals??? my mother the math whiz, who was frustrated with me when i had trouble with and/or disliked math? good lord. should *i* call this man????? eeek.

  2. Webmomster Says:

    You need to mention your:
    1) history as Treasurer of PTOs and taking messed up accounts, fixing them, and actually bringing the organization into The Black;

    2) experience with Non-Profits and what you’ve done for them;

    3) SIL, who will personally go in and hit that idiot over the head with her own Math Degree, then hand it over to you to do the same.

  3. Webmomster Says:

    oh, yes, and

    4) Make you an honorary Mathemagician, to boot, for the wonders you have wrought with your Mathemagical Abilities.

  4. jane Says:

    I had a similar experience when I started at Eastern. I had 4 semesters of Calc at Michigan Tech, but the admissions people were still pushing that I had to take ‘Business Math’. I have no recollection of what was included in Business Math, but I knew I was way past it.

    So they made me take a form and my MTU course description book over to some math professor to have him sign off on me to skip that class. He looked at the book, looked at me, looked at the form and said ‘are you kidding me?’ Hey – I’m just doing what they said I had to do.

    Good to see that academia has come a long way in 20 years. not.

  5. Webmomster Says:

    Goes to show that you just canNOT trust academic “advisors” – I suspect they are in that position because there was very little else they were competent at… and nothing else they were even remotely qualified for.

    Like the “counselor” at my high school – acting as “academic advisor” who told me I would never be accepted into an Engineering program because I had never taken high school drafting… when I told Jim about that years later, he about imploded. And to think I actually believed that “counselor” (well, I was naive and very gullible at that time…)

  6. kayak woman Says:

    All in all, the advisor was pretty okay. I did *not* like the flat-out “denied!” That might have easily intimidated a younger person. And I was irritated that it seemed he didn’t even care about my record *at* WCC. But he never took too long to reply to me and during the hours that I couldn’t find* my 35-year-old SAT score report, he problem-solved with me about how to get a waiver.

    *Couldn’t find = frantically flipped through old school records in a manila envelope, encountering the score report several times and not recognizing it for what it was.

    I had a bad — or weird — experience with high school guidance counselors too. I said I wanted to be a music major (11th grade) and the woman said, “well, then you’ll want to take band and choir then.” Duh, choir? Noooooo. Probably not. Try trig and honors English and I ferget what else. Then again, what did I know?

    On the other hand, my girls had some fantastic counselors at their disposal and they were still (the counselors) a little clueless. When we went for Mouse’s junior (i.e., college) conference, the counselor kept calling her by the name on her birth certificate. I could feel her radiations and I was just about grinding my teeth. Eventually, I got up the nerve to correct him! :-0