A scientifically minded person like myself often wonders about the inner workings of this turbulently changing world. For example, how does one double space a word document? Forever a mystery! But today I bring you the greatest mystery of all. And no, it isn’t the reason why people actually choose to sit in the B Stacks. Nor is it the amount of money Thurtene allots to the annual salaries of the Gamemakers of the Hunger Games.

Yes, there really is something more mind-blowingly mysterious. I’m telling you, it exists. It has saturated your day-to-day spring semester lives with its complexities and evils. I present to you the mystery of all mysteries… [dramatic pause] … registration! (Please forgive any lost suspense due to title choice.)

Registration is a psychological experiment that WashU likes to play twice a year on all of its students. It is a test of endurance and strength and interweb speed. It initially manifests itself as a friend, Course Listings. But it turns its back on you forever, for a whole semester, as a highly complicated system of computer elves analyzes which classes have gained the highest popularity on students’ registration worksheets. The elves, employed by the university for their diligent work ethic, then access registration files and continually register for classes until they must adjourn for suppertime. The result generally fluctuates between an eighteen to a five-hundred-fifty-six-person waitlist.

Allow me to then consider my working-internet to not-working-internet ratio of 1 to 8. If I’m calculating correctly, the likelihood of me having access to the internet at the exact moment of my registration is 0%. Add in the elves’ tampering of WUFI-S connections, and we’re dropping to approximately -43%. The post-registration probability of me being a full-time student at WashU? Irresolvable.

Alas, the truth has emerged! Now you know why you’ll be stuck in A History of Shelving Units next spring. Now you can stop blaming your academic departments for creating too few sections with too few open seats. You can stop blaming professors for being too lazy to teach for more than one and a half hours, twice a week. What more can you ask of them, really? In any case, blame the elves and the administration that employs them to terminate your chances of a painless registration and academic career!