• 27 . 10 . 04
  • A friend decides to risk his future prosperity for the love of astronomy.

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American Idiot

No, not that American idiot, though the sooner he goes the better…

Enough politics, this is about a fellow gaijin who shall remain nameless for fear of further inflating his ego – (I bet you think this post is about you, don’t you, don’t you?) He’s a pretty clever guy, (though a little slow in the way the few Californians I’ve met seem to be), and graduated from an Ivy League school, majoring in Linguistics. Recently, he’s been having a think about his future and has decided that he wants instead to pursue a career in physics (if such a thing exists). This I can understand, – after all, I changed my entire career path from Law to Computing pretty much on a whim a few years ago.

Apparently, most of the universities in the US have a rule saying that people with university degrees can’t start a new undergraduate degree. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty certain that there’s no such restriction in England, and a couple of my friends in uni were doing exactly that. My gaijin friend has this great idea to “screw the system”. When taking his undergraduate course, he was incorrectly awarded some course credits that he shouldn’t have been. This, he says, now creates for him a loophole through which he can go back to the very same school to study a second degree.

How will he manage to achieve such a feat? He explained it to me yesterday, in a conversation similar to this:

“So what’s this great idea then?”
“I can’t go back to school because I have a degree? Fine, I’ll voluntarily invalidate my own degree.”
<stunned silence /> “…What?”
“I’m going to ask them to disqualify me because I didn’t get all the required credits.”
“Your degree from an Ivy League university wannabe Ivy League university that took you four years of hard work loafing to get?”
“Your degree that cost you roughly $40,000 and will probably take you half your life to pay for? cost you and California’s taxpayers around $70,000 and which you will be paying off forever?”
“You’re going to call them up and tell them to withdraw it?”
“Uh-huh. Well, it’s only a thought… And it probably wouldn’t work.”
“But you’re going to try?”
“What do you think?”
“I think you’re insane. What happens if you don’t get accepted onto the Physics course?”

And there the conversation ended. Not exactly the most positive or supportive I’ve ever been admittedly, but really? So, now a request. If you have any thoughts on how best he can achieve his aims, without removing the single most significant achievement in his life on a technicality, please, be a kind soul and let me know!

Edit: Thankfully, it seems that the situation has been resolved. Hurrah for sanity! And thanks to Said Gaijin for the factual corrections!

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