I had my meeting with a counselor and it went very well. I'm not as disheartened as I was going in, that's for sure!
I got a score of six on my exam, and seven is passing, so she advised me to go through the appeals process. As she put it, the worst that can happen is that they say, "No." I'd be no worse off than I am now.
Also, she definitely recommended doing the portfolio option if at all possible. She told me to go ahead and take any written assignment I'd completed at NBU, regardless of whether it was graded or not, and head over to the WPE office to get an opinion. While I'd still have to write a new essay for the portfolio, there are workshops and I could get my drafts vetted ahead of time. We'll see how it goes.
As of right now, I'm working on my appeals letter, which is due no later than 4 PM today...*gulp*. I guess it's another chance to show my writing chops. It's a delicate line to walk, having to show confidence in my writing without tipping into arrogance and entitlement. Hopefully I'll nail it!
Again, wish me luck!