Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Saturday Afternoon Post

As the days go by, the test date (March 4th) is edging ever closer. With only ten days to go, I am in study overdrive mode. I've felt my confidence increase over the last few weeks and I feel as though I am doing all that I can to prepare. I have to say it will be a welcome relief when it's over.

The FSOT has been looming on the horizon for the past few months and has devoured vast swaths of my time. The more knowledge I consume the more gaps I feel I have. It's a bit of a whack-a-mole mentality, every time I cover a new subject, more and more issues and information seems to arise. Thats quite the juxtaposition isn't it?

Red has been doing a fantastic job supporting me and pushing me to keep at it. We rely on each other so much for support, especially at this intense time in our lives. I have to say that I do enjoy the pressure. Perhaps it's the fact that I will be competing against other candidates in a truly meritocratic way. No nepotism, no bias, no partisanship, only skill and knowledge determine who moves on.

My routine, while grueling at times, has been a nice change of pace from the free wheeling Peace Corps days. Waking up early to watch the news, work for most of the day, return and study for a few hours and find time to keep Red happy. I have a deep sense of satisfaction as my head hits the pillow every night; the feeling that this is the right path for me; the feeling that through the challenge and adversity, I have the ability to rise and meet it.

Currently I am working on these subjects:

  • Memorizing the Constitution
  • Reading Diplomacy Lessons
  • Reading Global Economics and Trade
  • Reading The Economist
  • Reading Bloomberg News
  • Writing an essay every couple of days
  • Writing my Bio highlights
  • Reviewing Grammar rules
  • Playing Trivial Pursuit with Red
  • Taking practice FSOT tests
Enough with the FS compendium.

Life in the City has been a mix of emotions. I struggle to make friends and meet people that share common interests with me. Although, I have joined some of the RPCV (Returned Peace Corp Volunteer) groups in the area and met up with a RPCV from Ukraine. Being able to talk about our experiences was really a great time. Having someone who truly understands what living in eastern Europe is like made me feel a real sense of camaraderie with him.

Also, I've been working with a woman from Romania, which provides me a great opportunity to dust off my language skills. I worry about losing the language, so its a welcome treat to be able to talk with a native speaker once in a while.

That's all for now.


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