17 May 2011

Changing dynamics (revision 1)

Thanks, Mel, for keeping me straight. 
Life's not interesting unless there is a little drama involved.

A few turns back, I mighta mentioned that junior is getting ready to graduate and we're making plans to head north to help him celebrate (and to make sure it sticks). I might have glossed over a few "minor" details, so for the record, let me clarify the issue. 

Stephen has been going to school for 5+ years. He is getting a BS Computer Science. About 1/2 way through the program, he got a chance to enroll in the Master's Degree program which would let him take classes in tandem with his undergrad courses and enable him to get a graduate degree with just one additional year of school. He applied and got accepted and has been working towards that goal ever since.

This spring, he lacked a few courses to finish up. He elected to push through the graduate courses and leave one final class for the summer session. According to his advisor and college, they told him he could walk come spring with the caveat that he would have to complete the final class before he got any papers. At my insistence, he reconfirmed this note with the admin of his college and thus proceeded to order invitations and regalia. So far, so good. We are on track to see him walk with the understanding he had to finish up one course to make it legal. My parents and brother are booked into the RV park to go to Austin at attend. My parents are 87+ years old and have been to all the various graduations for their sons and grandsons and this is probably their last one they will attend. Does that get everyone up to date?

Now for the drama, a week ago Friday afternoon, junior calls me on my cell.  Keeping in mind that he normally doesn't call me unless there is some financial requirement or car problem or crisis, I tend to pucker up until I know the subject.  Friday's call fell into the latter category. It turns out that the information he was given was wrong. The Graduate School gently informed him that they do not, as a rule, allow students to walk unless they have completed all courses. Even though he had what he thought was clearance, it was non-negotiable. He could attend the big mass ceremony at night that acknowledges the graduating students, but would not be able to walk and get individual recognition. To put it mildly, he was highly disappointed. Momma was even more upset and wanted me to call the school and straighten them out (yea, sure, they'll listen to the parent of one of their 100,000+ students - especially one who attended the rival school). As much as we wanted to help, he did not want our assistance and was going to work through the issue. Needless to say, everyone was a bit bummed but we were still planning on going up to attend the mass ceremony. So, this past Friday, he called me back late in the afternoon and told me that he had petitioned the dean of the undergrad school and they accepted his petition and he can walk with the undergrad class and get recognized for his Bachelor's Degree. He will still get his Graduate degree in July as planned, but he won't be able to walk as a Graduate Student until sometime next year. So, the roller coaster graduation ceremony is back on. We're loading up the wagons and heading north into Longhorn country. And I need a bigger bottle of scotch.

Who ever said being a parent was easy?


meleah rebeccah said...

"So, this past Friday, he called me back late in the afternoon and told me that he had petitioned the dean of the undergrad school and they accepted his position and he can walk with the undergrad class. He will still get his grad degree as planned, just won't be able to walk until sometime next year"

Okay wait....so he CAN walk the grad ceremony your 87+ year old parents are attending?


terri said...

Well I'm glad he worked out some kind of a deal, though I still don't think it's fair. Obviously he was given wrong information by someone who shouldn't have been trying to advise him on such matters.

Rock Chef said...

Well at least he managed to get some sort of compromise. I guess you can do it all over again for the Masters!

meleah rebeccah said...

You're welcome!