The college promptly cancelled the course.
Well, not exactly, but it's complicated. At this point the decision on schooling had suddenly been taken out of our hands, so we went on with life. We got rid of my car and bought a replacement (financed at 100%), which we then drove out to the west coast on a moderately lavish vacation. We spent like people who thought that they were going to have dual incomes for the foreseeable future. While we were out of town, the college quietly reinstated the course, and sent out "take it or leave it" letters to the applicants. In spite of the change in our financial situation, I convinced atara that we could still (probably) make it if she wanted to go back to school. Maybe.
And do you feel scared - I do
But I won't stop and falter
And if we threw it all away
Things can only get better.
She took the leap. She confirmed her interest in the course and gave notice at her job. It seemed like the right choice until the economy tanked a couple of months later. Suddenly the future didn't seem quite as much of a slam dunk as it had in the fall. My company was talking about wage roll-backs, and was giving notice to long-term employees. Would we be able to afford the full two years of the course? Would I even have a job? Would she be able to find work once she graduated? If she graduated?
The stress and worry were weighing on her, and I feared it would affect her studies. I tried to be her rock. I uttered calming words, promising that things would be fine. I assured her that in spite of the fact that the value of our stocks and savings had fallen virtually in half, and that month after month our expenditures were consistently half-again our earnings, we were still in sound financial shape. Privately I wasn't entirely convinced, but I decided it was better if I did the worrying so that she could concentrate on her courses.
Things were a bit tight for awhile, and we lived on beans and rice more often than not for the first year, but in the end it worked out ok. Also our frugal ways in the first year helped a lot, and we developed some good habits that made the second year a lot easier. Mind you it still wasn't easy, and I feared more than once that she was going to quit, but she persevered.
She started at a new job in her new field on Monday.
Today she officially graduated.
At the top of her class.
Damn, girl. I'm proud of you.