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April 09, 2008

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Sixth semester in a row with a 4.0. :)

I've had one every semester since I met Josh.  He's a good influence. :)

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Congratulations to my dad, my sister, and my brother-in-law for walking in the White House Relay for Life last night.  I'm so proud of you guys!

Thank you to all who donated to help them and for all of you who kept them in your prayers.

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As most of you know, I dedicated a lot of time and effort to the Honors Program during my first 5 years at Tech.  I have loved that program, regardless of the many flaws that I saw and my clashes with the leadership.  Right now, I am completely disgusted and disappointed.

At least since I came to Tech in 2001, the Honors Handbook has said that to graduate in cursu honorum (in the course of the Honors Program) you have to complete Honors 1010, 15 hours of Honors credit in classes spread across 3 disciplines, 2 Honors colloquia (interdisciplinary classes that are usually pretty cool,) full membership in the Honors Program, a 3.5 GPA and-here's the part I've always hated-2 essays, one on critical thinking and one on your developmental growth, a final resume, and an exit interview with one of the directors and an Honors professor.

It came to light a few years ago that while they've been required the essays, resume, and interview, they're not actually in the Honors Charter, which means that students don't actually have to do them.  The Honors Charter is approved by the Academic Council at Tech, and the program has to abide by it.  When we discovered that it was being violated and students were, let's face it, being LIED to about what they had to do to graduate in cursu, the Honors Council voted to change the Charter.  The change, of course, has to be approved by the Academic Council for it to actually change the requirements.  Just so you know, as of the current date, they haven't even sent it to the Academic Council.  They are still telling students that they're required to complete the essays, resume, and interviews, which again, is not true.  For the record, even if it had been passed, the ammendment notes that anyone who joined Honors before the change was enacted can choose the Charter under which they want to graduate.

One of my friends is graduating this year.  He's completed all the requirements set forth in the Honors Charter, and yet the Honors Program is trying to refuse him in cursu graduation.  First, they flat-out refused him.  This Wednesday, when he went to talk to them about it, the director told him that while the papers, etc aren't in the Charter as requirements, they're not optional.  Then, the director told him to talk to the secretary on Thursday.  Thursday, the secretary told him that he needed a signed letter from the director saying that he really was graduation in cursu, since he didn't do the interview and papers, nevermind that he doesn't actually have to.  While the director was in the office, the secretary refused to "disturb" her for this.  (Graduation is tomorrow, so this is rather important, you know?)  When my friend came back an hour later as directed, the secretary and director were both out to a "long lunch."  A quick e-mail sent to a variety of university officials fixed the problem somewhat, but the director protested that he had not completed the proper "processing."  ... What kind of processing do you have that requires 2 papers, a resume, and an interview to determine if a student has taken certain classes and has the appropriate GPA?  Anyone else think this sounds a bit shady?

I am overall extremely disappointed in the program and its leadership.  This problem certainly started with the old director who first imposed the requirements that were not listed in the Charter, but I thought that the new director had more integrity that this.  I'm not sure who exactly they think they are that they can blatantly ignore the Charter that gives them the right to even have their program on campus, but I am certain of one thing - they are going to lose this fight.  The Charter is explicit about the requirements, and my friend has fulfilled every last one of them.

For the record, neither Josh nor I intend to do the papers or interviews either.  They will certainly lose the fight then as well.

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I have one final next week on which I need a 78 to get an A.  Then, assuming I don't go to grad school, it's my last final ever!  I still have a semester of student teaching, but there, I'll be giving the exams instead of taking them.  Bwahaha!

The very end of March, I started taking some of the fitness classes over at the university gym.  I don't normally like to sweat or, well, exert myself physically, but they have been a lot of fun.  Josh tells me he can see a difference, but the important part is how different I feel.  I have more energy, and it really seems to put me in a great mood.  I feel great!  I am hungry all the time though!

In reference to the parking problems at Tech, I did get a letter back from President Bell.  He said that they regret the problems and will be looking into possible solutions.  I thought, "yeah right," but I talked to the director at the CDL, and apparently the day that I got the letter, there had already been about 6 emails from President Bell and others talking about possible solutions.  I suppose we'll see if anything will happen.

Daniel is growing like a weed.  I dropped him off in the toddler room the past two mornings.  He seems to really be thriving in there.  He doesn't cry or even fuss when I drop him off, he seems to love all of the new toys, and the majority of the other children are very sweet to him.  I'm sad that my little darling is growing up so quickly!  He's not a baby anymore; he's a little boy!  *sniff*sniff*  It's just unbelievable that he's already so big and so old.  I knew it would go by quickly, but I didn't think it'd be quite so fast!  I am so proud of him though.  I think he's going to learn a lot in the toddler room, and I'm excited to see all the new things he'll be able to say and do.

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The Pooptacular Tech Police

So, at my son's daycare on campus, there are 5 parent parking spots.  There are 65 children enrolled in the daycare, so there are some obvious problems from the start.  When you add in students, faculty, staff, and heaven only knows who else who think they should park anywhere they choose, there is a serious parking problem for parents.  The parents of the CDL were told that if our spots were full, we could park out front, so long as we displayed our parent tag and did not block the fire lane, and we would not be ticketed.

So I got a ticket last Wednesday.

I filed an appeal, and it was granted.  This does not, however, alleviate my ire.  I was told that I should park in commuter parking if I couldn't find a spot in the parent parking.  No parent should have to carry/walk their child that far away, especially if there is any sort of inclement weather.  And what exactly are the parents without a student or faculty permit supposed to do?  Drive around in circles waiting for a student to get out of class and move their car?  Ask the daycare workers to hurl their child through the classroom window into their car as they slow down?  What makes me angriest is that while all the powers that be are more than willing to admit that there's a problem, not one of them seems interested in DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.  BAH!

Now, as you all know, I am not exactly meek and mild.  I happen to be a bit snippy, perhaps mouthy.  So, like any irate mother faced with the prospect of carrying her squirming, fussing, cranky, apparently suicidal child across a busy campus street filled with college students driving in a fashion which indicates that they too experience suicidal or at least homicidal thoughts, I wrote an angry, albeit reasonably polite and tactful letter.  To whom, you might ask?

Oh, just the President of the University.

And the Vice President of University Advancement who oversees the university's relationship with the community.

And the Chief of University Police.

And the Dean of the College of Education, who oversees the Child Development Lab.

And the Director of the CDL.

As I discussed with some friends today, an angry email (which several parents have sent) says, "I'm angry right now, but not angry enough to put forth much effort! Oh, please don't delete me!"  An angry letter, though, says, "I'm angry!  I'm angry enough to type a letter, print it out, sign it, put it in an envelope, walk out to the mailbox, and pay 39 cents (x 5) to tell you how angry I am!  I'm angry enough to complain and make a right pain of myself!  BAH!"

So today, four of the five spots were filled with cars that had no parent tags.  I called the Tech police, and they obligingly sent one of their fine officers right over.  She arrived as I was pulling out with Daniel.  She looked at the first car and kept walking.  She looked at the second car and kept walking.  She looked at the third car and kept walking.  She looked at the fourth car and kept walking.  Because none of them had student hangtags, she didn't ticket them.  Nevermind that they were in PARENT SPOTS and were not in fact parents.  Apparently, in her world, only students get tickets.  By fine officer, I mean completely ineffectual, irritatingly useless, and ridiculously dumb.  I wanted to run her over with my oh-so-beautiful new Camry, but I did not wish to mar it with dents nor sully it with blood.

I suppose I could have called and complained, but I've already called them three times today, and I really don't think I could interact with them without the occurance of a moderate to serious apoplexy.

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