Thursday, March 16, 2006


Life is a rollercoaster.

It especially has been over the last week. I was all sorts of confused & didn't know what was going to happen. It seemed out of control, even when I tried oh so hard to make things work.

If you didn't know, I've been doing grad school part time. Before you get your hopes up, it's just a graduate certificate, not a MS degree. It consists of taking 5 classes, on the topic of digital signal processing. So far, I've gotten 2 A's, and I'm waiting for my grade for the class I recently completed. Two classes left and, BAM, a graduate certificate. Oh, by the way, if I'm so inclined, I can directly apply these 5 classes to a MS degree, which only leaves 6 classes left for me to take. Mind you I said "if."

Last week, I was frantically calling people. Last class, we had only 8 students -- WPI barely breaks even for holding the course. One of my classmates wasn't going to be allowed by his management to take the class, but luckily one of my former classmates was stepping up to the plate again. Okay, we're back to 8 students. The catch is that WPI administrators that we worked with promised the rest of WPI that "it wouldn't happen again" -- meaning only having 8 students. Luckily, we recruited one more student to bump the class up to 9.

Thursday night, we get an email saying that the class will actually be run. Relief. It made my weekend much more relaxing knowing that the class was happening.

Okay, Monday this week. I put my official tuition assistance request in. I run off to another facility that the company has to meet with the people I work with. I come back with about an hour and a half before the class & I find that my functional manager has rejected my request. He won't pay for it. He doesn't have it in his budget. Mind you, he gave me verbal confirmation earlier in the year that I could take 3 classes this year. I was not thrilled & didn't hide it as well as I could have. He said he was sorry, too bad it didn't feel like he meant it at all. Back down to 8 students in the class. No wait! Only 7 because someone else in the class is in my department. Oh yeah, and the fact that 7 other students in this company were getting screwed "wasn't his responsibility."

The WPI rep that's been coordinating everything gets here. I told her that 2 of us didn't have funding. She freaked out 'cause there was no way the class could run. The other 7 students in the class weren't happy 'cause at least half of them are pursuing degrees & this would put them a semester behind. I had given up on the whole situation. They decided to rally together & write a letter (email) to all of our functional managers explaining the situation to try & get money. Oh, and it also got sent to one of the presidents of the company as well (we have a lot of them).

I saw the letter first thing Tuesday morning. The letter was really good, explaining the situation. A couple of things were flat out wrong. But that last paragraph, oh boy. I find out afterwards that it was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek thing, but it more came across as an ultimatum. So we're freaking out 'cause it got sent to so many people in the company. A while later there's an email from the guy who sent the email saying that the president called him into the office ASAP & said that he wouldn't stop until they found money for us.

Wednesday was day 2 of the President's Tour in the company at my facility. Afterwards, I went up to the president who helped us out to thank him. There's something wrong with the system, and he realized it. He's trying to get it fixed so we won't have the issue next time around, in all of 10 weeks. He's really cool. He's very real, not fake. I liked that. :) When we were joking around about how we didn't start our homework 'cause we didn't know if the class would run, he immediately responded with, "Do your homework! And make sure you get an A." Made me smile. And it felt better to hear directly from him that the class would run.

Yesterday afternoon my functional finally came by to let me know that they found the money for us to take the class. I had to resubmit the tuition assistance request. He's supposed to approve it. He hasn't yet. Today I've got a meeting with his boss. We'll be getting an explanation about why he made his original decision, where he stole the money from, and he wants to "enlist our help" to be ready for the next round. Not sure what that last part means, but I'm feeling better about the situation as a whole. I even started my homework last night. :)

The whole situation felt like a rollercoaster.

No, the class isn't going to run. Okay, now it is. Just joking, it's not. Through the grapevine, it is running. For definite it's running.

I gave up on the class quite a few times. It wasn't until I gave up & left it to God that things happened. When I finally left it to God, things didn't seem as out of control. Amazing how He can teach you so much through experiences...

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