Well, after the usual two posts, I guess it's time to address what I've seen, done, and had done to me during my hiatus. We'll start with the last: the oral defense of my primary comprehensive examination in multimedia. I went into the defense with a plan:
Despite months of preparation, I would would be unmistakably flustered during the defense. This defense would become increasingly noticeable to the examining professors, as my answers became more and more incoherent, unintelligible, and bizarrely critical of Canada's foreign policy. In the end, they would have no choice but to fail my defense. Under the University of Blank's English Department's policy, I would have five months to prepare for a second attempt. Though I study almost constantly, my confidence is shattered, and further fractured through a series of nervous breakdowns. The actual defense is even more disastrous than the first, as I descend into entirely undecipherable nonsense, except for one long passage in which I insult my examiner's credentials, values, and ancestorial lineage.
At this point, I will be asked to leave the program. After failing to find employment in the Ontario area, I move back to Saskatchewan. I return to the other half of my undergraduate double major, and enroll in the University of Somewhere Else's Mathematics grad program. However, due to my lack of confidence and over five years away from the discipline, I soon find the work load overwhelming, and drop out of a second graduate program. Realizing that my life is spiraling out of control, I take the advice of family and friends and enter into long sessions with a life guidance counselor. Working together, we investigate the roots of my self-destructive behavior, and forge a new direction for my career.
Following in the footsteps of my parents, I enroll in the University of Somewhere Else's education college. Though the entry interview is nearly disastrous, I pull through largely as a result of the college's strong need for male teachers; my dual English and mathematics background is also an asset. As a mature student, I pass quickly through the program and soon possess a Bachelor of Education. Given my rural upbringing, I apply to every municipal division I can, reasoning that there is less competition for these positions than the city postings, and that I would be able to adjust to the environment quickly. I find a post, and settle into my new job. I meet a woman at this town, and appeal to her through the joint benefits of her being over thirty and desperate, and me being someone she hasn't known since the day she was born. We marry, and though she wasn't what I had been looking for and I wasn't she was looking for, we quietly settle down into some sort of life.
Eight years later, she leaves me for a younger man. I return to my spiral of self-loathing and recrimination, and drop out of sight, eventually changing my name to Bryce Larkin, and no one ever hears from me again.
But I passed the defense, so I guess I'll have to go with Plan B.