Monday, April 28, 2008

In every profession, there are unpleasant and annoying tests and hurdles. 

Today, I surmounted three of them. 

Two have to do with old college transcripts. 
The University of Texas is unkind to the average undergraduate. This undergraduate had taken on 14 hours of schoolwork in the fall of 1986. I only passed 11 of them, with a high grade of C in psychology. I was a top quartile student, most of high school.  After proving myself as a motivated biology student with a deep interest, I studied for and took the Biology AP exam. I scored a 3 out of 5 on this exam. This was not enough for me to skip the basic Bio class. It was the classic "freshman weeder" graded on a tight curve by a grad student with no interest in actually teaching.  The Russian instructor, one Rapaport (subsequently confirmed to me as a jerk by a friend of mine, colleague of his) offered me a D to leave the class. Whatever the reason, I actually liked Russian.. and made an attempt to follow up.. but life was overcome by events, namely my parents' divorce. 

Years of shame about this damned UT transcript. Later misadventures in research for the dishonest and badly managed (at the time) SMI organizational behavior company resulted in financial bars to my obtaining this transcript (I paid for access and copies for the late, dear Professor Blake with my UT ID, and was never reimbursed by the company. After they laid me off suddenly, no chance of reimbursement.) Now, in a more comfortable financial position, I took cg's advice and paid off the bars, and got my freakin' transcript. 

Now that I'm looking at it, I passed 11 hours out of 14, despite not being able to live in the house I grew up in for most of the winter. Despite my life falling completely apart. 

Now, instead of the shame, I'm kind of proud of that stupid orange transcript. I still hate UT and their monolithic, voluntary ignorance about customer service (they don't accept Visa for online payment of fees and transcripts, only Discover and Mastercard- wonder what kind of a kickback THAT took??). I would still advise against anyone going there, for any reason. Go to St Ed's, or Concordia. Don't feed the behemoth. UT just junks up traffic with useless, profitable for them only, not for the community, tax-creating, resource-devouring sports.  

It took being in a comfortable, supported, safe place for me to deal with this chunk of shame. 
It's gone. "I walked through my fear, and when I looked behind me, I saw nothing."

The third obstacle surmounted: cg guided us through nasty Balto traffic to the hidden test location (when the address doesn't match the street signs, and there are no other signs to guide you, it's hidden!) I passed the test, came home through pelting rain and malfunctioning windshield wipers on our borrowed Chevy trucklet.. paused for Thai lunch with my sweetie and some shopping.. and called Austin Community College to find out about my hours AGAIN. I had never gotten a human in all my attempts to call. 

Finally, I got a Person, and found out that I had 50 hours. 

11 hours, plus 50, is 61. I'm over the bar to become a Certified, as opposed to Registered, Massage/Bodyworking Whatever. (more on that snaff later).

One phone call and one login later, two transcripts are on the way to a conscientious but misinformed and misguided (in terms of SI) board of examiners, and I am on my way to a more productive career. 

Finally, 20 freakin' years later, something out of all that PITA. 

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