Saturday, April 28, 2007

Personal: College, the most recent eight years of my life

I entered RPI in 1999 as an Information Technology major. I had a co-op (like an internship, but I get paid) on Wall Street from January to July of 2001. That taste of what it was like to really work probably spoiled my interest in college. Eventually, things went sour (partly my fault, but also because my student ID number must be a particularly unlucky one). They changed the I.T. curriculum, and the "discipline" (the equivalent of a minor in the I.T. department) I chose as a freshman no longer existed. It was "software usability". Why that got canned, I'll never know.

In the late Spring of 2005 (after failing to meet graduation requirements for a second time) I changed my major to Computer Science, and suddenly, everything was within my grasp. I was a mere 13 credits short. I took a summer course, dropping the credit gap to 9. Then I moved down to the Princeton area and started working. In the Summer of 2006, I took a night course at Rutgers. 4 more credits completed, 5 to go!

I intended on taking a night course in the Fall. Unfortunately, Summer students don't have the same status as normally-enrolled students, so it turns out I would have had to apply for admission for a Fall course before I'd even registered for the Summer course. And when I did apply for admission in the Spring of 2007, I was told to fill out the wrong forms: I was accepted as a transfer student! That meant I still had 90 credits!

I got the problem worked out: I'm a visiting student, completing another night course... the final is in two weeks. However, that didn't stop RPI from trying to rain on my parade. On March 8th, they sent me a letter saying I'm ineligible for graduation candidacy because I'm missing 13 courses. What? 13 courses you say? A whole 52 credits? After two emails to the registrar's office (the first of which they never replied to) I was told I was only 5 credits short. Subtract from that the 4 I'm completing right now, and we're in business.

My petition to walk at commencement in May has been accepted, so my parents and my Kristin will be there to watch and take pictures. Kristin, who already has two degrees to her name and is starting her Doctorate this Fall. I won't say she hasn't been a goad nag inspiration to me.

I will be walking across the dais at RPI in less than a month, with a single solitary credit -- get this, a free elective -- to complete. So I'll be taking my first actual religion course, a study of the New Testament at Rutgers. Something to whet my appetite and fulfill my degree requirements. And then I can put all that behind me and get started with my married life to Kristin.

We're getting married June 23rd, a mere month after my "graduation" (since I'll still be a credit short). We've found an apartment big enough for all her stuff us, right near where the train station (for her benefit) and my office (for mine). That's going to be a whole other ordeal, though, since my current lease expires the day we get back from our honeymoon, and our new apartment isn't available until the middle of our honeymoon. But that's getting worked out. Thank God for that.

2 comments:

Milly said...

God bless your new path!

Gretchen said...

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. My marriage has been particularly blessed, and I pray the same for yours. Regarding college: alas, I never finished...to my everlasting regret. I've become a rabid autodidactic as a consequence, but it's not the same as studying under the discipline of a major. I hope to finish when the kids graduate from high school. So glad to know you're 99 percent there!