So I went to school yesterday.
(pause for applause)
For those of you who don't know, I'm almost finished with my MFA in creative writing (fiction) from SDSU. Yesterday I went down there to get a few signatures, hand in a few forms, and generally take care of business.
That last sentance makes it sound like a quick easy jaunt, but I was really dreading the trip, because:
a) it's forty minutes away
b) its hot and sticky near El Cajon
c) it's a big campus
d) I had to take Lucy
e) It was the first day of classes, so there were tons of people and limited parking
f) I don't have a parking pass
g) everytime I figure out the form I need to complete, sign and hand in, I discover three more forms I didn't know about that need obscure signatures and/or fees. They all go to different offices! Which are located across the really large campus!
The day didn't start out terribly well, since I ignored the "Oil Warning" light that went on in the car. Upon arriving at SDSU, I checked the manual, only to discover that the light I ignored means "Stop the car immediately! Add oil, you lazy nincompoop! Do not pass Go! Do not collect $200!"
Then I realized that the carefully written and double-checked itenerary I'd written up for myself (with room numbers, names, and everything I had to get done that day if I didn't want to make another trip) was--surprise!--still at home.
But the good news is: that was as bad as it got.
I found the lovely professor who agreed (sight unseen) to be on my thesis committee. She's a mom, too! She cooed at Lucy!
I joined the welcome lunch for new MFA students and got to meet a few. I saw my two favorite professors. They cooed at Lucy! I saw old friends. They, too, cooed at Lucy!
Then I took a break from the good vibes and walked all the way across the heat-baked campus, Lucy strapped to my hip, lugging a diaper bag, to the 7-Eleven. Where I bought a quart of motor oil. Then I schlepped back.
Then I met with my advisor. And got necessary signatures.
And handed in my forms to the department. They processed them while I waited so I could register for one thesis class right away! (Remember, this is a state-run beuraucracy, people! I didn't think they did Jiffy-anything. But the lovely woman there remembered my nervous phone call complaining about my childcare situation and long commute, and busied herself for me.)
Then I went to the Graduate and Research Affairs office to hand in my other thesis form (with my committee member signatures). I was most nervous about this one, since the website says to get the thesis form done "well before registration".
Registration was a month ago. Yesterday was the first day I could meet with my committee chair. Take that, Graduate and Research Affairs!
There was no line. The woman checked over my form and said they'd email me when it was processed. And that I could get the info I needed to register over the phone.
You mean, I didn't have to go to campus again? You mean it would actually be convenient?
All through this, Lucy was extremely winning and cute and completely good-natured about being dragged around the campus. She sat in her stroller part of the time, and in the sling the rest. She smiled at strangers. She flapped her arms.
Finally, I went back to the parking structure, where I hadn't gotten a ticket! And put the quart of motor oil into the car, and the warning light went away!
On the way home, I got a Coke Slurpee to celebrate our triumph.
This morning, I opened my email and found: an email from Graduate and Research Affairs. Saying my form had been processed and that I could register.
Gosh, I think I'll stop accusing SDSU of being un-Jiffy.
I wonder if they do oil changes?