Rarely do I like to fill up this site with ramblings about my life, but this year has been off the rails. As a result, I can’t seem to inspire myself to write about software. Instead, I’d like to take some time to share about my past week of transitioning to the position of a lecturer.
Unlike last week, which was largely celebratory, I’d like to take some time today to rant! Don’t worry. It’ll be a short rant. I promise!
Table of Contents
Moving from Student to Faculty
For whatever reason, it seems like OSU doesn’t really have any processes in place for folks who transition from being a student to being faculty. Let me illustrate what I mean.
When you’re a grad student and you’re funded in some way, say through research or teaching, you receive student health insurance. This insurance is quite good, and gives you practically free access to healthcare, vision, and dental on campus and in the surrounding areas. In fact, I’ve taken advantage of the mental health services for the last couple years as well.
When I became faculty, I was no longer allowed to have student health insurance, naturally. However, the transition to the new healthcare service has been anything but smooth. I was not able to log into the portal until a day after coverage started, and I am still unable to look at my insurance card. Since coverage began, my wife has been to a doctor’s appointment, and I have had therapy. Neither of which have a copy of the new insurance.
While this was a minor inconvenience, it was one of money that stacked on top of each other to create a series of annoyances that persist to this day. I’ll give you another example!
You may recall that I ran into issues with CampusParc, the campus monopoly on parking. Well, it took over a month including a handful of phone calls to get my faculty parking pass issued. You may not be surprised to find that when I went to park in the garage the other day, the parking pass was not accepted. So, what’s the point of paying for it?
But wait, there’s more! During this transition, I also had to start filling out a form for a tuition waiver. Previously, this was always taken care of for me through my graduate employment contracts. Now, it’s a form I have to fill out myself. Here’s the kicker! I cannot submit the form until August 15th, which also happens to be the same date that tuition payment becomes LATE. As a result, I’ve been receiving late fee emails because my tuition has not been paid. Wonderful!
The Curious Case of Email
Again, many of these transitional issues are minor annoyances. On the flip side, however, one of the more nasty issues has come from email. Apparently, students and faculty are sent email through different services. I found this out because I received the following email to my student email address:
The University has controls on email forwarding to improve email security. As an Ohio State employee or sponsored guest, you are required to have your email@example.com email delivered to a university email account. Your email will no longer be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can access your university email on the web. If you need help configuring your email client, please contact your local it support or the OCIO IT Service Desk.
Please do not reply to this message.
I find this particularly annoying because of all the issues I’ve mentioned up to this point, this issue is going to be ongoing for me. If everything is as I expect, I will now have to maintain two inboxes for two separate email addresses. As a result, I can’t even anticipate how many issues may arise in the future. Will I continue to get email at my student email address? If not, what if someone emails that address?
Until now, everything always made it into my student email inbox. Now, who knows!
Here’s to More Bumps in the Road
Given that I have essentially worked in the capacity of a faculty member the last few years, I had naively assumed the transition would be smooth. As it turns out, there’s a lot for me to learn.
Ultimately, these types of issues frustrate me because they get in the way of the teaching. I’m just imagining a day where I’m tracking multiple email inboxes, getting blocked from entering a garage, and struggling to work through my benefits only to be standing in front of my third lecture in a row with little left in the tank.
At any rate, I’m going to call this one a day! Thanks for dealing with my ups and downs these last few months. May we return to the regularly scheduled programming soon!
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