Graduation Hurdles: A Dialogue

Part One:

Me: Hi! I have my graduation paperwork for my minor to signed.

Office aide: Great, I’ll leave it for Professor [Redacted].

Me: Thanks! (leaves office)

*phone rings on elevator ride down*

Me: Hello?

Office aide: Yeah, your paperwork is incomplete. You need your unofficial transcript and a personal statement.

Me: But I didn’t need that for my major paperwork!

Office aide: Professor [Redacted] won’t sign anything until you bring it all in.

Me: Seriously?! Ugh, fine.

Office aide: We apologize for the inconvenience.

Part Two:

I had to ditch a class to make it to my Portuguese advisor’s office hours to get my minor paperwork signed. It feels like a defeat because Portuguese was supposed to be my second major. However, SJSU’s jungle gym of bureaucratic obstacles killed that idea last spring after I had already committed myself to staying an extra year to get that second major. Not that I hold it Professor Adão: she did all she could to make it happen for me. Instead, she soothes my calm nerves and signs my pile of paperwork (minor form, substitution forms for all the independent studies classes I took) so I can take it to the foreign language office for the chair, Professor [Redacted], to sign.

I don’t even want to see him. He tried to talk me out of a second major, talk me out of grad school, and then didn’t lift a finger to help when I decided that’s what I wanted anyway. I wouldn’t even be surprised if some of the hurdles I had to jump were his doing. Portuguese is only a minor at SJSU, but the World Languages and Literatures department website said (up until I started asking) that a special major could be provided if a student took extra classes and built an approved program.

Professor Adão gives me a hug as I rise to go and she sees the paperwork trembling in my hands. I make my way to the World Languages office, make small talk with the office aide, and internally cheer as I walk out, the last hurdle between me and graduation nearly overcome.

So, you’ll imagine my dismay when I pick up the phone and realize it’s the WLL office. “But I didn’t need that for my major paperwork!” You know, the important part of graduation.

“Professor [Redacted] won’t sign anything until you bring it all in,” the (probably overworked at this crucial time of year) office aide replies.

But I’m livid. Professor [Redacted] STILL WON’T STOP GETTING IN MY WAY. “Seriously?! Ugh, fine,” I snarl into my iPhone, nearly knocking over a girl as I stomp out of the elevator. I don’t even listen as the poor aide tries to offer an apology. Instead, I hang up, just needing to lash out at someone.

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