Tuesday, March 27, 2007

April 29th, 2004

I went last night to a dinner organized by the regional Peace Corps recruiter, Annaliese Limb, for anybody that has anything remotely to do with Peace Corps. I went, of course, as a PC invitee, but there were also returned PCVs, PC nominees, and people merely thinking of applying--which is good for them since they can ask a whole lot of questions to those who have gone and come back, those who know wht it's about. I know absolutely nothing (see previous entry), but it was still good to go and alleviate some of my mental meanderings, namely, that I will probably have some say in where my assignment is; that they will provide pretty good training to compensate for my lack of teaching experience; that it's probably best to be okay with not knowing a lot, because those are the types of people who roll with the punches, whose expectations are not let down, simply because they don't have any expectations. I learned that lesson 10 years ago from one of my favorite comic strips, Calvin & Hobbes, Calvin is speaking to Hobbes and says that he always makes C's so that his parents would not expect him to make anything higher. I wondered though, how much work it took him to actually try to consistently make C's instead of making A's every once in a while. I never doubted his intelligence or aptitude. I mean, heck, the kid had a better vocabulary at six than I do now at 22, after college and studying GED vocab lists for hours. Sometimes life isn't fair. ...I digress. Back to last night: It was also humbling to discover that most of the people there had already had tons of experiences compared to me, who has had, ummm, I think, well, ZIP experience and is just now breaking out of his shell. But I think I'm doing okay for someone who was afraid to talk to people my freshman year of college. I think I lived up to Calvin's example and shocked many who knew me. "You're leaving Central Texas?!" Uh-huh.

I also ran into a couple of girls with whom I went to high school: Catherine and Emma. Catherine has been a childrens' ski instructor after recently becoming disillusioned with her career track in Advertising. She speaks practically fluent French and want to get a job as a museum child activities coordinator in England. She's still thinking about PC. Emma recently returned from Japan where she taught ESL, and is about to go to Thailand for the summer. She wants to do the Masters International Peace Corps thing, where one receives a Masters in some specific field and then has two years of service in Peace Corps as a practicum, an extension of the specific field of study. Wow. It's interesting to think that we all graduated from the same high school in the same year. Every time I meet people like that it gets me excited. A gently nudge of confirmation that this is truly what I want to do.


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