Friday, March 28, 2008

Learning through Miscue at the U

I went to school for enrollment of my project study. I hope this will be my last term in the University. The Chairman said that I could have made it last semester, but, well, I decided not to push it. (I could have made it if I have taken the project study seriously at November, instead of December. After all, I submitted the paper March 19, only 11 days after the deadline. Oh well, that’s part of the past.)

What appears to be a normal routine in enrollment turned out to be an example of inter-department misunderstanding! The Management Information System (MIS) of the University was in charge of the enlistment of enrollees. Our Department told the students to go MIS for enlistment. I went to MIS. Then, the MIS told me that the enlistment is now under the Department office. I went back to the Department office. I think you know what followed: miscommunication. The Chairman got a bit irritated due to the miscommunication. What irritates the Chairman is that our department is the Department of Educational Management, Measurement & Evaluation. The Chairman heads a department that deals with handling schools, colleges, and universities efficiently. MIS is also part of School Administration. Because of this, he gave us a compromise. He took our enrollment forms. He promised that his office will take care of the student procedures (MIS and account verification). That means his office will do the job for us. The only thing that we’ll only do NEXT WEEK is payment to the cashier. Still, because of the miscommunication brought about by the MIS, the students delayed their enrollment of one week. Good thing that I’m not that busy. However, what about other graduate students who will enroll that day? Some of my classmates traveled all the way to Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan. I had a classmate who lived in Olongapo. I even used to have a classmate who lives in Marinduque.

Oh well, the common answer that I usually hear is this: “You enrolled in this school. You should be responsible enough, regardless of distance.” Yes, that is true. However, responsibility it’s not limited only to students: students must comply with the requirements in school (be it in their classes, enrollments, and other stuff that require a student’s time, energy, and attention), the professors must facilitate learning (facilitate is the right verb to use and to do in graduate school), and non teaching personnel, like people from MIS, must do their non teaching job like accounting, physical facilities, proper inter-department paper trails, inter-department task like enrollment, etc. Still though, at the end of the day, what just happened in the University is a classic example of Inter-group Conflict. Though the experience is quite a hassle, I have learned to give a specific level of tolerance. After all, we are not perfect. There will always be miscommunications. Without that type of conflict, one will not learn to be tolerant (it takes a specific amount of tolerance from teachers in order for students to learn, right?). On part of the organization, in this example a University, it is in conflicts like these that will make an organization improved, if they will learn and do something after the conflict was seen.

By the way, why did I mention two paragraphs of a topic about a mere incident of inter-department miscommunication that resulted in students going back next week for the enrollment? Learning experience, my friend, learning experience.

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