The 15 Stages Of Registering For Fairfield U Classes, As Told By Marshall Eriksen

The 15 Stages Of Registering For Fairfield U Classes, As Told By Marshall Eriksen

Looking at your registration time is half of the battle.

Registration for Spring 2018 courses at Fairfield will begin this week.

Every year, students suffer and lose pieces of their souls as they watch classes fill up, get error messages or end up on a course wait list. The process is a long one, especially if you are an underclassmen and are the last to register, and it is undoubtedly a hierarchy.

There are 15 stages that every Fairfield student experiences during their four years while registering for new courses.

1. After weeks of waiting, you finally receive the upcoming semester’s course booklet.

2. You pull up your Degree Eval and try to decipher the remaining requirements for your major(s) and/or minor(s).

3. Then you cross-compare your requirements with what is offered and realize that you’re mostly taking late-night turbos.

4. You pray that you won’t have a thrice-a-week course, or a Wednesday turbo, so that you have at least one day off of classes.

5. Eventually, you sum up the courage to look at your registration time.

6. Then you collapse from relief because for once you were given the first official time slot.

7. That is, until you remember that student-athletes still get preferential treatment and are registering before you.

8. You get your PIN number from your adviser, who 10/10 times will send you off thinking that the process will be fine.

9. The day has arrived … you log onto my.Fairfield five minutes before your time slot and start refreshing.

10. Then, you’re able to get into the system and the 76th Hunger Games begins, and everyone becomes your enemy.

11. You start entering course CRN numbers and clicking rapid-fire to add them before the seats fill up.

12. You watch as the available seats diminish, and your hope flickers with it.

13. Every other word is a prayer or a curse that the system won’t crash and you won’t end up on another wait list like last year when you only technically registered for two courses.

14. Finally, you confirm your list of courses and look at them on the schedule offered.

15. Lastly, if you’re like me, you breathe a sigh of relief because you've survived your last course registration at Fairfield.

Cover Image Credit: CBS

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.


Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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