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TCL’s Accepted Students Day

Okay, so before I get into addressing the subject of this post, I just want to celebrate that this blog has officially become it’s own thingy thing.  (Yes, a thingy thing!)

The Late for Class blog now officially lives at lateforclass.net!

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Much easier to remember, right?  As somebody who’s never had a custom domain name for anything ever, this is pretty exciting stuff!  Now if only I could figure out how to grow my readership here, I’ll be on my way!  That will come in time though, I know.  I’ve downloaded some great guides on blog publishing, and as soon as I have time to really study them I’ll start integrating some of the concepts here.

Okay, so!  On Friday, I took the day off from work to attend Accepted Student’s Day at the Technical College of the Lowcountry.  It’s basically a mass orientation where they feed you breakfast, welcome you, and send you through three breakout sessions:  Technology Matters, Student Survival Guide, and a Campus Tour.

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Spoiler Alert:  I basically only showed up for the free Dunkin’ Donuts and Chik-fil-A because everything that they had to tell us were all the things I’ve spent the last 3 months figuring out on my own.  No, seriously.  And I’m not even mad about it.  I honestly kinda figured that might be the case, but I wanted to do it anyhow just in case somebody along the way dropped some new nugget of information.  They didn’t.

After breakfast in the Student Center, we moved to the auditorium for an official welcome.

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As you can see, I sat too close to the front to be able to get the whole stage in the photo.  Because I’m a nerd, and nerds is sit in the front.  #nerdlife

After a welcome from the college’s president and an explanation of how the day’s activities would work, we were sent off into our groups for the breakout sessions.  Up first for my group was the “Technology Matters” session.  The point of this session was to take folks into a library computer lab and get them set up with their WebAdvisor account, Blackboard account, and school email account… All of which are things I’ve been checking & using for a couple of months now.  So basically I spent the session getting logged into everything super fast, then sitting there feeling smug as shit for the rest of time.

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The most interesting parts of this session for me were:  (1) Finally seeing the library.  If you recall back in April, during my self-guided tour, that was the one thing I forgot to check out.  Turns out that I wasn’t missing much.  (2) Finding out the password for the student wi-fi.   Because priorities.

Next our group was moved to the “Student Survival Guide” session.  This started out okay, still no new info though.  Then it got turned over to some lady from the health sciences department, who started out by saying “Good morning” and making us say it back no less than 8 times.  Instantly I was taken back to the very worst of my high school classes.  But then it got infinitely more terrible:  She seriously fucking made us stand up and do P.E.-style calisthenics to “wake us up.”

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Now, usually I’m a happy little know-it-all joiner (seriously, don’t ever take a class with me), but I think this might be the least participation I’ve ever done in anything ever.  I literally just stood there giving this lady the stink-eye and moving my enormous body as little as I could possibly get away with.  I’m not entirely sure why it rubbed me the wrong way, but I suspect that it might have to do with being treated like an idiot high school kid.  I found myself painfully suppressing the urge to blurt out “BITCH, I AM THIRTY-SIX GODDAMN YEARS OLD.”  But I didn’t.  I just kept phoning it in and she just kept yelling out exercises.

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Eventually she did get around to delivering some actual information, but by then I was 110% done with her ass.

Then the Financial Aid lady came up and did her speech.  The same one I wrote about here who kinda blew me off when I was in her office months ago, and then did nothing with my paperwork, causing me reach out to one of the other F.A. counselors, Fernando (who is AMAZING).  So that was fun.  Again, more stuff I already knew, no timeline on when I’ll actually see my money.  Greaaaat.

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Then a few other people came up and talked about some stuff, blah blah blah whatever.  I was basically checked out at that point, none of it was new information and I seriously had to pee.

Finally we were released and I bee-lined it to the ladies room, and made it back to the lobby just as my group’s Campus Tour was starting.  It was lead by the same Work Study student who helped me in Student Records when I got my parking decal and my ID card, Imelda, and she was lovely.

Unfortunately though the tour only really consisted of the Bookstore, the Student Lounge, the Arts & Sciences building, the Tutoring Labs, the Admissions office, and the Testing Center… All places I was already familiar with.  So again, nothing new here, folks.

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And that was the end of Accepted Students Day.  Pretty anticlimactic, huh?  In fact, it probably didn’t need an entire post this long dedicated to it, but you got one anyhow.  Seriously though, the event really was well put-together and I’m sure it was very informative for most of the attendees.  I know that I’m a pretty special headcase with all of my obsessive preemptive planning and research.

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Observations:

** I fucking hate teenagers.  Don’t get me wrong, some of them were super good kids and conducted themselves really well.  But the majority of them (at least in my group) were just insufferably obnoxious.  Talking to each other during the speakers, laughing and cutting up instead of listening to the campus tour guide, fucking around on their phones, etc.  I so badly wanted to get loud and go off like, “LISTEN HERE, YOU LITTLE SHITS…”  Why?  Because I’m 36 fucking years old, and ain’t nobody grown got time for that nonsense.  Get off my lawn.

Oh, and did I mention that I recently changed my online English 101 to an actual traditional on-campus English 101?  Yeah, kinda worried about that now.  At least it’s a night class that only meets once a week, so my only hope is that it’s populated with more working adults than freshly-graduated high schoolers.  Fingers crossed.

** If I can manage to stay as far ahead of the curve in my classes as I was in these orientation sessions, I’m going to be a damn superhero student.

** This campus is really REALLY tiny.  Like, I knew it was, I mean it’s a community college.  But turns out it’s even smaller than I thought.  I’m not worried about it at all, though.  In fact, it’s probably a good thing.   I just wish the library hadn’t been so underwhelming as that was the part I was most excited to see.  But they swear that they have access to a lot more than what’s in their stacks, and also to tons of online materials.  We shall see!

** I really am just a nerdy grumpy old lady.

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I’m Official, Ya’ll!

So back on this post here, I shared what I believed to be the end of an email exchange with my Financial Aid counselor, Fernando.  Much to my surprise, I heard back from him again on Tuesday:

Billie, sorry for the late reply. I was out on vacation and just came back today. Billie, call me Fernando. 🙂

Ok, you can still pick up your ID and parking decal, as far as we are concerned you are an admitted student. Registering for courses is proof of that. You should be able to get your stuff from student records.

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Hmm.  Well, that’s fascinating!

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I’ve been following TCL’s online step-by-step guide to enrolling, and it lead me to believe that I couldn’t be officially admitted or obtain my student ID or campus parking decal until after my classes were paid for.  So yesterday after work, I swung by the Admissions office and chatted a bit with the woman at the front desk.

She agreed with me that it’s ridiculous that I applied back in April for Financial Aid to begin in the Fall and still haven’t gotten my package.  I did ask her what students who haven’t received their package by the first day of class typically do, and she said sometimes they will sign up for TCL’s Student Payment Plan just to give themselves more time for their Aid to come in.

The plan costs an initial $35 to enroll in, and then you have until October 4th to pay for your Fall semester tuition (instead of having to be paid-in-full prior to the first day of the semester, August 16th).  Which I hadn’t even considered, so I’m glad to know that’s an option for me.

On the other hand, should it come down to that then I will probably have to put my books and supplies on a credit card and just pay it off as soon as my aid comes in.  But that will have to be a last resort, as it’s something I’m truly hoping to avoid. I only recently began working on repairing and rebuilding my awful credit history (look at me, adulting all over the place these days!), so the interest rate on my card is pretty fucking heinous.

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I also shared with the Admissions lady what Fernando’s email said.  She confirmed that because I’ve already registered for classes (like two months ago), I am considered enrolled and could go ahead and get my stuff.  Wait, what?!  So across the hall I went to Student Records, and handled some business.

Check it out… I’m officially a college student again, ya’ll!

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I am very excited about this!  And for real, though… I can’t wait to start using that ID card for sweet discounts around town.  (Example: There was a concert recently I thought about going to, but it was $30 full price… and only $12 for students with ID.)

As for Financial Aid, I figure I’ll give it until a couple weeks before the semester starts before I get loud again.  If I still haven’t heard anything more from my dawg Fernando by August 1st, I just might hafta to pop up in his office and introduce myself.

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