Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not Quite Enough...

This week has had many ups and downs.  For instance, I have done very well on my two tests this week, achieving A's on each one.  On the other hand I have found out that the job I was counting on for the summer has disappeared.  The door is open for work during the semester, but at this point I am not interested.  The worst news came at about 4pm today, when I received a call from the Dean of Students.  He informed me that because I transferred 11 credits into Pitt and have earned "only" 54 while there for my two year stint, I (even though I have a killer QPA of 3.982) will not be honored at graduation nor on my diploma with Suma Cum-Laude Distinction.  Due to University policy I would have to have earned 60 credits in order to receive this distinction.

Mind you, I have busted my butt to earn these grades, and have been told for a year that I would graduate with Most High Honors.  What an extreme disappointment to find out that for all that hard work I receive NO formal recognition.  I have worked at the University for 2 years, 20 hours per week during the school year and 40 hours per week over the summer.  I have really worked hard and deserve this recognition.

I have met with the Registrar and was told he could do nothing because it is University policy.  I have met with the Vice President/Dean of Academic Affairs, and he of course reiterated what I was told at the Registrar.  Tomorrow I meet with the President of the University.  I do not know what to expect there, but I pray I will get a different response.  I hope I can convince them to waive this policy and allow me the honor to receive the recognition I am due.  If I get no joy from the President, I am left with my final option in the chain of command.  I will then meet with the Chancellor of the University and see if he will have compassion for this non-traditional student.

I feel it important to mention that all of the individuals I have spoken to have been very empathetic to this situation, and while they feel bad, their hands are tied by policy they have no ability to undo.  The assured me that if this was something that was within their power they would help me the best they could.  Once again, if the right people ruled the world...  Nonetheless, I am most appreciative of their compassion for me in this time.  They are well aware of my work and my grades, as I have interacted with them not only as a student but on a professional level as well.  I just believe there has to be a way for me to get the credit I am due.

I realize it is just a piece of paper and words printed on it.  What matters most is the experience I have had and the grades should speak for themselves.  The problem I have is I bought all this regalia to showcase my smarts, i.e. honor cords and stoles.  Without them announcing my distinction as Suma Cum-Laude will have me looking a bit foolish with all my garb on.  So the question is, do I wear it?

For now I close.  Tomorrow is a new day with new challenges.  The way I see it, they should waive this policy.  I will have to let you know later, how it is.....

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