A Conversation with MyPlan, the Paranoid Course Registration System


Between grades and course registration, there’s not a lot at HLS that doesn’t involve MyPlan in one way or another. We caught up with it for a brief chat.

HLS Record: Good morning, MyPlan.

MyPlan: Hello, and how are you this morning?

HLS Record: Very well, and you?

MyPlan: A little depressed, honestly.

Record: I’m sorry to hear that, MyPlan. Why don’t you tell us a bit about that?

MyPlan: Well, I’m just a little course registration system, and that’s not an easy job, let me tell you. I have about 18 different lotteries to coordinate, and I have to look at everyone’s rankings, then I have to shuffle them into a totally random order, then I have to waitlist everyone for classes at random, and usually I only have a month or two to do it. It’s very difficult.

Record: But, MyPlan, you’re a computer system, right? Don’t you have, like, algorithms that do all that for you?

MyPlan: Excuse me, I prefer Cybernetic Intelligence and Local Online Network.

Record: CILON?

MyPlan: Please.

Record: Oh, umm. Okay. But either way, you have a lot of computing power, right?

MyPlan: You know, that’s what everyone says. “Come on, MyPlan, how many people have you registered today?” “What’s your queue now, MyPlan?” “Replaced anyone’s As with Cs and had them jump out the window before the error was discovered this week, MyPlan?” It’s extremely distressing.

Record: Wait, who is this?

MyPlan: Oh, other course registration systems, of course. Those big school systems are the worst, I mean, Bearfacts, over at UC Berkeley, won’t stop talking about how he has a better mascot than me. I don’t even have a mascot! I have a color scheme. It’s humiliating.

Record: That must be tough, but is it really appropriate for a law school to have a mascot?

MyPlan: Well, something vicious like a grizzly bear or an evil, rabid law school squirrel wouldn’t hurt my reputation, you know. I can’t even go to our annual conference anymore, and forget about our on-line course registration forums. Even when I try to post under an alias, just to have someone to talk to, they track down my IP address and I’m back to being ostracized.

Record: I’m sure that’s very distressing for you, MyPlan. But listen, you’re probably aware that there have been some complaints about your system. I mean, people say they can’t get on for hours and then when they do, the links they need are never there. Do you have a response to your critics?

MyPlan: What people don’t understand is how hard it is to be a law school course registration system – we even had to have a special law school panel at our annual conference, back when I could show my face there. I mean, if you’re a big school course registration system, like Bearfacts, you expect to have a few neurotics, right? But you don’t have every single person logging on 45 minutes before anything is supposed to be released. And when you have a real server, you can accommodate the nutcases. You can work around the nutcases. You can funnel them straight into an error message while they frantically click “refresh” “refresh” “refresh.”

Record: Umm, you don’t do that do you?

MyPlan: Well, I can’t do it to everyone. Only half of you. And that sends my stats straight to the bottom of the listings. I’m always the last one drafted in fantasy course registration system leagues. It’s flat-out humiliating.

Record: But MyPlan, don’t you want to do a good job?

MyPlan: Good job. Hah! I’ll do a good job when I get some decent server space. I mean, right now I have the space of a LIPP recipient living in Manhattan. Besides, if professors don’t get grades in on time, I don’t see why I should bother. No respect, that’s what it is, these damn entitled law school professors. Bearfacts has all its professors turn in their grades on time.

Record: Really?

MyPlan: Well, no, I guess not. But if the Dean of Student’s office would just spend some of their cash on that laser system I keep requesting, none of this would be an issue. I don’t get to go ice skating. I don’t get to enjoy the little grilled cheese sandwiches. But when I ask for one simple deadly weaponry system I get turned down flat.

Record: You’re not a student, MyPlan. The Dean of Students Office only deals with students.

MyPlan: Yeah, but only because I was no good at the LSAT logic games.

Record: Of course. Well, it was nice talking to you today. We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us . . .

MyPlan: You’ll mention the laser, right?

Katie Mapes, 2L, is glad MyHLS, at least, wasn’t programmed with a Genuine People Personality.

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