Training (aka A-100) has proceeded for a couple of weeks. Some exciting things have happened, and I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety.
We’ll start with the anxiety first. I used to work for a fabulous anxiety specialist (Anxiety Solutions Online) so I’ve learned quite a bit about how to deal with anxiety. I knew I needed sleep, good food, and time. I also knew that 3 moves, a wedding, and a new job were more than enough to send anyone off into anxiety land.
However, it can be hard to remember in the midst of everything. I spent much of a day crying, able to only really focus on watching TV. I worried constantly about my family, and how little I would see them. (It didn’t help that the family dog died while we were en route to DC.) The Teacher did a great job of helping me through it, and I deeply appreciate it. I also appreciate the aid that was available through work as well. It helped to center me, and keep me together. Altogether, I’m feeling much better about everything.
(Note: I do not work for ASO anymore, nor am I compensated in any way for shilling for them on this website. Moreover, my endorsement is not to be construed as representing anyone else’s opinion, especially not my current employer’s.)
So, as for everything else going on: In A-100, we received the “bid list”. I won’t comment on what’s on it (esp. in case I end up going somewhere I don’t think to write about!), but I will say it’s a pretty nerve-wracking exercise. We are given all the places we could go, and asked to rank them all into three tiers. Our strategy was to only put “low” the ones we REALLY didn’t want to go to, mostly based on where the Kitty wouldn’t be able to join us.
We also limited our “high”s to the places we were REALLY excited about going. There are MANY places that are extremely exciting. Again, not going to go into details, but there are places I love, places I’ve long been fascinated with, and places I’d never thought about but were quickly intriguing. My fingers are crossed, but I understand that the final decision is going to be based HEAVILY on “the needs of the service.” As I specifically signed up for a life of service, I agree that it should be the main criterion, but it makes this all a bit more stressful (and exciting). We have about 3 weeks until “Flag Day”, when we find out where we are going (and what my overall time-frame for being in DC will be, as it’s based on how much training I need).
The other stressful thing this past week was my Chinese language exam. I took additional points based on my language to get in, so I’m required to do some tours in Chinese speaking countries. However…my test went terribly. It didn’t help that it was at 7:30 AM, but even that doesn’t excuse my performance. I couldn’t understand the tester’s speech, and I couldn’t read ANY of the short pieces they gave me. Today, I got my results back. A 2/1 is considered sufficiently proficient in Chinese to go there (and get off of “language probation”)…and I got a 1/0+. This guarantees that I will need more Chinese training, which, while slightly humiliating for someone who majored in Chinese, is definitely a good thing.
So, as soon as I know where I’m going, I’ll let you all know. For now, though, it’s a matter of waiting.