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Archive for June, 2005

Tommorow night is the night! The big interview. We’re rather excited but we have to stay up pretty late for a work night. We wake up at 6:45am for the most boring temporary job in the world monday through friday and our interview is scheduled for 11pm-1am. Geez! During our regimented breaks at work we’ve been discussing questions we will most likely get asked about ourselves and about us as a couple. We had some trouble coming up with the answer to “Think of a time you failed at accomplishing something. How did you deal with the situation?” We couldn’t really think of anything! Truth is, I usually only take on projects or set goals that are realistic and that I know that I can accomplish. I guess that can also be interpreted as I don’t challenge myself. I don’t know. I really can’t remember the last time I failed at something…besides my graphic design presentation that went miserably. I felt like such an idiot up there in front of my classmates presenting my project idea with my half-forgotten speech. Well, tomorrow night we will hear the voice behind our recruiter’s emails, he seems like a rather nice guy.

I wonder how soon we’ll be nominated…and for when and where and what…

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Save the Date

This morning I checked my email while I was eating breakfast before leaving for ESL teaching and I recieved an email which read PAPERWORK COMPLETE. Woo hoo!! Two days ago, we recived an emai from our recruiter saying that he has recieved our reference kits but we were still missing our transcripts and our couple’s questionnaire. We had spent all morning scanning transcripts, re-scanning them, deciding what to do about our transcripts from our first university, ect. In the end we converted our unofficial transcripts available online into pdf files, completed our couple’s questionnaire on our laptops printed it out signed it, scanned it and converted that to a pdf file as well. Then we emailed it all to him, as well as posted paper copies of everything in the mails in case he wanted ‘originals’. But he accepted the pdf files and we’ve set a tentative date for our interview!!!!

June 30 from 11pm-1am. (9am-11am New York time)

I can’t believe we’ve gotten out of that grey area we’ve been in since April- .the just applied but not yet interviewed area. Phew! Now I’m actually excited and nervous. We’re actually doing this thing. And in a month or two we will have the answer to the question we’ve been asking ourselves for ages. “What exactly are we going to do with ourselves after school???”.

The answer is soon to come.

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I have been reading a book called ‘Dispossessed.’ It is a study of human nature disguised as a Si-fi novel. Today I came across a passage that struck me. The story mostly takes place on a fictional moon and earth (quite similar to our own). The moon was given to a group of anarchists that staged a global uprising on the Earth as a way to appease them. In this part of the story there is a terrible drought on the moon yet the people are in good spirits.

“The struggle to grow enough food became compulsive, desperate. Yet people were not desperate at all… It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skilful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well, – the durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection and of sociality as a whole.”

This passage explains what draws me to what I study and to the career that I pursue (especially the Peace Corps). There is some deeper satisfaction that one is able to get from doing a job that you know is important, a job that will help your fellow man. It seems to me that there is something hollow about working to make money and to possess more things. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with providing oneself and one’s family with a comfortable life (in fact, by working for your family, even if you are doing a job that doesn’t better the earth or mankind you are still doing work that is needed and may be able to avoid this dilemma) But in the end no matter how much money you have or how many things that you possess there will be something lacking if you are not genuinely able to get satisfaction out of your work.

This could be because it is in our nature to work. Work should not be looked at just as the means to an end but an end in itself. It seems that too many people view work as this torturous institution into which they are forced. This may be because either they don’t see usefulness of their work or their work truly isn’t useful and it is exactly this kind of work that “darkens the heart.” Many of us have felt this way without really knowing why. We look forward to the end of the day, to weekends, to vacations, and ultimately to retirement when we don’t have to work and can spend or days enjoying ourselves. But what most of us discover is that after a week or two weeks of vacation and ‘relaxation’ we have this desire to do something and if we don’t, if we lay around the house and watch TV all day, we feel like a sloth, like something is missing. I believe that this is because it is in the nature of man to work and to get satisfaction of the work he does. If either of these to criteria aren’t met; if one is not working or getting genuine satisfaction out of doing an important job well then there is nothing that could ever fill, “the deepest source of human affection.”

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False Alarm

Apparently the 6 month marriage requirement is just a recommendation, not a requirement. Not yet anyways. It funny how something you here somewhere can spread like wildfire in a matter of hours, expecially on the internet.

Lately I’ve been having doubts about what I’m studying right now. I think the Peace Corps might point me in the ‘right’ direction, if there is such a direction. I’m really hoping to teach english, but I’m also really hoping to get a nomination for Latin America, which would mean I wouldn’t be teaching english as a primary project. I want to go to Latin America because I think that being a native speaker and knowing about Latin American culture would allow me to be a more effective volunteer. But I also want to learn a new language because I think that’s one of the things I’m good at. Language class has been my favourite class since elementary school. Imagine me in Bulgaria… a pseudo-Cuban speaking Bulgarian! What a funny sight.

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The Reason

We’re not even far into the application process and we talk about the Peace Corps every day, like its our job. I think its one of the best things we’ve decided to do together. Well, moving to Australia together is really great too. But the Peace Corps! I can only imagine what it will be like. We have no idea where we will be going, what we will be doing, what we will eat for breakfast, what I will do with my high-maintanence hair or how I will feel about wearing glasses. I still haven’t told my parents or my family. I think I’m waiting until I have a more definite idea of where and what before I bring it up. My father kind of suspects we will be joining because I mentioned that “it had come up in conversation” before. He even recommended that we do it. But I’ll tell him after we get nominated for something. It will feel like more of an accomplishment.

I’ve been trying to imagine the questions I’ll be asked during the interview. The big question: Why do YOU want to be part of the Peace Corps? Me?

There are just too many things that are wrong in this world. How fair is it that I can CHOOSE to not eat dinner, while other people don’t get to choose WHAT they eat for dinner- if they get to eat. Why do some people have 100 pairs of shoes while other people don’t even have clean water to drink? Why does a girl my age, with my exact name, my exact height not have the opportunity to get an education? I know I can’t fix all of this alone, as that sort of task is much to big from one small girl to fix, but I can at least do SOMETHING. I can help other girls become more confident that they CAN accomplish things. I can help women realize that the reason their children are always sick is because washing your hands before you eat is essential and that giving your babies bananas is not nutritious enough. I’m not joinging the Peace Corps to change people’s way of thinking or to tell them that my way is right and their way is wrong. I just want to help others realize their own potential to help themselves. That if they work together, they can accomplish things. That’s all. I just want to help (and jumpstart my ‘career’ of course…find out what I’m really supposed to be when I grow up).

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Yesterday William’s reference kit came in the mail and we immediately went to the police station to get fingerprinted. We went out to Fitzroy because the one in the CBD requires that you make an appointment and they didn’t have anything available until the end of the month. I miscaluculated where the station was on the map and we ended up walking for quite a while. The actual process of getting fingerprinted was quite messy and long! It was quite boring…the fun part was sealing our reference kits and dropping them in the post! He should be calling or emailing us any day now to set up an interview!

Au revoir reference kit!!!!!

In response to only having pre-qualified for TEFL, which is fine because I want to teach English, I’ve looked into additional volunteer activities so that William and I have have a better chance at qualifying for more programs. William pre-qualified for Environmental Education, Community Services and Youth Development. If I can qualify for Community Sercies and Health, that’ll just about cover all of the programs we’re interested in:

1. ESL tutoring at SAIL (2 hours every Saturday)
2. Youth Bus Worker for Open Australia working with street kids (4 hours a night, fortnight)–interviewing soon
3. Red Cross Breakfast Club helper teaching young kids about nutrition (1 hour one morning per week)—just applied
4. YMCA Holiday Youth Camp Leader (time commitment varies)—application in process
5. Positive Living Centre, a community centre for those living with AIDS/HIV—informaiton session tomorrow
6. After-school program/Tutor for disadvantaged kids at St. Vinnies — just inquired about volunteer position

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Our recruiter is actually a pretty nice guy. He gave me a proper response to my longish email that pretty much knocked me off my Peace Corps cloud, which caused me to fall back to earth and back to reality. The deal is that placing couples is tough, so just by being a couple we’ve forfieted our right to ‘choose’. That’s great. Really. I had my heard set on going to Latin America, but secretly I’d like to learn a new language and go somewhere completely new. I’d be happy going anywhere as long as William is right there with me.

I guess right now our preferences are to not get sent somewhere where English is the main language and somewhere cold. William’s reference kit should be here on Monday, so after my final on monday, we’ll take a trip to the police station to get finger printed and send that stuff back to our recruiter! We should be interviewed and on our way to Nominationlandia. Yesssss!

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