Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tales of Bangor #3 - Registration Marathon

As I'm in an English-speaking country it might not be surprising that the use of this language is continually growing more natural to me. My blog will therefore be bilingual, depending on my daily mood. I hope you don't mind. (If you do, ignore the English posts.)

Today's Story:
At the general Erasmus meeting yesterday we'd been told that our task for today would be to register for the modules (i.e. courses) we want to take this term. The University of Bangor is a little bit oldfashioned in this respect: Instead of the easy online registration we had to go to every department seperately. (Which nobody minded because this way we'd meet other people.)

So, together with Miriam and Christine (two of the German girls who are also studying English) I set out to find the correct room for registering for courses organised by the "School of English". Christine and Miriam had been talking about having received emails that told them what courses were available to Erasmus students and that they'd already pre-registered. Of course they got me all confused with their talk: Why hadn't I got that mail? But no need to panic.... yet.

We all sit down and the responsible person of said department walks in:
"In the past two weeks you have all received an email with the relevant forms from me...
I put my hand up.
"I'm sorry, but I didn't receive any emails whatsoever..."
"Alright...... Anybody else who didn't get any emails from me?"
6 or 7 people (out of about 15) put their hands up. That surprises him. We're asked to move to the side of the room, feeling like criminals - to be dealt with later.

By the time Mr. P. finished explaining things to the "ordinary" people, I had worked out the reason for my (and the other outcasts') special status: We were actually not registered with the "School of English". I am in fact registered with the "School of English Language and Linguistics". Duh. Why do they seperate English Literature and English Language?? Im not used to that kind of distinction und therefore not ashamed of my mistake - could happen to anyone - obviously. Moreover, I want to do a literature course in addition to the - probably rather dry - linguistics stuff anyway, so I'm not in the wrong place at all. When finally Mr P turns to address us lot I put up my hand again (to explain my - and the others' - mistake)...

and again (to ask if it's possible to take modules here in addition)....

and once more ....


Because I'm a nag. And I don't give in before I get what I want.... sometimes. And what I want is to be taken on a course that's already full and therefore not available to Erasmus students. Anyway, it can't hurt to ask.

While Mr P leaves us in order to find out if he can register us special cases, I go and see the lady from the school of "English Language and Linguistics" to sort out my other courses. This appears to be no problem - she just signs without asking any further questions.

Back at the "School of English" Mr P tells us special ones that he's got good news: We are allowed to register for courses at his department. However, the only courses available are the ones on the list. ...

Guess what...

Yes.... I did...

Ask again, that is.

I'd really like to take the course on Welsh Writing in English. I can't do that at the Austrian Uni, you see. So... If it's somehow possible....

As I said: I'm persistent. And - to my own surprise - not even ashamed of it. By the end of this week everyone will probably know my name....

Surprisingly, Mr P was really kind and, instead of turning me down at once (as would have happend at Uni Vienna), or shouting at me for being such a nuisance, or ignoring me, offered to speak to the responsible lecturer. He bade me, however, choose an alternative course for the extremely likely case that I'd not be taken on.

Content with this interim solution I set out on my next mission: To find a mug capable of holding more than 200ml of tea and a chair that would enable me to sit at my desk and thereby give it a purpose other than just as a deposit for stuff I didn't know where else to put down.
After a while I found the former in a charity shop (a pink mug ... the only one available. It seems this is gonna turn into a pink-themed semester... Anyway, it's really big and was cheap and that's all I care for.) and the latter in some kind of jumble-sale:-we've-got-everything-you've-never-been-looking-for-shop. The helpful woman at first denied that she had chairs for sale but on second thought produced a fold-up plastic chair from behind a curtain. Judging from the dust on its plastic cover it had spent most of its life there... I took pity and bought it: Serves it's purpose and for 10 pounds it was just within my budget.
Happy with my new possessions I walked home (seems weird to call it that) and rearranged my furniture.

When I finally turned on my laptop I was thrilled to find a mail from Mr P in my Bangor account, telling me that - against all odds - I'd been accepted in the already full literature course. Amazing!

Conclusion: If you want something, ask for it! (If need be, more than once.) They might always say no, but at least you'll have tried.


The Plashing Vole said...

English-speaking country? Welsh-speaking! Walisisch?

It's a great course and university - I hope you enjoy it. You'll like Professor Brown.

Kristina said...

Walisisch ist korrekt :).

Well... as I don't speak Welsh (yet) Wales is still an English-speaking country from my perspective (as a contrast to German).

May I just ask how you came across my blog? I'm astonished that sb besides my friends reads it. (And deeply honoured - thanks for commenting!)

David said...

*haha* Die Masche muss ich bei Bedarf mal bei den Pädagogen probieren - deren Kurse sind, wie du ja leider weißt, immer überfüllt und unzureichend angeboten... :/ Mal schauen, ob die mit sich reden lassen XD