Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for March, 2010

The List

Posted by quirksalight on March 31, 2010

Today, at the end of training, we received the LIST. The bid list, which shows us the available posts that we could be sent to. Some require no language and have an estimated departure in a couple months; others are the complete opposite. I believe we all started cheering when they passed it out. 🙂

From this point, we have about 2 weeks to research and decide how we are going to bid on the posts, taking into consideration preferences, languages, etc.

It’s pretty sweet. There’s a great deal of variety in the 100+ posts available to us, with a good representation of all regions. Time to get cracking on the decision calculus!

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First Day

Posted by quirksalight on March 29, 2010

“I, [state your name.] do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I take this obligation freely and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me, God.”

On Monday morning, the 152nd class Foreign Service Officer class stood up in the Henderson Auditorium of Main State and took the above oath of office, swearing us in. Exciting, scary, exhilarating, and surprised, I had to admit I got a bit of a chill down my back as I stood, repeating the oath with the other 92 members of my class. It’s really on!

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Baby, it’s on!

Posted by quirksalight on March 28, 2010

‘Twas the night before A-100, and all through the 152nd class,
Everyone was stirring, including the brass.
The suits were pressed and hung with care,
Knowing that we’d be wearing them there;
Future FSOs nestled in their beds,
With bid lists and posts, dancing in their heads.
Bags packed with IDs and papers,
Documents which are our future-makers,
Eagerly waiting as the night ticks by,
Sleep eluding us, my, oh my!
When all of a sudden, we spring from our beds,
Holy crap, did we forget something about the feds?
Resolved, relieved, and our minds at ease,
We sleep, dreaming of posts that tease;
Of Poli, PD and Econ;
Management and Con……

The other verses will come as training commences! Whee!!!!

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Movin’ on out…

Posted by quirksalight on March 26, 2010

Wednesday, March 24th, 9:45am, Atlas Van Lines came by to pack up my UAB, which I had spent most of Tuesday sorting out. Weighing in at 93 pounds (including the packaging), I think the movers were thinking, “She called up movers for this??” as it was rather small. Like, pitifully small. But, it was more than I could carry down to VA on the train, so off it went! I think the toaster oven took up around 30% of the volume packed (not weight).

Less than 24 hours to go in NYC…

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Lunchtime meetings

Posted by quirksalight on March 24, 2010

I met several members of my training class at a NYC Metro lunch get together today. AW and NT came, and we had a fly-by visit from one of the MK’s in the 152nd. (there are 2)

Heading into Woorijip, a Korean deli/buffet place on 32nd street, we quickly grabbed our food and spent the next 90 mins just discussing our backgrounds (engineering, arabic and straight out of college, educational travels), an interesting point being we were all ivies. Of course, we’re all neurotically twitchy about the start of training… halfway waiting for the other shoe to drop, and really wanting to just jump up and down and go, “Wheeeeeee!” because the day we had worked for is almost here.

And it was nice. Really, really, nice to be able to say, “See you in a couple of days,” upon parting, as it just means that the next major phase of our lives is about to begin.

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Packing, packing, packing…

Posted by quirksalight on March 18, 2010

… because time is ticking!
I’m consolidating my possessions, hence this 36 hour run back down to Northern Va to separate out my possessions into HHE (when I leave for post) and stuff I need for training. The latter will be moved when I get down to the DC area on the 27th into Oakwood, as my UAB (unaccompanied air baggage) will be leaving from NYC on the 24th. So much packing… so much coordinating!!!

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Now back to our regularly scheduled programming….

Posted by quirksalight on March 9, 2010

It’s major countdown to A-100! 19 days until move, and 21 days until the first day of training. Pinch me, I’m so freakin’ excited!!!

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Graduating from the baby slopes

Posted by quirksalight on March 8, 2010

Yay! Sunday was another snowboarding day and it was time to move up the mountain. 🙂

This was the third time at Mountain Creek this season, the first had ghastly weather conditions, and the second was a great session where I got the fundamentals.

Now, the testing of those said fundamentals, my friends (GL and TH) and I headed back to Mountain creek on an unusually warm (54 F!!) March day.

After two runs down the beginner’s slope, my friends (GL and TH) and I headed up the gondola to the large green slope at the top of Vernon mountain at Mountain Creek. First time up, it was fall after fall after fall. Ouch. Several times flipping head over heels, catching the downhill edge, etc. Luckily, no faceplants. On the upside, I got very good at flipping the board up and over my head while in the bindings. The other two runs were pretty much the same; first half of the run was great, then I would hit a rough patch and get tired, which made the lower half of the run a stop and go with crashes and falls. A couple times, I would have to stop because my quads or my knees would ache too much.

One major “oops” event: In the middle of the last run, I ended up crashing into a girl who was *very* slowly skiing down the mountain. I was able to shout a warning and fell down before hitting her, but my momentum took her out. She was fine, and accidentally knocked me in the teeth with her elbow. 😛

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Anatomy of a concluding date

Posted by quirksalight on March 1, 2010

1. Late for everything… I guess that’s what happens when your day gets moving at noon.
2. Barrage of e-mail chatter. Working? Maybe. 🙂
3. Joining my friends and I for drinks…smooth intersection of worlds
4. East Village wander… not so good in heels
4. Sushi run…Oops, 30 mins before closing!
5. Just….talking.
6. Bunk beds are fun.
7. Early morning (comparatively), without questions or answers
8. Great coffee – sharp, just as how the end of a whirlwind week feels.

Mon evening –> Friday morning. 38 hours. Interesting math, eh?

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