MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

It's time for "GeekBack" boys and girls!

To explain what I mean by this, I need to go back to my old Slashdot journal. "GeekBack" is a lot like Slashdot's "SlashBack" article topic, where I revisit and update ongoing stories. Today we have two updates, one good, one not so good.

First, it looks like Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 will indeed be in theatres before the November 2nd elections. In fact, it's coming to theatres possibly as early as the end of this month. The coalition of cable channels, theatrical distributors and other companies to facilitate this release is nothing short of amazing. I have a link for details to The Hollywood Reporter right here.

Second, on a more personal note, it looks like I am going to have further battles with Los Angeles Valley College Financial Aid, this time over the need to take math a bit more slowly than originally intended. Because of the fact that I had a lot of credits on my transcript from 20 some odd years ago when I was in college the first time, I had to formulate an educational plan before they could even consider me for financial aid. This was in August of last year.

For a bit of a refresher on the whole process, here are some links:

Journal entry for July 31st, 'Good news, bad news'
Journal entry for August 13th, 'Fully booked...'
Journal entry for August 18th, 'Two steps forward, one step back'
Journal entry for August 25th, 'The appeal has been submitted'
Journal entry for September 3rd, 'Putting away the begging bowl...'

What Financial Aid is now saying is that I need to do two things: narrow down my educational goal from both getting my Associate of Arts degree and transferring to a four-year University to either one or the other; and have Disabled Student Services resubmit my educational plan in light of the newly-diagnosed Math-related learning "difference." These things must be done by June 8th, or I might lose my eligibility for Financial Aid for the entire 2004-2005 school year.

This may mean having to choose between getting my AA and some closure on my LAVC adventures from 1980-1983 and 2003-present and transfering to Woodbury University, which looks like the 4-year University where I will end up doing my upper division work towards my BA. If pressed, the choice is a no-brainer...transfer or bust. An Associates' degree is nigh-meaningless in the Real World. All the AA would mean to me is that I finally finished what I started on the Community College level. It would mean also that I would officially be able to call myself an LA Valley College alumni. The Baccalaureate is more's meaningful to the outside world, and it's the true "next step" I have to take in my eventual goal of getting my teaching credentials.

The educational plan stuff I have to submit has to do with the 2003-2004 school year that I am now winding up, not anything for 2004-2005. Huh? All they have to do is pull up my transcript to see that 2003-2004 looks like this:

Fall '03
Math 112 -- Incomplete
History 11 -- A
Speech 101 -- A
Health 11 -- A

Winter '04
Child Development 1 -- A

Spring '04
History 86 -- (unknown but at least passing)
PE 630 -- A
Education 203 -- A
Philosophy 20 -- (likely) A
Learning Skills 40 (diagnostic for LD) -- Credit (CR/NCR course)

So there you have it. Aside from the Incomplete on Math 112, which I intend to finish for grade this Summer, and the still fluid situation with History 86 and the case of the old-timer Prof who should have retired years ago, I have been getting straight As across the board. I have been busting my hump and getting excellent results...all except in the math department. This is decidedly NOT a replay of 20 some-odd years ago when I didn't take any of this stuff seriously and kind of drifted from Journalism course to Photography course without any attantion to "Solids" courses. All the stuff I have taken from Fall '03 on out have been 100% "Solids."

Let me put on my tinfoil hat and "speculate beyond the data" about what might be going on here. Thanks to our wonderful usurper Governor Ah-nold Schwarzenegger, lots of deserving students out of High School are getting pushed away from the University of California and/or the Cal State University system to the Community College system to do their lower-division units. They are guaranteed a place in the UC or CSU system if they complete their lower-division units satisfactorily. This puts pressure on the Community College System, in my case, the Los Angeles Community College District, to get rid of what would seem on the surface to be higher-maintenance students who are not conforming to their views of where a student like me should be in my position. Budgets are tightened up so tight that they are ready to burst at the ends like an overstuffed sausage. So the "edge cases" need to be "cleaned up" and off the student rolls.

My record since Fall 2003 speaks for itself. I am not a slacker amusing myself with classes in underwater basket weaving and the history of women in film. I am dead serious about my education, I am taking "solids" courses, and I want to come to, to use a turn of phrase my mother used when she gave her ultimatum that led me to drop out of college the fist time "come to an endgame" with my studies in the LA Community College District. Some of the courses I am taking are not courses I would choose to take if I was not wanting to receive my AA. For example, the requirements imposed on AA candidates include taking a Phys Ed course and a course in "Healthy Living." Done and done. Both with A grades.

I have even taken the time to petition the Graduation Department to have two units of crap taken off my record. Academic Renewal, isn't it cool? That F and that No Credit grade...whoosh! Gone. After examination of the Fall catalog, it looks like I can also get Withdrawals taken off my transcript that date back from 1981 and earlier. I intend to take advantage of that...W units used to not count at all, but now they do. I want to take every opportunity to "look good on paper" for the admissions department at Woodbury.

Anyway, if I have to make the choice between an AA and transferring, I will wave bye-bye to LA Valley College and get on with my academic career as soon as I can. I would have prefered it if I could have gotten up on that podium with cap and gown and gotten my sheepskin from good ole LAVC, but all rah-rah sis-boom-bah aside, it is no big deal in the ultimate scheme of things.