On our first drive into Victoria I marked the passing of the exit to the University of Victoria with a comment. It wasn’t much, probably “oh that’s UVIC” or something else off-hand. Paul asked, “what, exactly, happened with that?”
I tried to explain. I told him it was the only school to which I had applied, and that when I was accepted to the University, but not the music program I was devastated. (One of the piano instructors had been an edjudicator of mine at the Rotary Music Festival so we called him and he explained that of all the applicants they were only accepting 12 pianists.) I told him Mum wanted me to go to school anyway, but when I considered the other programs of study I felt dark. I thought that meant I should stick to my original plan, to stay in Whitehorse, work, and make sure next year’s audition tape was worth it.
That afternoon our stake president called (Jerry was BP at the time) and after conducting whatever business he had, asked Mum how I was doing. “Well, actually,” she began, “today she got a rejection letter from the only school to which she applied.”
“Why isn’t she going to Ricks?” he asked. Mum wouldn’t answer. She decided that was a discussion best held between him and me.
Ultimately I decided I had little to lose in applying there. I could always transfer if I didn’t like it, but that it would be good for me to go outside of my comfort zone, go somewhere completely unknown, and spread my wings. (UVIC had represented a “safe” choice to me, not because I knew I’d be accepted, but because it was within my realm of comfort.) So I applied for the January term, was accepted, and embarked on a life I’d have never been able to plan.
Paul was silent for a long time. Finally he said, “are you sad you never went to UVIC?”
I thought about this. I truly had not asked myself the same question in ten years. Finally I answered, “no. I’m glad.”
We didn’t even drive by campus while we were there. I was happy to be with my family, the family I wouldn’t have had if I had stayed in Canada.