As anticipated, the leave of absence was only a long shot to cover the last two academic years (not including the present), with the expectation that I would achieve reinstatement by this spring (i.e., January). That last is not going to happen. So the first becomes a moot point.
Fifty-one hours of PhD studies, on the verge of proposing a dissertation project. And it’s gone.
Clearly I wasn’t ready to call it quits last week. I’m no more ready today. But there it is, whether I like it or not.
I don’t know what it means to think of myself as an ex-academic. I’ve carried my dissertation topic for three years, including my directed readings. I don’t know what it is to not have that in my consciousness.