Defending my Thesis; Graduating with Honors–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–May 1995, Part 2
Possibly on May 13 or a later date, Cugan and I took our new favorite movie, Much Ado About Nothing with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, to Laura’s house and showed it to the boarders there.
I had never been to Laura’s house before. She lived outside of V–, a small town in M– County. Her boarders were her boyfriend Bob, Shannon, Dan, Helena, and Helena’s two-year-old daughter, Ellie. All of them were in the SCA.
Laura tended to pick up strays, both human and animal.
She lived in a moderate-sized, unfinished, red house on a moderate-sized farm. The living room had no carpet, and it and the bathroom still seemed to be only half-done. The living room was packed with stuff.
I don’t think Laura raised crops, but she did have a horse or two, and rabbits in the barn. Cats and a large black puppy named Nala wandered around.
Soon, two cute, tiny puppies joined the group, Shannon’s puppies. When he got older, the male tried to hump Nala, even though he was a toy breed and Nala was one of the largest breeds. Eventually, unfortunately, Nala ate the female. 🙁
Ellie was as curious and mischievous as a two-year-old usually is, but the others didn’t childproof the house. When she found the flour and covered the house with it before everyone woke up, they probably shouldn’t have been surprised, since the cupboard wasn’t locked.
Bob had a bad temper, which Laura didn’t put up with for long. After all, she’d already been in a bad marriage, and left when the guy pointed a gun at her. I sensed she was going to break up with him when I saw how annoyed she acted with Bob. Cugan saw nothing.
Dan must have been lazy or a bad boyfriend, because one day he was thrown out of the house, and Shannon ended up marrying another guy.
The defense of my thesis was actually the last of my finals, since seniors took finals earlier than the other classes did.
On Monday, May 15, I defended my thesis in front of the panel of teachers I selected. I forget who was in the panel. I know Dr. Nelson and his wife were, and I suspect Thea, Todd and Christina also were.
The defense was set for ten a.m.; it lasted twenty minutes, and the teachers asked me questions. Then I went outside the room, one of the conference rooms in Jubilee, and waited in the hall as they talked about my thesis behind the closed door.
Then Nelson came out and said they were impressed with my extensive reading (more than some of the teachers on the panel had done) and the quality of the work, and would give me an A-.
Not only that, but Nelson put my thesis in the Roanoke library, along with past theses which were so honored, as an example for future students of a good thesis paper.
Such an end to all the anxieties I held about this paper for three and a half years! And at first I wasn’t even going to write one: I was going to drop out of the Honors Core program and take Senior Studies instead!
Now, I needed to re-type the thesis, and give it to Nelson.
Not only that, but the school informed me I would graduate cum laude and with honors. Though I can’t find my final grades, my total GPA was between 3.5 and 3.59.
I got to wear a gold, braided cord for the ceremony, exactly the same as and worn exactly the same as the one given to NHS members in my high school graduation.
As I wrote in the Journal,
One more page of my thesis to type!! That’s the last of my homework. Wow. I can’t believe it. It still hasn’t hit me.
Last Wednesday as I sat in Chaucer, I thought, this is my last class. And I won’t be going to Chaucer or any other class, except for Brit Lit final.
–Such a thought! It made me sad, especially since I’ll miss Chaucer. That was a fun class. I’d recommend it, but Christina wouldn’t be teaching it next year. I’ll also miss Pearl’s CD’s. 🙂
I’m so happy to say I got an A- on that thesis!
On a Wednesday just before graduation, a guy came up to me at the information desk in the library. He was pleasant-looking, and chatted with me for a bit, finding out my name and such.
I wasn’t deliberately flirting with him, but suspected he was interested. Apparently my instincts on these things improved greatly over the years, because while I was on a date with Cugan, this guy called the apartment and asked for me.
Tara or Pearl answered, and told him I was away. Somehow she ended up telling him I was at SCA dance practice with my boyfriend and dressed in medieval clothes, which he said sounded “so cool.” Afterwards, Tara or Pearl chatted and one said to the other, “How does she do it?”
How do I do it? They once asked this same question about Cindy, who despite having only one sort-of boyfriend before college, kept attracting guys at college.
I had such bad luck with men that I often felt like an ugly duckling–until the second half of senior year. And now my friends were asking of me, “How does she do it?” What a difference!
Later on, this guy called me and talked for a bit. He asked me to dinner, but I said I wasn’t comfortable with that. I didn’t know him all that well, and I had an exclusive boyfriend.
He seemed okay with that, and asked if he could get to know me as a friend, because he recently divorced and was looking for friends. I said okay, but I didn’t see him in the library or hear from him again.
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)
Table of Contents
- Meet the Suite
- Meeting Shawn–and a Ninja
- Campus Stories, Wisconsin, Campus Radio Station
- Campus, People, First College Boyfriend
- Dating a Ninja
December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?
April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign
October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:
Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams
- Classmate a stand-in for “Rudy”; Jigging at College Dance
- Library Tales
- Happiness Returns
- Living with Friends in Krueger
- Funny Library Stories
- Shawn Calls
- Psycho Roommates and Bug Wars
- Return of Rick
- Adjusting to New Dorm
- Spitball-Throwing Teacher
- Rat-Obsessed Teacher and Doctor Zhivago
- A Teacher Dated a Student; InterVarsity Fun
- Charlie Peacock Concert
- Random Stories
- Letter to Shawn
- Erotic Vampire Dream (Inspiration for Alexander Boa)
- I Ask Out James
- Peter Calls!
- The Fateful First Meeting of Phil
- The Birth of Dolphin Philosophy
- Our Group of Friends Splits Apart
- Spring Classes
- Big Red Flag: Phil’s Dysfunctional Family Life
- The Drunken Stork (Phil’s Controlling Nature Manifests)
- Idealizing Phase and Early Sign of Control
- Phil Tries to Control my Friendships, Unfair Accusations from his Dad and Brother
- Phil Gaslights Me with Fake Dreams, Ridicule and Psychological Abuse
- Another Pre-Engagement
June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:
- The Abuse Worsens in the Summer of Hell
- Phil rapes me anally
- Phil tries to control me through refusing everything I want–even proper hygiene
- Phil’s cruel hoax on me: his “subconscious” coming out to be with me
- Phil’s “subconscious” explains why he’s coming out to talk to me
- The lies unravel as Phil admits to conning me; also, fright as my periods turn wacky
- How Phil’s behavior fit the signs of abuse
- Phil Mindscrews Me: changes history, blames me for things that were not my fault, treats me like an idiot during games
- Phil says if he abuses me, it takes two people to sign the divorce papers
- Pearl reveals that Phil is costing me social invitations
- Hints that Phil is checking out of the marriage
September 1994–Divorce: The Long, Dark, Painful Tunnel:
- Phil picks fights and avoids responsibilities to make me feel like a shrew
- My husband Phil, Dave and Pearl call me a party pooper for getting a Grade II concussion
- I’m ecstatic to be back with my friends (the ones Phil hates); I meet Charles
- Phil vanishes without a word of why
- Phil wants a divorce
- My friends tells me that Phil is controlling and possessive
- My first Pentecostal church service: They speak in tongues
- Phil refuses to accept responsibility for the divorce
- Phil cuts off contact
- Attack of Phil’s Flying Monkey and Sycophant: Dirk
- Phil the narcissist admits to manipulating people and using them as pawns in his game with me
- Phil comes crawling back to me–and we put our marriage on paper
- Phil demands my complete submission and forces me into oral sex–and my will is broken, for fear he’ll divorce me again
- Phil walks away from me again–because I dare to have my own mind, opinions and needs–and because he’s a sociopath
- Fierce anger against Phil and PTSD from the abuse
- My friends tell me Phil is psychotic
- “Soul Ties”
- I return Phil’s things and he skewers me; consolation from friends
- My letter to Phil
- Phil shows my letter to his friends; I’m triggered by reminder of forced oral sex
- I start dating Charles
- Friends tell me Phil is controlling
- I feel stalked by Phil
- Poem about being stalked by Phil
- Fury at Phil stalking me and rubbing my face in his new relationship
- A Date with the Vampire
- Celtic Class: Knotwork, Tin Whistles, SCA–and Drinking from a Skull
- The Teddy-O Incident; Birth of These Memoirs
- We Hook Up to the Internet–and Shawn Fixates on My Sex Life
- New Guy Begging at My Feet
- Life on TCB
- Meeting Cugan (Hubby)
- Learning my ex Peter was a love-fraud; New Men
- Before Tracy, There Was the Avenger (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 1)
- Torn between three men as Catherine pushes me toward Cugan
- The Love Rectangle
- Torn between FIVE men! Me?
- Persephone’s Own Outrageous Stories of Phil’s Abuse
- College-style living
- Online Shenanigans
- Phil Finds TCB; Meeting a Hit Man
- Gypsy’s Party: Healed friendship with Peter
- The Avenger Starts a Flame War (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 2)
- Meeting the elusive Speaker
- First Date with Future Hubby Cugan
- On Breaking Up with Kindness
- Loony Roommies and Flying Gargoyles
- The Goddess of Pleasure and Salt
- A Conversation with Oscar Wilde
- My First SCA Event
- Cugan: a vast improvement over Phil
- Easter with Cugan’s family and SCA
- Cugan breaks up with me
- After breakup: Phil’s return and trolls
- Cugan comes back
- SCA hippies; college senioritis: anxiety!
- Or should I move back in with my parents?
- Peace with Phil
- Defending my Thesis; Graduating with Honors
- Graduation: Trapped at school
- Epilogue and Apology from Phil