I mentioned this briefly in my last post, but this entire situation has my stomach tied itself in knots, simply because it’s so complicated and frustrating.
So– this quarter, due to some bureaucratic reasons, I found myself in a position where I didn’t have any classes to take. Well, I’m sure I could’ve filled my schedule with SOME courses, but as far as required courses were concerned, there was NOTHING my department was offering that would fulfill my course requirements. (Which is basically 2 more classes in my “track” or “specialization”).
If you’re curious to know what happened, basically, the day before classes started this quarter, 1 of my classes that I was planning to take got cancelled, since the professor had to have appendix surgery the week before Spring quarter began. The second class, I discovered on the first day of classes….was only open to this certain professor’s students. (If you know Harry Potter, it’s like the “Slug Club”)
So– basically, I ended up going to bed the night before the first day of classes in MAJOR panic mode. It was basically like getting a panic attack… before the quarter started. Not only did I not have classes I could take, but I knew that if I didn’t decide on a major professor this quarter, that I was going to have some department advisers starting to ask me questions about WHY I hadn’t decided on a major professor.
So— I started the quarter with 4 teaching units. I figured… sometime during the quarter I’d *hopefully* get units figured out. Part of me also wanted to take this quarter off completely, because I felt overwhelmed just thinking about having to register for classes. Sitting in class made me feel panicky, and I thought… if things don’t get better my mid-quarter, I’m just going to take the quarter off completely. But various departmentmates kept convincing me to “just take it easy” this quarter. So, I decided I would just “avoid” conversations with my professors about courses and picking a major professor, lest I have a MAJOR mental breakdown.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I had a sit down talk with one of the graduate advisers… in order to keep my funding (AKA TA position) I need to be registered for an average of 12 units per quarter, which is full-time status. He told me during that meeting (which was 5th or 6th week) that I needed to get units ASAP.
So I started shooting emails back and forth with the professor that I had been thinking about asking to be my major professor (the professor who will supervise my research). She agreed to be my major professor AND to let me do research units with her. (Yay)
But it’s been a LOOOONNNGGG process TRYING to get the units.
Since this professor is not actually IN my department, I’m having to get research units from outside the department. I didn’t get the correct version of the form until last Friday (end of 7th week). And I FINALLY was able to Skype with my major professor this morning and get the form sent out (this week is the 8th week of the quarter, meaning we only have 2 weeks left in the quarter to get me some units…)
Since the policies are different in the two departments, I can only get a maximum of 6 units for research. Still leaving me 2 units short of full-time. My home department doesn’t have this 6 unit maximum requirement…
And believe me, I’m trying everything I can. I’ve gone to our school’s disability center (to see if I can get medical documentation to get a lower unit amount), and I’ve been advised to talk to someone in our graduate student dean’s office to see if I can get an exception to the “unit limit” (via medical documentation). But honestly, maybe at this point, I’m just hoping for 2 “pity” units from one of the advisers in my department…
To make matters more pressing, I got an email earlier today from one of the grad advisers in our department (who had CC’d the other grad adviser, my major professor, and another professor in the department) who said our department coordinator heard from our school’s graduate studies that they are threatening to revoke my TA position for the quarter (over not having enough units).
What’s the most frustrating thing is that the department coordinator is only seeing what’s happening on paper and doesn’t know that I’ve been doing EVERYTHING I CAN, and that the process is just so frustratingly SLOW.
But department coordinator (and other grad advisers) only see that nothing (on paper) has been done to get the units… grad adviser also mentioned in the email this: “department coordinator also says that she’s emailed you about this before, but you haven’t responded to her emails“. Which is absolute BS. DC sent me ONE email about the situation, and I responded within the hour telling her that I was trying to get the situation sorted out. Pisses me off…
And it doesn’t help that I’m so stressed out over this entire situation, which is causing my intestines to just tie itself around in knots. Aa;dlkfjaad;flkalgj!!!!!!!