Humor: “No, we’re supposed to haggle,” says advisor to student who just wants to graduate on time

Humor: “No, we’re supposed to haggle,” says advisor to student who just wants to graduate on time

Photo Credits: TESSA KOGA / AGGIE

And now for, something completely not different that millennials still won’t understand: a Monty Python parody!

The following is a scene from the life of Brian. No no, not the movie “Monty Python’s Life of Brian.” No, we’re talking about Brian Cohen. No no no, not Brian Cohen of Judea, the “Messiah” in the movie. This is Brian Cohen of Reno, a third-year UC Davis student, who has made the intellectually ambitious but logistically idiotic and virtually unfeasible choice of pursuing a double major in two subject areas with no similarities: environmental policy and music. What a dope!

In the early months of 2019 A.D., Brian discovered that despite his careful two-and-a-half years of schedule planning, course timing conflicts could prevent him from meeting all his graduation requirements for both majors, through no fault of his own. In the midst of over half a dozen email correspondences with his various advisors, Brian tried to take a calming walk through the Arboretum, but was unable to escape the feeling that he was being chased across campus by Roman guards (yes, just like Brian in the movie — quiet now, please). Alas, the poor fool could not escape his emails. With crucial details and nuances lost in translation, Brian was forced into the unenviable task of actually going to the advising office and speaking to an advisor face-to-face, as people did in Biblical times. Awkward!

Anyway, we’d like to thank Amazon for providing us with access to the recording made by the advising office’s Alexa:

ADVISOR: Hello, Mr. Cohen, is it? Welcome. Sit down. Would you like just the five minutes or the whole half hour?

BRIAN: Of what?

ADVISOR: Of the argument! Would you like the five-minute argument or the full half hour?

BRIAN: Oh, I must be in the wrong place. I’m not here for an argument, I’m here regarding my course schedule overlaps and my excess unit peti—

ADVISOR: Of course! I’m just messing with you! That’s a different sketch! I see here in your file that you’re a double major. That’s very difficult, are you sure you want to do that? You’d better just quit now and choose only one if you want to graduate.

BRIAN: No, I’m fully committed to completing both majors within four years, I just need help avoiding conflicts in my sche—

ADVISOR: Oh, well you know you can’t enroll past next spring anyway as per the conditions of your excess unit petition. I’m sorry, good luck!

BRIAN: No, wait, yes, I’m aware of that fact. That’s why I’m here. I’m trying to get that extended because several required courses for my two majors overlap next year despite my careful pla—

ADVISOR: I’m sorry, you’re f**ked, shit-out-of-luck, my dear. You’re going to have to take 20 units per quarter in order to graduate.

BRIAN: Right. I’m prepared to do that, I just don’t want to take two classes that overlap at the same ti—

ADVISOR: What?

BRIAN: There you are. *Points to academic plan on computer screen.*

ADVISOR: Wait a minute, well, we’re — we’re supposed to haggle!

BRIAN: No, I worked this out, 20 units per quarter, plus the—

ADVISOR: Steve! This student won’t haggle!

STEVE: Won’t haggle?!

BRIAN: All right. Do we have to?

ADVISOR: Now, are you telling me your two degrees aren’t worth 20 units a quarter? Look at it. *Grabs diploma hanging on office wall* Feel the quality!

BRIAN: All right. I’ll take 19 units then.

ADVISOR: No, no, no. Come on. Do it properly.

BRIAN: What?

ADVISOR: Haggle properly. “This degree isn’t worth 19.”

BRIAN: Well, you just said I need to take 20!

ADVISOR: Ohh, dear. Ohh, dear. Come on. Haggle.

BRIAN: Huh. All right. I’ll take 10. 10 units.

ADVISOR: That’s more like it. 10?! Are you trying to insult me?! Me, an esteemed  representative of the University of California?

BRIAN: All right. 11.

ADVISOR: Now you’re gettin’ it. 11?! Did I hear you right?! 11?!

BRIAN: 17?

ADVISOR: No, no, no, no. 17……

BRIAN: 18?

ADVISOR: No, no. You go to 14 now.

BRIAN: All right. I’ll take 14.

ADVISOR: 14?! Are you joking?!

BRIAN: That’s what you told me to say.

ADVISOR: Ohh, dear.

BRIAN: Ohh, tell me what to say. Please!

ADVISOR: Take 14 units!

BRIAN: I’ll take 14!

ADVISOR: He’s offering to take 14 units per quarter!

BRIAN: 15!

ADVISOR: 17. My last word. I won’t let you take a unit less, or strike me dead.

BRIAN: 16?

ADVISOR: Done. Nice doing business with you.

BRIAN: But what about my course overlaps and excess unit peti—

ADVISOR: Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. And I’d just like to add, on a personal note, my own admiration for what you and your hard work are doing for us as an academic institution, Brian, at what must be, after all, for you, a very difficult time. Al-ways look on- the bright- si-ide of life!

Written by: Benjamin Porter — bbporter@ucdavis.edu

(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)