In formally applying for my degree programme, I had to physically turn up at an office and talk to actual people. The PAC system, while efficient, is the best example of an answer to a question that nobody ever asked. NUI Maynooth’s registration office is housed in the far end of Humanity House, one of those old seminary buildings which betrays its former incarnation: lots of tiles, heavy doors and subtly placed religious symbols. As if mocking my chosen thesis topic, the registration office (which shares a space with the fees and grants office) is at one end of this particular wing and is a former chapel. To take away from its former use, NUIM have placed a first floor half way up the former full height room, thereby cutting off more natural light.
The staff are efficient and friendly and I was taken into the back office to confirm my registration details – despite the PAC. One particular part of the confirmation process was the selection, through one of several steps, of my ‘last awarding institution attended’ and my religion. The screenshot below shows the choices that I made on PAC a few weeks back and for some reason this screen had to be visited again today.
When the registration staff saw this, she muttered under breath something like ‘oh, it seems not to have recorded your choice’. I told her that no, I had actively chosen the No Answer option from the list because I thought it best represented my ‘religion’. As good as the staff were, I cannot help but notice that she believed that No Answer meant an ‘incorrect’ response was recorded and needed amendment.
Anyway, it’s done now. I gave no answer to that question and pending payment of €3,500 per annum (all donations accepted, bank details on request) I’ll be hoping to give a few more answers than questions over the coming years.