I knew, back when I had so much hope in Nov-Dec, that this was a possibility: that things wouldn't work out and that I would have to fall back on my tertiary option. But it's still demoralizing to have to really stare that possibility in the face.
It ultimately might not matter...after all, multiple people have said that once you have a CPA, the rest of your educational background quickly fades in importance. Still, if I was sure it didn't matter, I wouldn't be trying to do things this way.
It turns out it was an email, not a call. Even so, I GOT IT! ...I responded within 10 minutes with the requested information. I might be a little relieved to have that anxiety over with.