Originally Posted by Eway
Well, I'm not at all familiar with the book and the excerpt doesn't provide me with enough background to know what they're talking about, either. However, I can address the question you have pertaining to (about) "qualifications for fear".
The sentence can be better understood if you put a comma after the word "qualifications" because that is where the pause is.
"Great," I replied, almost not wanting to hear the qualifications, for fear they would put a damper on my excitement."Here, the speaker is afraid to hear what the qualifications are for the particular venture they are researching or looking at because the speaker feels that the qualifications would be so high that he/she would never have a chance to meet them. The speaker feels inadequate, insecure. When something "puts a damper on" someone's enthusiasm or excitement, it takes away that excitement. So he/she is afraid to hear what the qualifications are in case the standards are too high and the speaker would then lose interest in continuing; he'd give up trying to get what he was after.
I hope this helps your understanding of this part of the excerpt.
We'll either need somone else more familiar with this text or more context to explain the rest.
Sweet Momma Sue