My admission letter noted that it was my responsibility to notify my future adviser, so two days ago I called the office. The woman who answered noted that she didn't have my file yet. I mentioned that I had put a tentative schedule together already, based on the current English major requirements and the "old program" for general education (Gen Ed). She became rather flustered and said that she didn't think I could do that since seven+ years had elapsed.
This would have been very bad. Under the old Gen Ed program I was only missing two courses, and even with the attempts to fulfill my theatre minor, I could have fit them into my schedule and graduated within two semesters and one summer course in which I'm already enrolled. Going with the older of the two numbered programs (the "old" program isn't numbered, just called "the old plan" I like the sound of it -- nice and sinister ;), I would have needed at least seven more classes. For the newer numbered program I would have needed more. Even losing my theatre minor, I could not have crunched it into two semesters, and most of the courses I needed were not offered in summer at all, let alone via distance learning.
The intent had been for me to attend for fall and spring, possibly supplementing with courses taken over the summer via the long-distance program. The cost of attending Oswego for a year, given out of state tuition as well as room and board, is the same as attending four years at UNM while living at home. Using the old Gen Ed program I was only two classes shy of completing that portion of the degree. Using the two newer Gen Ed programs would have meant at least another semester, possibly another year, at which point I would be paying for the equivalent of 6-8 years at UNM. Andy and I decided that if I couldn't use the old program I would just forget about Oswego and study here, even if it meant starting over completely (credits don't expire at Oswego, but UNM could have decided that they were stale anyway).
Andy and I looked over the web page where I had gotten the information on the old program, and it said that "A few advanced seniors" were still using it. It linked to page with the Gen Ed program as it had existed before 1998, and also said that people admitted prior to 1998 could use it.
Andy found a number to call, but yesterday I was busy with doctor appointments and such, and so I put off calling until this morning. That's when I noticed that the department head's office hours were Monday through Wednesday. I left a garbled voicemail message anyway, and followed it up with a far less garbled email. I didn't mention that this was a deal maker-or-breaker, just asked which Gen Ed program I qualified for.
At about 1:15 today the department head called me back. The two courses I still needed under the old plan fell under the heading Western Heritage. In the newer programs, Western Heritage had been replaced with more global context. The department head decided, without me even asking, that one of the courses I had taken back then counted toward the Western Heritage part, and that to keep the spirit of the newer programs, I could take a global or diversity program. There are any number of courses which would work for the global or diversity, and they could count doubly toward my English or theatre degrees. So not only am I working in the old program, but I only have to take one course, not two, to complete Gen Ed.
My Oswego email account was created today, and will be live within 24 hours. Hopefully at that point I can finally register for my dorm. The other day, before I discovered the auto-pay specifically for the deposit, at one point it looked like the notice for the check had not been delivered. I called the dorm folks about the deadline I was afraid I might miss. In the course of the conversation I found out that the dorm building I want to stay in has 140 rooms, only 40 or so which have been filled at this point. Here's hoping there's still room for me once my email is live and I can put in my dorm request.