Jun. 7th, 2017

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The other day one of my former students sent me a link to a class that is being offered in the fall at one of our sister colleges. It is a conversational Hmong class, and she thought I might like it. She was correct. I thought it would be great to learn a little Hmong so I can at least say hi to my potential research subjects in their native language.

The class is held on Monday and Wednesday evenings, which would work out well for me. The campus is actually closer to my home that the one I teach at, so that works out too. So I decided to sign up for the class.

I discovered that I can't just sign up for the class, I have to enroll in the college, as I have not taken classes in the district for a while. It's all online, so no big deal, but it is a long application and asks for everything I have ever done academically, which is well over 300 units by now. Anyway, I did it and submitted the application.

I got an email the next day from admissions informing me that, for reasons they did not provide, I did not meet the criteria for in-state tuition. I was born in California and have been a legal resident all my life. I was in the military, and was discharged to California, my home of record. I teach in the same district!

So I called and was told I had to speak to the residency specialist, but that she was overwhelmed at the moment and would call me back tomorrow, which was Tuesday. She didn't call, so I decided to go down to the campus Admissions and Records department and see what I could find out. I'm off for the summer, so I look for stuff like this to do. I found a form online that allows one to challenge residency, and filled it out, as well as dug up all my supporting documents.

The campus is really lovely. There are lots of trees everywhere, and all the buildings are red brick. It is one of the newer colleges in our district (mine being the oldest, by far). I found the A & R building easily.

I waited in line for about 20 minutes, and then went to the window. I started explaining my situation to the young man behind the counter. As I was talking, I happened to look at his name tag. I asked him if he was related to someone named Chor, with the same last name. He was. It was his uncle. Chor was one of my former students. I also had his brother a few years later.

I told him I knew both his uncles, and he immediately made the connection that I had been their teacher. He reminded me that we had met at his uncle's graduation a few years ago. I have met his father too, who was the specialist we talked to when Malida first applied for a Social Security card.

He took my paperwork and told me to hang on for a second. He came back a few minutes later and told me the problem was that I was currently enrolled in Boise State, and that flagged my residency. I told him it was online classes, and he went back to talk to the residency person again. He came out a few minutes later and told me it was all taken care of. Yay!

I'm pretty sure I would have had the same outcome had I not known him, but I like how these connections sometimes happen. So now I am free to enroll in the class, after I complete the mandatory "Orientation to College Life" online tutorial. I'm looking forward to that. I've always wanted to know what college life was like.

CRC
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