Over the summer, Jonah took a class at the local community college. At the time, he was considering a double major in science and politics, so he needed some extra credits to graduate on time. He studied hard and did fine.
The next step was getting the credits transferred over to his college. It should have been no big deal. It was all within the same state, and our public colleges have a relationship with the community colleges. But it was.
Jonah, who has become adept at managing courses with adjunct professors who don’t answer their emails, using a overloaded bus system with an hour commute between classes, and cooking a pasta dinner for six hungry teenagers in their off-campus house, could not move those damn credits from one place to another.
I had to step in. I was sending too many texts that nagged him to follow up with various bureaucrats. It was distracting him from his studies. So, I latched onto someone in the advisement department who returned my e-mails, and we worked it out. It took nearly a week.
One of the issues was that the registrar at the community college uses a third-party to send transcripts to other colleges. But that online system would only send electronic transcripts to the admissions departments of other colleges. That process works for transfer students at Jonah’s college, but for a kid just transferring a single class, the credits had to go to the advisement department. Jonah’s advisement department had no access to information sent to the admissions office, so it could not get the electronic transcript. (It took about seven emails for me to figure that out.) So, I had go in person to the community college and pick up a paper version of the transcript in a sealed envelope. Jonah then had to come home, get the transcript, and then walk it over to the advisement office. Finally, credits moved from one place to another.
I manage a lot of bureaucracies. Over the years, I’ve tried to get Ian’s therapies covered by our insurance company, because it is SUPPOSED to pay for autism services, but really doesn’t. Every month, I fill out the paperwork, scan the form, and send it to the agency that gives him a few dollars for respite care.
Right now, I have no idea where Ian’s state standardized test scores from last spring went. He goes to an out-of-district school, so the scores seem to have gotten lost between our home district and his actual school. I’ve sent three emails to various administrators to help me find them.
He’s turning 18 this April, so we have to go through the gauntlet of state rules, lawyers, and justices to gain guardianship over his financial and medical matters. After that, if he qualifies (a major if), he’ll receive support for health, work, housing, but I’ll have to manage all the paperwork in completely different state bureaucracies.
Over the years, my mom has managed bureaucracies not only for our family, but for her parents and other assorted old, family-less people, who somehow became her responsibility. And that’s why, she’s against universal healthcare. She’s never met a bureaucracy that works well. She’s sure that a horrible system will only be made worse, once the government gets involved.
There’s a lot of people like my mom out there. They’re skeptical about Warren and Sander’s Healthcare for All. Sure, everybody should be able to go to the doctor for a flu shot, but if it means that they’ll have to fill out forms in triplicate and have month-long waits for routine procedures, they’re out. And costs will probably go up.
There is a lot of room for a moderate Democrat in this primary. Biden held that territory for a while, but he is performing so badly in the debates that others are stepping into that territory. We have to keep any eye on Klobuchar. I think she’s going to give Warren and the Twitter Democrats a run for their money.