Update: Not Much of One

First off: Nina, how did you know about the vodka? (In case anybody's worried, tonight it's decaf hazelnut coffee.)

Brief backstory: I've been following a specific list of courses in this graduate program, three courses a quarter (I was awarded a fellowship that gives me a significant amount of aid provided I take three). So, at the work-heavy rate I was going, I planned to graduate at the end of spring quarter 2008. Could hardly wait. Around Thanksgiving 2007 I found out that I am required to take my final course by itself (it's not explicitly stated anywhere on any school-provided information). Pushed my graduation back to December 2008. I was upset but I was dealing. (And they'd promised I'd still get my fellowship money in spite of not taking three courses in the final two quarters.) Further complicating the matter is that towards the end things get a little tricky because what I need to take is usually not offered every quarter--low demand, instructor availability, stuff like that. So I had to sit down and plan out my registration for the final quarters based on the projected course offerings. Then I was all set, and I registered for the current quarter that I am taking now. With me so far?

How I Screwed Up: At the time of that registration, I got up early on the registration date so I'd definitely get the three courses I'd planned. It turned out that was the general registration date, and as an online student I couldn't register until the next day. When this time rolled around, I thought the same rule applied, and I waited a day. WRONG!!! The worst part was that I didn't figure out from my buddy's e-mails from the day before that she had registered for the same one course that I was taking. Only I'm not taking it. It was closed! Didn't find that out until I e-mailed my advisor all stupidly, "Um, I thought they were offering [badly needed course] this quarter but it's not coming up on the add list!" and she had to break it to me--they don't show up when they're closed. Who knew? Of course I stewed from 7:42 a.m. to about 11:00 because I'd asked her to leave a message on my cell (I can't access my school e-mail at work) and I couldn't check voicemail until then.

What's Happening Now: Waiting. My advisor told me not to worry (I think her word was "panic"), that it was early in the registration process and there were bound to be people dropping the class. . . besides, she had put in a request for a second section which could be on-campus--but she had the nerve to ask, "What are your thoughts on taking that class on campus? (I know you are an online student, but figured I would check.)" Yeah, let me just explain to work that I can't be there because I have to go take a class for my secret graduate program.
I know, she meant well. Her theory is that if an on-campus section does open, some currently registered for the online section would drop the online class in favor of the on-campus section, opening up some seats. And in the meantime we're both checking the add list in case drops occur anyway.

So I'm trying to carry on with my current courseload and focus on the present, but I tell you (uh, that's the internet-you), I am sad, anxious, and worried. Not to mention a bit puzzled as well, because as it happens something strange happened the day before.

(This is probably where I lose half of my tiny readership.) *deep breath* Nearly every Tuesday, the church near my work is open for visits. (The RC portion of my tiny readership may know what I mean by "Adoration." That's O.K. if you're RC and you don't; I didn't know what it was, outside of Forty Hours Devotion, until I got to college.) I started going for a visit on my lunch hour every Tuesday since the start of grad school. It was a good compromise for having to discontinue my Friday morning Mass-before-work practice that I'd started not long after a really bad breakup in 2005. Most times I go and pray, maybe the rosary, maybe just share what's going on or thank God for something, maybe bring before the Lord the intentions of some friends and other people who have asked for prayers or just people who are in need of them. You probably get the idea. It's gotten me through some rough times and even in ordinary times it's good.

This past Tuesday, I went out in the early snow/slush for an abbreviated visit. And from the moment I knelt down, I kept getting this feeling: God was asking me to trust Him. Like the words "Just trust me" coming at me, over and over. While I'm trying to tell Him about the wonderful date I had on Saturday and how happy yet scared I was (hey, stuff like that doesn't happen often, and after the runaround I got over the summer nobody could blame me--now it could be ruined by this school stuff too, I fear!).

I'm the farthest thing from a mystic. I'm devout, but far from perfect. A few years ago I was told I'm "deeply spiritual" by a medical intuitive who said on a scale of 1 to 10 where good priests and nuns are 8s or 9s, I was a 7 (don't ask but he was the only one to figure out my milk allergy). I'm not saying this to brag; it's just made me feel a little bit less weird when strange things happen. So when this feeling of being asked to trust Him came up, I took a moment to consider it. I hadn't really decided to "give up" something for Lent--more like I was trying to figure how to be closer to God. I thought to myself, well, trusting God--that might be my opportunity. But deep down, I knew it wasn't just about saying, "Yeah, I trust you, whatever." It was more like, Crazy things are going to come my way and I'm going to cry/protest/resist even though ultimately they are for the best and leading to the good things He wants to give me. I gave in and said, All right.

The next day (yesterday), school went haywire. I'm afraid I've screwed up my school career yet again. If I don't get this class for spring, will I have to go to class during the summer? What if it's not until fall? Then what happens to the final class I had planned for the fall? Where is all this going?

So it's up in the air when I'll be finished school, again. Maybe. Trying not to panic. Trying not to let it color my every thought at the moment. And trying to trust things will work out.


Mr. Bingley said…
Gosh, kate, your faith and dedication are inspirational. Things have, frankly, an amazing way of working out (i can attest from personal experience) and the blessings show up when you least expect them. As my departed mother-in-law always said, "this too shall pass" and i'll be damned if she wasn't always right.

well, i'll probably be damned anyway but that's another discussion that requires a lot of alcohol.
Nina said…
If I were not in the middle of a huge ugly work crisis, I'd tell you all about how stuff like that happens to me all the time and I usually look around me as if to say "who is that talking? In my head?"

Don't fret. It'll be ok. Oh and I wish I were half so good a person as you are. If I were, maybe I'd finish my dissertation and get out more.

Kate P said…
Nina and Bingley--thanks. (And Bingley, God doesn't give up on people as easily as we do on ourselves and others, so don't you throw away your hope, either.)

Tonight I got the crazy idea in my head to post on the graduate discussion board that I need to get into this class. My advisor will probably want to kill me but I said if anybody else wanted a second section opened they should e-mail her. It never hurts to ask!

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