By: Daniel Brown

Just recently, on January 6th, I underwent reconstructive jaw surgery so to render my notably problematic underbite no longer problematic and my notable inability to eat pizza without all the toppings flying everywhere no longer an issue. I’ve been preparing for this procedure since I was in Grade 8, and overall it apparently went quite smoothly (from what I’m told. I was asleep for the grand majority of it). Having this done, however, entailed that I would have to take some time off school to recover from the initial weakness, the numbness/swelling, and the “I just had my face completely altered.” This being said, postsecondary education is not something that you want to take a lot of time off from. It’s pretty important.

I’m not going to talk to you today about how my skull was intentionally broken in multiple places, nor how eating is going to be an entirely new experience as soon as I’m off this damn liquid diet. Today I’m going to share a couple thoughts, insights and musings (based on my empirical findings thus far) as to how one can still snag some university credits while unable to participate in their university classes. They’ll be written from my perspective, which you can proceed to apply to your own life if you’re on the same boat or will be.

*Note: I am a Print Journalism Student in the UPEI Arts Faculty, therefore these thoughts, insights and musings may not work as well for those in Sciences, Business, Nursing, etc. If you are in one of those faculties, please refer to 5-7.


1) Inform your Professors

While this may seem fairly straightforward, it’s worth noting that professors are very understanding towards situations like these. I emailed my current professors last semester, informing them of my jaw dropping news, and I met with them this semester before the operation. They both recognized the scale of what was inevitably taking place, and we worked together to create a sort of tentative action plan. I knew roughly how long I was going to be out of commission, and they seem to have a rough idea of what they’re teaching, so based off that I knew how much I was missing and how to keep up or catch up later. Once I jump back in I will most likely meet with them again just to ensure that we’re all on the same page.


2) Rig your Classes

By this I mean that you should hack your way into UPEI’s data banks and just give yourself the credits, nobody the wiser. I work in the campus IT Department, so what you’re going to want to do is get in touch with me off the record and we’ll arrange to have your undergraduate totally delegitimized but totally easier. This is a joke. This is all super illegal. What I mean by rigging your classes is set up your semester in preparation for what you’re undergoing. In my case, I set it up so I only have four classes this semester, that encompass two of the ones I need for Print Journalism. Two of these classes are on Wednesdays only, so needless to say that storm day last week was a life saver (thank you, weather gods). One of my classes is on Moodle, so I’m not missing a thing. And the last one is a directed studies course, so same idea; I’m not missing a thing. Additionally, I’m already making arrangements with professors to take two summer courses due to the surgery, one in class and another directed studies. This will ensure that I get both the necessary amount of credits and the necessary classes, without having to do an extra year. It would have been much easier to just hack my way into UPEI’s data banks and give myself the credits but whatever.


3) Buy your Books

It won’t be long until you’re ready to do just about anything out of boredom’s sake; even school. I was feeling up to consume some course related knowledge pretty well as soon as the Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part Two credits started rolling. Then I realized that Transfiguration, Defence Against the Dark Arts and Care of Magical Creatures aren’t a requirement for Print Journalism, and that I’m not a wizard. But man, Communication and Rhetoric 404 sure is fascinating! (Not defaming the English Writing area of study). I got all my course syllabus’ right away, and those things are usually quite convenient in regard to keeping up and knowing what to read. Therefore, while I can’t attend the class discussions, I still have a basic idea of what material is being covered and when. For example, I know that I’m still not a wizard and never will be.


4) Don’t Fall Behind

Again, fairly straightforward. If you’re going to attempt the semester under whatever circumstances you find yourself in, it’s crucial that you give it as much your all as you would under regular circumstances. There’s nothing wrong with taking the semester off and doing an extra year; it may feel like time wasted but if healing is priority than put it first. If you can swing both (in my case a full-time semester and recovery), than just know what you’re getting into. A lot of what I’m talking about here involves pre-semester planning, but once that’s done then you’re good to go, kid. I’ve created a routine to make sure that I’m productive everyday, because I find that sitting around home is very distracting and my Counter-Strike: Global Offensive rank isn’t going to go up on its own. You can do a lot of things to create the perfect semester strategy, but you’ve got to follow through. It’s very similar to actually being at school. Just because my left trigeminal nerve is still out of whack doesn’t mean I get to loaf around and dominate silvers.


5) Master the Arcane

I’ve only just started delving into all this pseudo scientific mumbo jumbo, but astral projection is not NEARLY as difficult is people have been making it out to be. All you’ve got to do is put yourself into a deep trance, wait for the ol’ neurotransmitters to clear you for take off, and just like that you’re whizzing around another plane of existence as transparent as the day you were born. Just whiz on in to one of your classes and leave your troubles back with your body. Not on board with this heretical paganism? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Check out bilocation, a popular method of being in two places at once practiced by influential figures of the Roman Catholic Church, such as Saints Padre Pio and Martin de Porres.


6) Time Travel

Don’t even worry about it. Whatever your situation is, just relax and get through it. Because it’s 2016, and Google probably has Flux Capacitors already in development for 2017, so you can purchase the alpha model sometime in 2018 and be done of all those missed classes by 2019 (because it takes some extra time to obtain the necessary Plutonium. Can’t find that stuff at the Bookstore. I checked beforehand). And you know what, this option pretty much applies to your entire education. That good deal on that plane ticket to that ideal location? Book it! You might not get that chance again until 2019 earliest! Ask any one of your professors and I guarantee they will allow absences, so long as the time/space continuum remains in tact. Remember: Interacting with your past self = Reality Jeopardizing/Very Weird.


7) Give Up