More Weirdness

“Yeah, huh, what?” Someone was knocking on my bedroom door. How long had it been going on? I couldn’t say.

Bob, clad in boxers, stumbled in. “It’s the head of the anthropology department. He says it’s important.” He handed me the phone and went back to bed, himself.

Important? Was there an anthropological crisis of some sort? Did they want to give me an award? Was I in trouble? Was this a dream?

“Andrew, this is Kirk Endicott, chair of the anthropology department,” he began. “There’s a problem with your major.”

It was an academic nightmare. And, only three days before graduation.

Great. Well, I thought, at least I’ve got a second major so they’ll let me graduate. Two years of study down the drain wasn’t a thrilling prospect, though.

The department’s records indicated that I had only taken nine of ten required courses. Had I petitioned for another course to be counted? I hadn’t. Had I filed a major card? I had. Endicott apologized: the department had lost it. I was pretty sure that I’d taken the ten courses, but, lying in bed, twisted in the sheets, groggy, I doubted that I could name them all. Had I taken ten courses? I’m not a math major; I sometimes miscount things.

What courses had I taken in other departments that I might petition to be counted towards my anthropology major? There was that religion class with Reinhart; that was close. I had done several independent studies with a faculty member who had since left Dartmouth; any of those could be made to qualify, probably.

Endicott asked me about specific courses. He asked if I had intended “The People and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa,” which I had taken during the fall term of my freshman year, to count towards my major. Wasn’t it an anthropology course, anyway? Yes, actually, it was; in fact, it was the prerequisite for the second anthropology course that I’d taken (and, presumably, been given credit for, otherwise I would have had only eight courses). So why wouldn’t the class, numbered, I remembered, Anthropology 44, count? Somehow, it had been listed on my transcript as being in the “African and African-American Studies” department, a cross-listing.

As if I needed another reason to dislike AAAS.

“Well, it all checks out. I’m sorry for bothering you, Andrew. If I woke you up, you can go back to sleep.”

Now I’m just waiting for the economics department to call.