Monday, November 22, 2010

I love you Queen Watson.

You may or may not know that I've been having a series of mini-heart attacks over the last several days over the submission of my degree completion materials. There is a lot more involved in getting a Ph.D than just writing a dissertation and having your committee approve it.

A lot more.

Like hours of filling out forms and cursing the mail service.

Here's a little time line for you so you get an idea of what I'm dealing with here.

I mailed the hard copy of my dissertation, the forms, a book I need to return to the library and my keys to the department Priority. It was supposed to arrive Thursday, the day before the hard copy and forms were due. A whole day to make sure my committee chair signed my ETD Submission Form and the rest of my committee actually got in to sign my Approval Sheet and submit it to the graduate school.

Three of my committee members hadn't signed it. Keep in mind they all already agreed at my defense, a month ago, that my dissertation was acceptable and signed my Degree Completion Form. I just forgot to print out the Approval Sheet and bring it with me to the defense. Living in Kansas, I had to mail it out since the actually original, signed copy is required by the graduate school. I sent out an email to remind them that I really need that done. Because, you know, I want an actual degree out of this whole process and I would sure hate to not graduate because I was missing some signatures from people who intended to sign something.
I get an email from one of my committee members saying he left for a conference and wouldn't return until Saturday, the day after all this paperwork is due. 
Stress level: cortisol up.

He says a departmental staff member can sign for him so this really isn't the worst thing that could possibly happen.
Oh, and the hard copy didn't come in the 8:30am mail. Maybe it will come in the delivery around noon.

Does it come at noon? No. 
Stress level: pretty freaking high.
Friday Nov. 19th:
Still no hardcopy and my committee chair doesn't think he's going to make it in today to sign the Approval Sheet. He'll sign it Monday.

If you missed this part, the paperwork, including most importantly said Approval Sheet, is due Friday Nov, 19th. (A.K.A. Today when I received this news).
Stress level: I'm not sure they can measure it in this range.
I just about lost my mind.

Instead I called the graduate school. I talked to the lovely Queen Watson who assured me to that she wouldn't block my graduation over a little paperwork lateness. She is amazing.

And the hardcopy? Still not in the mail. Either time. Damn.

Stress level: Stable. I think its maxed out.
Over the weekend:
I just decided not to consciously think about the situation. Mail wasn't going to be delivered and people sure weren't going to come in and sign things. No sense in actively stressing out about it. Subconsciously though, stressed to the max.
As of about noon the freaking package still hasn't arrived and no one has come in to sign anything. I mean, really. Why would they?

I check the delivery confirmation number with the USPS. Guess what? They delivered the package at 8:51am on Friday. Where has it gone? No one knows. Emory Mail Services Limbo. Isn't that great?

Later my committee chair actually came in to sign my approval sheet (I love you George. He's been around long enough to know no one actually cares about the due date and doesn't get all riled up about stuff), but since they hadn't found my package yet he couldn't sign my ETD Submission Form (I told you there were a lot of forms). He signed a blank one instead. I guess the secretary will fill that out to match the one I signed and sent and sign for me.

Whatever. I'm over it at this point.

Oh yeah, and that last committee member, the one who also failed to show for my defense. No word from him. I left two voice mails.

I sent an email to Queen to see just how long she would give me before she really would have to block my graduation over this ridiculousness. 
Stress level: Pretty sure my body will implode if this continues much longer.
She said I can bring it by Dec. 1st. 

That woman really is a queen.

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