Wednesday, April 10, 2013

almae matres

I went on quite a jaunt today, only to discover that I didn't need to do so. First, I drove to Georgetown University, my first alma mater, where I performed the world's most awesome parallel-parking job at the back of campus, near Saint Mary's dorm. I walked over to the White-Gravenor Building and, sweaty from the walk in 80-degree heat, filled out a transcript request in the registrar's office. Was told it would take two business days to process the request, after which the transcript could be either picked up or mailed. Not keen on driving all the way out to DC again later this week, I elected to have the document mailed to me. While on campus, I took a picture of a fairly new statue of Saint Ignatius Loyola, ex-warrior and founder of the contemplative/scholastic Jesuit order that runs Georgetown. I also took a stroll inside the ICC Building (ICC = Intercultural Center), feeling a bit lost and behind the times.

I then drove across town to Catholic University, my graduate alma mater. I had forgotten where Enrollment Services was located, so I asked for directions at the library. Once oriented, I sweatily made my way to the basement office (at Georgetown, the registrar's office is also in the basement) and was informed that in-person requests are no longer accepted for official transcripts: most requests are performed online, thus requiring a user name and password. I was told to dial an on-campus number; a nice lady at the other end said that a particular technician was not in, so I'd have to wait for her office to call back. While I was walking back to my car, the lady called back with a user name and password, but I had nothing with which to write any of the info down (I don't trust my smart phone to stay connected if I switch away from a phone call to type notes in an email window). So I had to memorize the name and password, which I dutifully did. Gonna put in that transcript request this evening.

So this was a quick trip down Memory Lane for yours truly, but as it turned out, the cancer of bureaucracy had sunk so deeply into both campuses that in-person transcript requests—and instantaneous service—are now things of the past. The whole process is now perfectly faceless, perfectly streamlined, perfectly inhuman. There's good and bad in that.


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