October 21st, 2009


better than a kick in the head

I just got my program audit in the mail from the Registrar's Office today:

Dear Mr. Matheson,

Let me begin by welcoming you back to Saint Mary's University. I trust you will find your programme both interesting and challenging.

You have been re-accepted under the academic rules and regulations delineated in the 2009-2010 academic calendar. The Dean of Science has advised me that for a Bachelor of Science Degree, you have been granted the equivalent of 42.0 credit hours for previous academic work completed at Saint Mary's University.
[This is about 1.4 year's worth of courses. - WM]

If you have any questions in connection with your advanced standing or registration at Saint Mary's, please do not hesitate to contact my office by telephone, mail, or fax.

Yours sincerely,


---, Registrarial Services

The gory details:

English requirement - Met (Duh)
- I'm just sad that's it's been reduced to 3.0 credits. Back in tha day, you had to take two courses, not just one. I think that's unfortunate. The idea was that the individual departments would provide their own composition courses and thus obviate English Composition. This didn't happen - a first year prospective astrophysics major is simply advised to take two chemistry credits instead of one.

Science Courses not Astrophysics (ie: not astronomy or physics) - Met (!!)
- I was surprised by this. They're counting the non-science-targeted astronomy 215 (A+) and 216 (A-) I took ten years ago! This is rounded out by the computer science I took seven years ago (A+ in the first half) and the chemistry I'm taking this year.

Humanities requirement - Met
- Mythology of Greece and Rome II (A-)
- The funny thing here is that I got a C+ in the first course of this double-feature. When they can, they take the better grade.

Free Electives - Met
- Including another nice A in Physical Geography and an A+ for Intro Psych.

Math requirement - Not Met
- Will be a 1/4 met by the end of the year, and 1/2 met by the start of next year, then finished by the end of my second year, provided things go according to plan.

Astrophysics major - Not Met
- About twenty more courses to go, and that's after the five from this year! Since there's a stratification of 3rd-year courses requiring the 2nd-year courses and so on up, this isn't really going to be sped up any. But the one good thing is that I have the luxury of pretty much sticking to the one subject area. I'll have the computer science and chemistry that they recommend, too. I'm doing this par le livre - if they recommend I stick a fork in my eye and sing "O Canada" to strangers in the Loyola Colonnade, I will probably do it.

Arts or Economics requirement - Met
- All As! Narrative in Fiction and Film (A), Writing Prose: Non-Fiction (A), and Recent Science Fiction (A+) - 12.0 credits, 4.08GPA!! Awright!

"A" Grades That I Wish Counted Which Aren't Being Used:
Study of Short Fiction A-
Literature of the Fin de siècle A-
Chaucer and the 14th Century A-
American Literature 1914-1950 A-
Contemporary Canadian Fiction A+
Pre-Calculus Review (I expect to utterly annihilate this course.)

Now I have a program GPA of 3.64 and I haven't even written a midterm yet! ;-) That won't last long - my first physics midterm is tomorrow morning at 10!