just another day in the life of a clueless balikbayan dad


thanks and acknowledgment to thepsychmaze.wordpress.com!

thanks and acknowledgment to thepsychmaze.wordpress.com!

[Note: Just a heads up to you Precious Reader.  My last trip home wasn’t supposed to be of the rest and recreation type, but I resolved that at least one good thing was going to come out of said trip, and my notes are below. Thanks again for the awesome help Doc Marcia & boyfriend !]

SER, MADAMI na pong transferee papuntang abroad ang humihingi sa amin, at sigurado po akong course description at hindi syllabus ang kailangan ng anak nyo, yon na po ang ipi-print ko kahit ilang subjects po yan?  Said the guy from the Office of the Registrar.

[rough translation: listen you clueless balikbayan yahoo, i process transfer documents like your daughter’s every day of my life, so just hand me your list and let me do my job intiendes? ]

Hmm… This wasn’t gonna take a 30-minute walk in the Luneta Park like you thought, Noel, I said to my  less-than-confident self.

Because daughter Ganda knew that the all-knowing Office of the Registrar apparatchiks in the so-far college-that-must-not-be-named (out of respect to Ganda) would say something like the above, she made me bring copies of course descriptions which were precisely what she didn’t need.

Sorry pero hindi nga course description ang kailangan ng anak ko, heto nga oh may dala pa ako mula nung last time na humingi sya.  Gumastos nga sya para sa wala eh.  I said.

OK lang po, pero di ko po kayo matutulungan.  Mga ganyang requirement makukuha nyo siguro sa mga kanya-kanyang faculty department, he countered right back.

So off to the various departments this hopeful clueless balikbayan dad went.

Entrepreneurship Department?  Only one professor in campus, and classes for six hours straight.  I.T. Department?  No professors since yesterday, none expected till next week.  Same with Economics Department, and professors from G.E. subjects completely unaccounted for.   Grand Total of professors who helped me: Two, including an Accounting professor who uncharacteristically stepped out of her class to help me out (maraming salamat po mam!), and a Financial Management prof who was only there because she was also a college official.  (And I’m not any less grateful mam.)

The only way I was gonna get all the precious syllabi I needed, I was told by a faculty clerk (who must’ve belonged to the same union as the registrar guy) was the last-chance saloon, and that my best hope would be the administrative office of the College of Arts and Sciences.

So off to the College of Arts and Sciences I went…

Which told me, in so many words, that they would love to help me in my desperation, as soon as I provided the necessary paperwork, school-to-school.  Requests like these needed supporting letters, and that was how things worked.  Sigh.

Only a few months ago, a friend Ganda had sent had been given the exact same runaround by this little kingdom that had its own rules and regulations.  The school  she was transferring to found it hard to believe that something as simple as course syllabi wasn’t in their college website, but still gave her a final chance to prove that she had already taken the courses that would shorten her academic load to as little as a schoolyear in her new university.  She would only need to show the actual, hard copy of subjects passed in her home country.  And that was why I was now seated on a hard bench outside the Arts and Sciences admin, wondering what to do.

Deeper Sigh.  I didn’t want to disappoint Ganda again after promising to bring home the bacon, but the official communication thing was a bit much to take.  Being at a loss as to what to do next, I decided to make use of what remained of the day, and the NBI not being too far from the U-Belt (which should give you a clue on where the school was), I went to said office to get my NBI clearance.

Because my cousin worked in a hospital near said NBI, I chanced a visit and brought her lunch.

Between spoonsful of Chao Fan, she asked me where I came from.  Off on a fruitless jaunt getting syllabi from X University I said, where Ganda her niece almost graduated before leaving for NZ.

Reeeaaallyyyyyy? said Cousin Doctor.  Turned out, on pure pure coincidence, that her boyfriend taught graduate courses at the exact same university, and was (wink-wink) thick as thieves (pardon the expression) with said X University’s Vice Dean at the (guess where?) College of Arts and Sciences.  Woohoo!

Quick SMS texts and phone calls were made, an even quicker handwritten note was hammered out by said Vice-Dean who was now my newest buddy.

I won’t say I got Ganda’s syllabi that very same day.  But I came quite close.  Let’s just say, uhm, for that school… in record time.

Meantime, we’re all crossing our fingers, but methinks we saved Ganda from having to enroll in nearly one and a half schoolyear’s worth of subjects in the University of Victoria, which, in any country, costs a pretty penny.

Which just goes to show that it pays to gamble if your doctor-cousin working across the street while you’re waiting for your NBI clearance is a girlfriend of a Vice-Dean of the school your daughter used to study in (and needs syllabi from).

Just in case.

Thanks for reading!

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