Me, Me, Me, Me, Me
I think everyone who reads this blog knows me pretty well, so I don’t feel too bad writing a post that’s basically just a bunch of random updates about my life and job search. Hope you don’t mind, cuz here it goes:
As you might imagine, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions lately that sound a lot like this: “Oh, so you’re not teaching any more… So what are you going to do?” Ugh. This is a completely fair question, but I still dread it. It’s embarrassing to not have a set plan after pretty much the entire summer has passed, but I don’t.
I do, however, have some ideas floating through my head, though, so I’ll share those. You’ll notice that I’m completely ADD.
- I still like the idea of writing of course. Unfortunately, I haven’t done much with it this summer. Actually, my efforts here verge on pathetic. I’ve been keeping up pretty well with 30 Days, but other than that, I’ve barely written anything since the beginning of the summer. I have some leads I need to follow up on, but mostly I just need to shut up, sit down, and write more.
- I’ve always wanted to live abroad, but was never especially interested in teaching English in another country, so I couldn’t figure out what else I could do to get myself a Visa. Then, when I was in Rhode Island earlier this summer, my friend told me that her husband is in the process of applying to join the Foreign Services. Since then I’ve become sort of obsessed with the idea, but it’s actually really hard to get into. I’ve registered to take the exam (technically, I think I’ve applied to register), and will find out if I made it into the October slot (they give the exam 3x a year) at the end of August or beginning of September. If I do get to test in October, I’ll really have to study hard because many of the sample questions stumped me, and I’m usually a pretty good test taker. The exam has a multiple choice (government/ culture/ history/ economics/ statistics/ management/ communications/ etc. + grammar/ writing… guess which part I’m feeling good about) and an essay. If you pass the multiple choice section, they grade your essay. If you pass the essay, you get invited to submit a personal narrative. If they like that, you can go in for an oral assessment. If that goes well, you apply for your medical and security clearance. And then you’ve got a final review. And if you get through all of that, you get put on a list to be contacted if any jobs come up–no guarantees. You can only stay on the list for 18 months; if you don’t get a job, you can start the whole process over. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. The entire thing takes quite a while (the testing/interviewing stuff alone takes a year, I think), so this is something that’s going to stay in the back of my mind for now. I’m going to start the process fully recognizing that nothing will come out of it for a long time, or maybe at all. Still though, I’m enthusiastic about the possibilities.
- For a few years I’ve really wanted to learn how to use Photoshop. Then I saw this husband and wife web design team, and I totally fell in love with the idea of working with Eric on something similar. He’d code; I’d do graphics. Is this a feasible dream? I have no idea. But it sounds really cool. I talked to E about taking a class at VCU, and he was very supportive. But then I realized that they offer an Introduction to Photoshop course at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. I’m sure it’s not as comprehensive, but for $170, it’s certainly sounds like a good place to start. So I was all set to sign up for that, and then yesterday Groupon had a deal for $95 at the VAC for $39, reducing my $170 class to $114. Not bad, right? I start on September 13, and I’m really excited!
- On our way home from Lynchburg last weekend, Eric and I discussed my interests and talents, and realized that I really enjoy planning and organizing. Lesson planning was one of my favorite things about teaching and I really threw myself into creating cool plans/units/projects/etc. Like many brides, I got really into the whole wedding planning thing too. My first article sold was a plan for a day in DC with tweens (it still says “publishing scheduled” otherwise I’d share it with you). From this conversation, I realized that I might like event planning–corporate or social events, but probably not wedding planning in particular. My mom was a very successful meeting planner when she lived in California, so she has lots of background information of the field. I happened to mention this idea to my friend Hannah on Sunday night, and the very next day I got an email from her explaining that her husband’s brother’s girlfriend (what a chain) is the event coordinator at Lemaire restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel AND she just gave her two weeks notice AND she’s partially responsible for finding her replacement. Is that kismet or what? I’m meeting with her on Saturday, and even if the only thing that comes out of it is some insight into the profession, I think it will be a very good thing.
Of course, give me a couple weeks and I might be excited about something totally different, but right now this is what I’ve got. I finally feel like I’m moving forward and it makes me very happy.
Thanks for listening to me ramble on about myself!
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