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Sign here, please

Surely I’m not the only one here who went to a fairly big college before the mid-90s.

How many of you remember registration?

Until UVA discovered telephone registration etc. (before the Dark Times…before the WWW) they had big, fat, in-person registration.  In the basketball stadium.  Eeeeevery year.  Come, join the other 15,000 students at this university in all the fun!  Stand in this line, sign your student loan forms.  Stand in that line, sign your dorm agreement.  Hop over here, sign your form and turn over your loan check to the Bursar’s Office.  Stand in this other line, sign your wait what does this mean “eternal soul in perpetuity to Beelzebub and/or his heirs or assigns?”

I did that last night, basically, just in a smaller gym.  For my son’s new school.  He’s going into fourth grade.  I mean, really – we couldn’t have signed all those damned forms earlier?  Downloaded them and mailed them in?  Hell, they’ve already made the first automatic withdrawal of his tuition, they really needed me to come in and sign a form at this table, move to the next, sign a form at that table, and then write a couple of checks along the way?  I knew Catholics were into ritual, but sheesh.

Speaking of which, our packet also had some big ol’ highlighted blanks they wanted filled in.  For example, Dys had left “work phone” blank.  She works at home, after all.  Nope, they need it spelled out.  Fine.  But under my column there was a nice blank that said “Religion.”  Heh.  Actually that had been the subject of a brief discussion between us when we filled out the form originally.  “Hah!  So, honey, what do you want to put down for you under religion?”  After discussing “ex-Southern Baptist,” “Taoist,” “Militant Agnostic,” “Benign Nihilist,” etc. I finally told her to put down “None.”  She recoiled.  “I think I’d rather leave it blank than write “None.”  “Fine, do what you like,” I said.

Last night, she rolled her eyes at my told-you-so and wrote “None.”  But not before calling the attention of her friend at the table so she could also get a laugh out of someone asking ME what my religion is.

I’m so sad I didn’t think at the time to write “ROCK AND ROLL, MAN!!!!!”


As a postscript, after all the work picking out this school last year, we started hearing rumors late in the spring that this school’s small “North campus” (where Boy will be) and the “South campus” will merge next year.  Last night, we heard a lot more of those rumors saying “Done deal” – and quite a bit of circumstantial evidence to confirm them.  You know, unless the fact that one principal is gone and the other is now in charge of both campuses is just a coincidence.

So the bad news is, after a year at a new school with (larger than before but still relatively)  small class sizes, Boy will likely be moved to another school with larger class sizes.

The good news is, the “South campus” is about half a mile from home.  (The class size was the only reason we sent him to the other.)  And, while he’ll be uprooted and be in turmoil, he’ll at least be going through the same thing with a dozen or so of his classmates, so hopefully they can lean on each other.

Sheesh.  Wake me when he gets to grad school, eh?


4 Responses

  1. 1. I have NEVER had to do registration like that. What a fucking nightmare. And hell, even if my alma mater had tried to do in-the-gym registration (I do remember a hellish in-the-gym career fair that was like that, shudder), there were only 3,000 of us. Not 15,000. How on earth did they make order out of such a mess?

    By breaking down the lines, of course.


    You see where I’m going with this.

    2. I would have loved to see the reactions of people who read the forms if you’d written “ROCK AND ROLL!!”. But of course you wouldn’t be able to see them either.

    Still, what a lost opportunity.

    3. “In turmoil”? No offense intended to you or to Dys, but for heaven’s sake, he’s just going to be changing locations, and combining classes with some other kids. I’m betting the curriculum, teachers, and many other things will be exactly the same. Special needs or no, kids are resilient, and he will be FINE.

    Point taken.

    I’d be pretty pissed about all the work done to pick out This Exact School and then have it changed up on me, though. Sucks.

    Damn skippy. We liked that principal, too. 😦

  2. I went off to college way back in ’88 and my first school was Auburn. So yes, I know this registration hell of which you speak. Even worse was the Florida State register-by-phone-but-don’t-even-expect-to-get-the-class-you-wanted system.
    Thank God I’m now so entrenched in the college system through work and all the damn classes I’ve taken, I practically have a degree in registering for classes.
    I think I’d like to join your Rock & Roll religion, please. Just think – we start this religion and we can kiss paying taxes bye-bye!

    Yep, the registration by phone sucked, but it beat the hell out of standing in those lines IMHO.

    Up with rock and down with taxes? Hmm. You may just be onto something there.

  3. OMG, my college had a lottery system for classes. They posted this giant board that had every day of the year spelled out on it, and a randomly generated number next to it. That was your lottery number. If you got a number less than 100 you had it made. You could pick any class you wanted. If you were in the 200s you were screwed, b/c all the good classes/times were taken by the people 100 or less. But if you were over 300 there was hope that other sections would open up. Then you had to go in person on your lottery number’s day and try to wedge yourself into your classes. You needed plan B and plan C depending on how the lottery treated you.

    That is downright sadistic. Damn.

    But it was the failure of the telephonic reg system that got my husband kicked out of URI the second of 3 times he was kicked out of that joint. He dropped the class. The telephonic reg told him he dropped it. But he really wasn’t dropped and he failed b/c he stopped going b/c he thought it was dropped.

    You know, I think I know someone else that happened to! Annoying as all hell.

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