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The Many Varying Degrees Of Intelligence

| Working | July 28, 2012

(I have just enrolled in university where I will be studying full time, leaving me little time for work. I am therefore applying for government payments. This exchange takes place when I am giving the social worker my details.)

Social Worker: “Alright, so you are about to start university. What is your course called?”

Me: “Bachelor of Arts, Pathway to Secondary Teaching. When I pass that, I will automatically go into the Masters in Teaching.”

Social Worker: “And how long does the course go for? Six months? A year?”

Me: “No. Three years for the Bachelor and a year and a half for the Masters.”

Social Worker: *jaw drops* “FOUR YEARS?!”

Me: “Um, yes. Three years is actually the shortest course you can do; my brother-in-law’s was seven.”

Social Worker: “NO WAY!” *regains her composure* “Alright, and how many hours a week will you be studying?”

Me: “Officially, I’m required to do ten hours a week for each unit: two at university, and eight in my own time. I’m doing four units a semester.”

Social Worker: “So that’s four hours a week? You should still be able to work if it’s only that small an amount.”

Me: “No, there are four UNITS, and I have to study for ten hours a week for each of them.”

Social Worker: “So, ten hours a week?”

Me: “Per unit. And I am doing four. I have to do ten hours of study for each unit per week.”

Social Worker: “That’s forty hours.”

Me: “Yes.”

Social Worker: “So, you have to do forty hours of study a week … per unit.”

Me: *giving up* “Yes.”

(A few days later, I was called because the system wasn’t registering my course. Despite me telling her the precise name, she wrote down ‘Bachelor of Teaching Masters.’ I don’t know how my claim ever managed to be processed.)

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