Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flying Outta There

Yesterday afternoon Denise finally got the email from Ross, telling her whether she passed or not. The road to that email was stressful as all hell.

After she had finished her exam, there was the usual self-doubt and concern about passing. I have never concerned myself with this stage of her studies, since her record indicates that she always passes with flying colours. This time, however, there was a difference in her tone. She was genuinely concerned that she didn't pass, in part because she had received her lowest score in Ross just a week before, and in part because of clerical errors on the university's part that put her at a disadvantage. Doubt crept into my mind, but I knew if I agreed with her in her concern, she would have a meltdown, and then I would probably also have a meltdown. So best just put the best face on and avoid this situation.

Not sure if the bloody lady would be Denise or me.

I was really looking forward to the flight out of the island, watching the mountains pass beneath us, listening to my victory music and celebrating. My thoughts, however, went something like this, in repeat, as I watched Dominica slip away

Holy sexy balls we're outta here! Victory is ours!
Oh shit but what if I have to come back?
No, no, of course not, don't be ridiculous. This is it. We're done here, folks.
Well, regardless, we get to go home for the holidays.
Oh yes! Right!
Family is great!
Yes it is! 
Yay for family!
But it'll suck quite a bit if we have to come back in January.
Damnit, we're done here, brain.

We didn't know when Denise would get her grades, but we had an inside source that indicated they would be released Monday afternoon. We had a layover that day in Barbados from 10am to 4pm. The four hours spent before the plane took off was a compulsive refreshing of the email, and a slowly growing tension. We boarded the plane without information, but almost certain that when we landed in Toronto five hours later, there would be a message waiting for her that would determine our next four months. We were each getting more stressed, I imagine her moreso than me, but tried to keep our collective cools because there is unfortunately no internets up in the skies.

We arrive in Toronto and get through customs, transfer our luggage, and nervously make our way to Tim Hortons. She checks the internet as I get a milk and a donought. I watch her with bubbling anxiety. She looks up and shakes her head sadly.

Holy shit did she fail?

"No email," she says.

I nearly keel over. Oh Christ I hate this goddamned university.

Now we have to get on another flight, the red-eye to Vancouver, but we can at least take small comfort in the fact that no one at Ross is going to work past 8pm, so we won't get any news until the next day. The flip side, of course, is that Ross is four hours ahead of Vancouver, so the grades could be up any time after 4am in Vancouver. This means no sleepy-time for Denise.

She woke at 9am, checked her email. Nothing. 10am, nothing. 11am, nothing. By noon, we hadn't heard anything, and I could hear an ulcer forming in Denise's stomach as she had to leave for a doctor's apointment. As fate would have it, Ross sent out the email as soon as she was stuck in a doctor's office with no internet, and her appointment was running late (thank you facebook updates for letting me know about this). I call and let her know they're up, but she wants to wait to check for herself instead of getting me to access her email. So we wait. I turn to her brother, who is in the kitchen.

"This is going to be the most stressful fifteen minutes of my life. You might want to get a camera."

Her brother mutters nonsensically into his chest.

Five minutes later, she calls me in a panic, and walks me through how to check her scores. I open her email. Unfortunately, there's no big bright button that says "YOU PASSED MOTHAFUCKA!", but she walks me through how to interpret the numbers, and I inform her in relief that she has finished her second year of medical school. Jubilations all around, and then I hang up.

Yesterday was the celebration we'd been holding off. We ain't never goin back to Dominica (hopefully). I then proceeded to listen to my victory song. Everyone has one, and if they don't they should. Mine is The Obvious Child by Paul Simon. And oh it sounded so sweet. We're Michigan-bound, ladies and gentlemen.


  1. Congrats Denise and glad you both survived. Love d&w

  2. Holy crap on a cracker I got nervous reading that, can't imagine living it! Good skills as always Denise! See you guys soon!

  3. haha...even though I knew that you would pass without a problem, there may have been a pit in my stomach while reading this blog post anyway. I guess I (sort of) know how Mark felt ;) Congrats on being finished with that stage of school, although I bet you'll miss it (or at least look back at it with fondness).

  4. That's OK. U don't ever need to come back to Dominica. F-in loser. It's a great island that many people enjoy. Stop making it seem like there is nothing great about the island when it is really the total opposite. Dominica is the best! Just not cut for u stuck up a_holes.