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Good News: 10 years later the Marvel is confirmed!

Date: May 1995
Event: Chemistry Department graduation ceremony

To my utter and complete surprise, it was announced I was among the five(?) people receiving a departmental award issued to the top 10% (?) of Undergraduate Theses submitted for that year.

I was given a copy of a letter informing a past recepient of the award, and was told this was just a sample, I'd get a proper one addressed to me later. The letter also said the award came with a gift of USD 200 (?).
Notice the all the (?)'s? Can you guess what's coming?

I never did get anything to confirm that what I remembered from the graduation ceremony was not just a dream.
Do you know, I never dared even put the award on my resume because I had no proof of being a recipient of that award. At least I *could* put that I graduated "with distinction", which you get by default if you did that Thesis thing. Which was what I was targetting for anyway. The extra award was just that, extra, but still, if I got it, I should be SURE I got it, right?

Okay, sure, I was an International Student, and maybe things slip through the cracks... but still... not with a university like UIUC??!! After all, I was in the U.S. for about a month after graduation, and had forwarded any correspondance to my then-bf's place. He would then forward to me in Malaysia, if needed. Nothing ever came.

Fast forward a few years later.

I know I wrote the Chemistry Department, it may have been around 1997. Snail mail (E-mail was still in its infancy then). No word back. I wonder if it reached the Chem Dept. I wonder if anyone cared. I wonder if I will ever get confirmation of this award.

Fast forward: March 2004
In the early days of me & Kosh, I took time off from work and visit for about 2 weeks. While I was on campus, I dropped by the Chem Office to see if there was any way to get some closure about this award. What I got was essentially a brush-off, and was told to contact someone in the Records Deprtment. I left the office feeling weird, like all disappointed and unhappy with the lack of helpfulness; as a result I just didn't feel like following-up, so I let it be. {To Kosh's puzzlement. He learnt not to ask / push or bring up the topic. Poor him. It's funny how people (in this case the person at the Chem Office) can act in such a way as to color MY outlook for a while.}

Fast forward: Last week (early Nov 2005)
I pass the Office of Records & Admissions is on my to the gym.
One day, my feet bring me to its entrance.

I am surprised at how helpful the person I meet is. While she is surprised at my tale of how I was referred to this office by the Chem Dept because that's where I needed to be (maybe things changed in a year?), she still made a few calls, got some basic information down for me, so I could go back to the Chem Dept "armed" with my new student ID#, stuff like that.

So the next day I drop by the Chem Office, again go through my spiel of how I'd like to get confirmation of this award thingy. At least there was no effort to tai-chi me anywhere else. I was told they'd look into it, and would e-mail me back.

The next day, I get an email:

We did some checking and where [sic] able to confirm that you had received the Marvel Award.
Please stop by the office, as I have a certificate for you to pick up.


Whoohooo! After over ten years, it's finally confirmed!

It's really not worth more than a line on a resume, which if I ever get around to updating, will show that I've strayed oh so far away from Chem research, but still...

... and that, my friend, is what you call CLOSURE.

Kinda.

There's still Phase Two, or SHOW ME THE MONEY!

That's gonna be another post., once I get another round of closure. Hopefully.

Stay tuned!

Comments

  1. Getting an award would be a nice addition to any resume.I wish I could say the same thing about my resume though.LOL!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. mahhhhvelous marvel award. congrats 10 years late!

    ReplyDelete

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