Life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls. When I was in high school, I considered applying to UC, but then I visited CWRU and discovered Biomedical Engineering, so I gave up on my plans to study Architecture. (Actually, I was considering Architectural Engineering, which is somewhat different-- Less emphasis on funky-looking buildings, more emphasis on buildings remaining standing over the long haul. As a campus, UC seems to prefer "funky-looking" over "remaining standing" so I'm not sure how much I would have enjoyed that program anyway.)
Luckily, UC has a branch campus just a mile from my house, so that's where I'm going to be taking classes. I took Friday afternoon off of work to go register for classes, and the process was pretty much what I expected it to be:
ENROLLMENT: "Are you matriculating into a program of study, or just taking classes? Fill out this form and turn it in at Station 4."
STATION 4: "Here is your temporary ID number. You can use it to register for classes on-line. You can use the computers over there if you want to register now."
WOMAN WITH THE DESK CLOSEST TO THE COMPUTERS, aka FLIBBERTIGIBBET: "No, that's not a valid student ID number. You can't use that to register on-line. Well, yes, it's a temporary ID number, but I just heard that those numbers don't become active in the computer system for 24-48 hours. Oh, I see. Well, since the class has just one opening left, I suppose I can help you get registered now. Fill out this form and give it back to me."
FLIBBERTIGIBBET, TAKE 2: "The computer is saying that both of those classes are now full, so someone else must have registered for that Biology class in the last few minutes. You can either try to register for different sessions, or you can try to get the professors to sign an override form. OK, well, write those other class numbers on the form, and give it back to me."
FLIBBERTIGIBBET, TAKE 3: "I can register you for the Sociology class, but the Biology class is full. Well, they might be willing to give you an override, but that's really up to them. I can't make any promises. The contact information for professors is on-line. Do you know the One Stop website address? Well, here it is. Go to this menu, then this menu, then this menu, and there they are. No, I don't think they'll be in their offices this afternoon, given that it's a break period between Summer and Autumn terms. Ok, well, good luck."
BIOLOGY PROFESSOR'S OFFICE: "Do not enter. This building is closed for renovation."
SOCIOLOGY PROFESSORS'S OFFICE: "I am out of the office until sometime in September. If you need to reach me, leave a voicemail message."
Getting shut out of classes completely is a new experience for me, and I realized how lucky I had been to go to a smaller school, where registration was fairly easy, or at least I don't remember ever having to get an override from a professor at Case. On the other hand, I entered Case a year after Adelbert burned, so all of the student services had been farmed out to various buildings around campus. There was always a run-around at the beginning of the year that went something like, "Go to Baker to pick up the course listings. Go to Building A to register. You can't register because you haven't paid all your tuition up front. If your parents are paying on an installment plan, you have to get a memo signed by the Cashier's Office in Building B. Go back to Building A to register. Go to Building C to sign up for points for your food plan, but only during the right hours. Go to Thwing to buy your books." So at least at this branch of UC, everything was located in one office, which made the experience relatively painless, and Flibbertigibbet was friendly and helpful.
SIDEBAR: I can't remember the names of the buildings that housed Registration and the Cashier's Office now. I just went to CWRU website to check the map of campus, and those buildings are no longer there. (I think they may have been two ends of the same building, but I clearly remember that you had to outside to get from one place to the other.) Baker building is gone now too, which is not such a tragedy, because the buildings weren't anything special-- Baker in particular was blight in a circa-1960's "modern" style --and they obstructed the views between Case quad and the classic (and proudly rebuilt) Adelbert Hall, not to mention foot traffic from North campus. But it does make me feel a bit older to know that places that I remember are now gone forever.
Anyway, I left voicemail messages for both professors, but then later on I realized that there was another Biology class that (a) sounded more interesting to me, (b) wasn't full and closed, and (c) might fulfill my prerequisite requirements for Ethics as well as Biology, so I signed up for that one instead. And it sounds like the professor is going to let me into the evening session of the Sociology course, so all's well that ends well.
And now I'm a Bearcat, just like my husband, my dad, and several of my friends. Life's funny sometimes.