CHICAGO—His day blessed with a fresh new atmosphere of positivity and hope, former aspiring illustrator and current systems analyst Bryan Marsh, 29, walked with an extra spring in his step Monday after receiving the news that one of his classmates had moved back home and stopped pursuing her dreams. “Oh boy, oh boy! It’s a zippity-doo-dah day for me, that’s for damn sure. Hey there, Mister Sun! Isn’t it positively beautiful out?” said Marsh, who repeatedly stopped to ruffle the hair of passing children and winked jauntily at his neighbors while loudly marveling at the difference a little shift in perspective can make after word reached him that talented, ambitious classmate Heather Thompson had moved back in with her parents and put her dreams of being an artist on the back burner for the time being, and for now was focused on saving money and spending time with her aging mother and father. “The air is sweet, the bluebirds are singing, and just like that, I have one less person to compete with or compare myself to—oh, the world’s just a marvelous place!” Marsh’s mood later transformed into deep depression after he was informed that a different classmate had won a $700 two-week arts fellowship.

Advertisement