I hear from yet another friend where they will be spending the next 3-4 years of their life for school. They ask me. I try to think of something decisive I can give them and the best answer I have is "it's boiled down to Michigan, Virginia, or Texas." They have no response as that narrows it down to "somewhere in the United States...and not California".
Thursday April 10th, pm:
As it gets late, I get tired and begin to have the first of several emotional breakdowns about not knowing where we are going to live; let alone how we will find housing without visiting, where I will work and if I will make enough to live off of, how often I will get to see Matt (every other student wife is telling me how you are basically on your own), who will be in our ward, if I will have any friends...as the list continued I began to choke on more of the words.
Matt promises me that by this time next week we will have decided for sure where we are going to live.
I settle down and fall to sleep with thoughts of a place where the Austin City Limits is held at the beach of all the Great Lakes and Jefferson's Monticello home.
Friday April 11th:
After calculating all the tuition, scholarship offers, grants, loans and living expenses in each place Matt and I decide on Virginia. It's bang for the buck. Matt is a sport about our decision but I can tell he is sad that we won't be living in the music capitol or as close to his "roots". I start to feel at ease knowing I only have to search one housing and job market from now on.
I post my status on facebook: "Cate is 'moving to Virginia'!"
Saturday April 12th:
The search for housing begins. Matt emails some inquiries to current LDS law school students for some help. We are flooded with suggestions. All with pros and cons nearly impossible to weigh. A wife of one of the law students takes the liberty to impress upon us that we could live in some really great reasonably-priced housing as long as we have a child or at least pregnant with one. She even goes as far to explain that all we do is have to tell the landlord's we are at least "trying".
I start feel an emotional breakdown coming on again and decide to take a nap before I think too much about the constituents of some Virginia housing or who else will be party of our ward community.
Sunday April 13th:
More job hunting. More house hunting. Apply to a bunch of housing places and one job.
Monday April 14th:
Read above. Can't stop thinking about the weird email from that girl.
Tuesday April 15th:
Try and figure out how the heck we can move all our stuff across the country with only 2 people and a two door sedan. We resign ourselves to taking a hefty chunk of our savings get a rental truck that can carry our stuff and tow our car.
Deposit deadline for Texas.
Wednesday April 16th:
Matt finally hears back from Yale. He gets the nicest email telling him he is waitlisted and that there could be slight possibilities of admittance or transfer but of course no guarantees. We continue to move forward towards Virginia. My mom and I look at a map and I realize that it is going to be a super long drive.
I go to work until 9pm. Matt comes to pick me up. He tells me that there is an email he wants me to take a look at. "I'm not really sure what to make of it." I ask him who sent it to him. "Let's wait until we get home". I start to get anxious. I want to know if it is serious. He tells me it is nothing I need to worry about but we still need to wait.
The email gives a link to Matt's "would be if he had made the deposit on April 15th" financial status/estimates at University of Texas. From what we can gather we have had a $35,000+ misunderstanding about the offer. Apparently when the scholarship letter came we read that "three-year" of law school resident tuition application was a "third year" only application. Apparently the absent "s" on "three-year" was simply a typo. With that and failure to realize that there were a handful of additional grants applied, it turns out Austin is/was the best choice for us. Woops!
We realized this at about 11pm. That makes a deposit to the admissions office 2 days late on the deposit deadline! Woops!
Matt and I sat about 4 "family prayers" together. Each one getting more "please please please....if it is at all okay can we PLEASE still go to Texas?" Then Matt tries to sleep. He gets about 4 hours of the 8 available in fitful nightmares about the conversation he needs to have the next morning with the admissions.
Thursday April 17th:
Matt wakes up at 7:30 and showers. By 8am he is on the phone with admissions trying in his most diplomatic yet pleading way to describe the misunderstanding. The lady on the other line is sympathetic but tells him it is not up to her. We need to fax in our deposit and then the committee will review it and "get back to us sometime". Matt goes and faxes the deposit.
I spill a yogurt shake on the carpet and start crying. Matt asks tries to figure out why "spilling a shake is such a big deal". I cry some more and tell him that I really need to know where we are living next year. Matt starts to feel guilty for the whole ordeal and says the mistake was his fault. I start to cry more not because of the shake but because I made him feel guilty. Matt sends out another email to some other person that has some sort of relevant authority on the matter. I eat breakfast and begin to try and focus my Chi or Tao or something. Somehow I get a mellow place.
Matt goes to work and I lay down again because I am yet again overwhelmingly exhausted from nerves. I dream of reading an email of UT that forgives our mistakes and welcomes us with open arms to their community. I wake up to my phone ringing. It's Matt on break. He wants me to check his email for anything. I do and this is what I read to him from the Dean of admissions:
Dear Mr. Sweeney-
Please do not worry; we will not cancel your seat. You will receive email notification once your enrollment deposit has been processed by the Student Accounts Receivable Office.
Ms. Terrie P. Barry
Associate Director of Admissions
The University of Texas School of Law
So there it is. Matt promised me "this is it! I don't care if someone sends me a briefcase full of money from some other school. I don't care if Yale accepts me from the waitlist! We are done with this business."