Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Long Wait

Yesterday I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. What other shoe? Nothing specific, just feeling like there should be news of something, mail concerning an important matter, something. Avram woke up this morning convinced there was going to be something important on the Internet when he did his morning ablutions on it; an email, some news, something. Of course there was nothing; just the usual smattering of impersonal emails from groups he signed up for long ago.

Despite our best efforts, I believe Avram and I have fallen into the long wait syndrome; we've applied to doctoral schools what seems like eons ago, and now we're walking around half hoping, half expecting that today will be the day, that an email, a phone call, a letter might come. That an interview will be extended, an offer made, funding included. Anything to let us know that our six schools are still considering us, that they care, that they didn't automatically chuck our application into the trash after having a hearty laugh over it.

Although the last deadline for applications was a mere two weeks ago, we both approach every new day with a half-veiled, even from our own consciousness, hope that today will be it, today will be the day that breaks the silence. And yet the silence stretches on - the sound of silence can be many things, one of which I put forth is waiting for news of applications.

Yesterday I broke down and for the first time checked one of those web sites where applicants gather together, anxious to at least talk about nothing together to pass the time, instead of waiting it out alone. Although some aspects of the site were daunting; there is a list where people can put the results of their applications, and people have begun to list acceptances and interviews (and rejections) - although mostly centered wholly in the scientific field, which finds out early compared to the humanities. Yet there were a few interviews for English and Philosophy, and I wondered if not having heard from a school for an interview, specifically Duke, which we know does them, means that we're out of the running.

Yet there were positive aspects to the site as well; after reading forums where anxious applicants stated that they had never wanted anything so much as these applications to work, and that pursuing a doctoral degree was the most important thing in their life, it was nice to remember that whatever else, Avram has Lydia and I and the gospel to give meaning to his life, and not a degree alone. That we know we're here on this earth for a higher purpose than to get a good financial package for graduate school, that in the eternities people won't put Ph.d. after their name anyway. As well, that we've been praying throughout this whole process, and fasting, and that if our life takes a different direction than what we thought it would, that the Lord is over all, and can see the end from the beginning much better than we can.

In a recent church news (week ending Dec. 29 2007) I read an article about a family where the father had applied to medical school in Utah, and they fully expected to get in. Instead he was rejected, and they ended up moving to Philadelphia where he went to a graduate program, but not medical school, there. After moving there she had problems with her pregnancy, and four months later gave birth to a son with a rare medical condition. There were only two hospitals in the country trained in the disease in all of America, and one was only a half hour away in Delaware.

I love stories like this, because it makes me feel much better about our own uncertain future. I don't think that we'll have as spectacular a story of the Lord's guidance in where we go/don't go, but I do know that as surely as he guided that family where they needed to be, he'll guide ours. And if there isn't a specific place he has in mind for us, then he'll show us that as well.

Last year we didn't find out about the first school that we got into until in February, so there is still plenty of time for good news, and in fact it would be odd to get an offer this early anyway. I try not to second guess where we'll go; last year I was constantly looking at the various housing situations at each school, and other information for living there. The one school I looked at the least is where we are, because I never thought that Avram would get into Oxford (he didn't either), so this time I'm not even bothering trying to figure things out until we know.

The shoe will drop, the big email will come, and someday, someday soon in reality, we will know. Just not yet.


  1. Thora, you're life has always been unexpected but totally designed by the Lord. I know Avram will be happy where ever he goes. The Lord has big things plan for both you and I. There are the times that we need to have complete faith - I mean look at the amazing lives we have and yet not more than 4 years ago we didn't know were we would end up! The Lord is awesome!

  2. Thora, you're so real and so good at expressing it. I love you. All of this is kind of like pregnancy. You get through it, just slowly. I guess it helps us learn what eternity means.

  3. we are in the same place in a way.. every day i check online to see if cory has gotten an email about a job for the faa.. i scour their site. I have googled forums to see what others are doing, who has gotten interviews already, etc. Everytime the phone rings i hold my breath its for an interview. he has applied to so many places that its hard to not know where we may end up! I have even checked out the housing markets in various places... i hate the rock yards in new mexico but love the trees and green and mild winters of arkansas. housing market is great in alabama ( well compared to utah). cory still hopes to get the job in salt lake.. but I dont care where it is personally. I am soooo ready to have a change! besides you and mary and soon to be soren are not here anyways.