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….