Recently I cracked under pressure and dropped a summer math class that would have allowed me to graduate in the fall. It was weak. I was weak. My constitution faltered.
Yet as I was sitting in five o’clock traffic listening to an NPR reporter I’ve heard a thousand times and still not learned his name, a woman with a thick Indian accent came on the airwaves.
My knuckles turned white on the steering wheel. As I lay awake at night contemplating the state of my discontent, I also realized that according to the formula set by the federal government, dropping that class also meant I might not be able to receive financial aid. The next day after a hurricane of paperwork, I was re-enrolled in the same class and back on track to academic success.
For the first time I can recall in my time as a student here, the OCCC bureaucracy helped me, instead of discouraging me from ever coming back by telling me I have to wait in that other line — again.
Then, a few days later, something even more impressive happened. I went to the Testing Center, locked my belongings in a locker, signed in, sat down in the VIP room with my test, completed it and left.
I was amazed. There were no complications or cumbersome rules that contribute nothing to security or academic integrity, as there have been in the past. There was no need to make me suffer possible kidney damage because I needed to use the bathroom but still had an unanswered question on my test. In the past, I’m guessing, the mindset was that I could possibly run into somebody with the specific information I needed or that may have pre-emptively taped notes hidden in the paper towel dispensers, somehow.
I don’t know if Financial Aid and the Testing Center had some sort of epiphany — maybe a religious experience, or is now staffed by androids but, regardless of the cause, it’s working. I had great experiences for the first time at both areas.
Thumbs up to both places for finally getting it right.