The Quest Schema

Suburban Michigan, where few expectations confront me and everything is according to a plan, is the ORDINARY WORLD of my mystory.

Experiencing the world through a particular kind of travel presents itself as OUTER PROBLEM in the discourse of this mystory. Rather than travelling in the typical sense, my academic life affords me the opportunity to leave home and experience new and interesting problems. For instance, moving from Michigan to Florida for graduate school as a form of physical travel can be represented here, but it is also paralleled by a kind of intellectual travel away from my suburban paradigm. Seeking to contribute to public and scholarly discourse presents itself as the INNER PROBLEM, since I became frustrated and bored with my blue-collar work life.

My undergraduate major, then, served as the CALL to intellectual travel. Having began my academic career at a community college, though, meant appeasing the admission board's requirements to attend a four year institution. Here, the admissions board serves as THRESHOLD GUARDIAN. As DONORS or SHADOW-MENTORS, the board (or really, their requirements, since I never met anyone responsible for admissions deliberation) granted me access to a tool—the university—to further engage my CALL.

My encounters with the community of faculty members in my major department started me on the path to the SPECIAL WORLD of academia. Their courses often served as TESTS of my capacity for intellectual work. As a student at the university but also a fully employed worker, it wasn't long before my lengthy work days and full load of classes brought my life to a breaking point, an ORDEAL that threatened to collapse my hope to enter the SPECIAL WORLD of academia.

In a move to RESURRECT my chances and not disappoint my MENTORS, I gave up my full-time workplace status, which also meant giving up health insurance and taking a pay deduction. My MENTORS then offered me support and motivation to continue my studies, being inclined to improve the department's status (their OUTER PROBLEM) by sending graduates off to Master's programs in the SPECIAL WORLD.