Friday, August 26, 2005

Late In-Person Registration, or, Let the Whining Begin...

We’re in the dreaded, feared, hated-with-the-white-hot-passion-of-a-thousand-suns late in-person registration period again.


As the dean, I’m the go-to person for students trying to get into closed sections. In other words, I am the target of whining.

“But you have to let me into that class! I’ll lose my financial aid!”

“I need that class to graduate, and my job conflicts with every other section.”

“Can you add a section? It would really help.”

“I just want something easy. Are there any, you know, bullshit classes?”

"It's not fair that I got kicked out, just because I didn't pay my bill."

“What doesn’t require any math?”

“An online class? Do I need a computer for that?”

And on, and on. The worst is the kid who shows up with his girlfriend five minutes before we shut down, wanting some impossibly baroque schedule with multiple prerequisite waivers and nothing too early in the morning, and he wants it RIGHT NOW. For whatever reason, that kid is always the most assertive of the day.

Given my druthers, I’d assign the most senior, most haughty faculty to late registration duty. Let them confront the reality of how students make the choices they make. We can have whatever high-minded discussions about academic integrity we like; the kids will make decisions based on convenience, perceived ease, and what their friends are taking.

Honestly, it isn’t as bad as it used to be. Online registration has made it easier, as the students have become (generally) more self-sufficient. (Hooray!) I hope to see us move even more strongly in that direction in the future, and we probably will. Still, for the next several days, it’s time to put on my thickest skin. Bleah.

(Judging by this post, whining is contagious. Sorry bout that.)