Monday, March 22, 2010

We regret to inform you…we’ve run out of ice cream

Plan A has been squashed like a bug—there will be no PhD for us, at least not this year. We were rejected by every school we applied to and, frankly, it feels awful. Andrew feels even worse than I do, I’m sure, since he’s the addressee of the letters of regret. What more could we have done?

He has a 3.933 GPA. He was awarded a research grant. One of his translations is being published in the upcoming Literary Atlas of Cairo. His GRE scores are competitive. I’m positive he had excellent letters of recommendation. And it isn’t like AUC is unprestigious.

As far as we can tell it’s this darn recession we’re in. Schools have been accepting fewer students than usual from a larger than usual candidate pool. Funding has been cut virtually everywhere so even if we had gotten into school there wouldn’t have been any guarantee of funding and school in the States is so expensive!

So we’ve been a little grumpy at our house. After all, we are due to depart in about 10 weeks and have no solid plans for when we get home. And that’s a little stressful, especially considering all the little mouths to feed.

Last night we threw ourselves a pity party. We put the girls to bed, waited for them to fall asleep, and then ordered ice cream sundaes and hot apple pies from McDonald’s. And I roped Andrew into talking about The Future. Finally.

I’ve been trying to get Andrew to talk about The Future for a while but it’s been a sensitive issue for him. Besides, he tells me, The Thesis is more important than The Future right now. However, his dad set up a phone date for last night and Andrew felt that we should come up with some sort of Plan B to share so we finally, finally sat down to discuss alternatives without using The Thesis as an excuse to avoid the subject. Everybody knows you can’t work on a thesis while eating ice cream and pie.

McDonald’s is not that far away from our house so we always expect them to be at our door within minutes. But the few times we’ve ordered from them we’ve been wrong and they end up taking forever. Last night was no different.

We were sitting around waiting for our food when the phone rang. I answered. It was for Andrew. I handed him the phone. He talked for a few minutes before turning to me.

“McDonald’s is out of ice cream. Do we still want the pies?”

Yes. We still want the pies. But how does McDonald’s run of out ice cream? You know things are bad when you can’t even throw a good pity party. No ice cream? Sheesh.

But at least we got around to talking about The Future…while eating hot apple pie.

We came up with a rough draft of Plan B and even made some sketches of Plan C. After talking with Reid we’re feeling even better about things. At any rate we’re both feeling more positive about the future and are less concerned about having to go work some job flipping hamburgers for minimum wage with a master’s degree under our belt at a place that can’t even keep a decent inventory of ice cream for people throwing pity parties.

We also got to watch a little bit of the live debate on the health care bill where I heard “Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks in opposition to this flawed bill” more times than I ever wished to.

The bill passed, which we’re happy about, but Andrew would like to let the record show that his flip flop broke this morning while he was out and about so he had to walk around with an elastic band holding his shoe together.

“That,” he says, “Was the ultimate slap in the foot.”

Me? I can’t really decide what’s worse. No grad school, no ice cream, or no shoes…hmmmm….


  1. It's been a crappy month for lots of people. I think the stars/planets are out of line. Hope things get better soon :)

  2. Yeah, I think someone is out to get you Andrew. Have you angered the gods of recession? No PHD, no Ice Cream and then a broken shoe. I would agree with Layla, the planets are out of line. In all seriousness, if theres anything Carolee and I can do for you guys? Please don't hesitate to ask. We can always bring more candy. You all can drown your pity in more gummy bears and swedish fish. Or until McDonalds gets more ice cream.

  3. I can buy you ice cream in 10 weeks.

  4. david stole my comment.......10 weeks!!!!!

  5. I can buy you ice cream in 6 weeks! HA!

    Coming from someone who is living their Plan B, sometimes it's pretty awesome.

  6. It might be more than 10 weeks. It might be more like 12 or 13 weeks. *Someone* can't count...but I won't name any names.

  7. My Plan A was the same as your family's, and I'm quickly trying to put together a Plan B. It's tough to see the silver lining, but it's there. Hope everything works out for you. Also, McDonald's once told me they didn't have ice cream because the milkman hadn't showed up that day!

  8. I am sorry Grad school did not work out the way you hoped, I know it will work out for you in the end, Good luck with your last little bit in Cairo. What an adventure your little family has been on.

  9. I am sorry to hear about this all! We too, are working on our plan B. But you guys are smart and resourceful and I am sure you will get things figured out! See you guys in a bit!

  10. Just read this--my friend Anita wonders if you have called AZ to ask WHY they said no after inviting you to apply? (She is a PHD herself, and she just thought you ought to ask.)

  11. Sorry to hear this too, but I'm sure you guys will get things all figured out! Crazy that you're almost done in Egypt... We're going to be in Utah the first week of June but it sounds like we'll miss you guys by just a few weeks or something - nuts!! It would have been really fun to do a mini-reunion, next time I guess!