Monthly Archive for September, 2009

Bidding and Beyond

Well my final bid list is in and it is out of my hands. I’ll know in two weeks where I am going! I’d be pretty jazzed to get any one of my highs or mediums and pretty content with most of my lows. We shall see what flag day yields.

In between bidding they have kept us busy getting oriented to the Foreign Service and the department. We’ve learned the basics of crafting memos, cables, ect. and have had a lot of opportunities to meet and talk with some individuals who are pretty high up in the department about FS life. Probably the highlight thus far was last Friday when the Secretary toured the Foreign Service Institute. She stopped by my A-100 class, so yes I got to “meet” the Secretary! She stayed for about twenty minutes and took a few questions so it was pretty exciting.

Next up is the “Woods”. For as long as pretty much anyone can remember, A-100 has included a leadership and team building retreat to WVA. Ours is next week and I’m looking forward to it and the infamous “follies!”

Lisa vs. The 6am Wake-up Call

Shockingly, I’ve almost made it through a full week of early morning wake up calls and managed to arrive early (knock on wood). People who know me well will realize this is a herculean achievement for me.  I’m actually starting to enjoy waking up with the birds. The week has been flying by and I’ve been enjoying getting to know my colleagues. They are all amazing people which is a good thing because they have wedged far too many of us in a room I think could comfortably seat 60. So we’re we’re about a quarter of an inch from our nearest neighbors.

We got our bid lists yesterday which is starting to make this whole thing feel a little more real. I’m really happy with the list, if I could have crafted a dream bid list this would almost exactly be it. There isn’t anything on the list I am going to be heartbroken if I get and there are a few posts I am going to bid high that I never thought I would. I have until Wednesday to work up my draft bid list to discuss with my CDO. After my meeting on Thursday then I will reconfigure and resubmit a final list. Flag day, the day we are given a flag representing our assigned country, is only three weeks away from tomorrow. So, soon I will know my fate so to speak. Anyway, off to bed so I’m ready for another 6am morning! I swear there are witnesses to the fact that I arrive on time.

And we’re off!

Today was my first day in training! We had our “in-processing” day which is about as thrilling as it sounds. Though we were officially sworn in this morning so we can get paid. We have a formal swearing in at the end of training as well. So nice, we have to do it twice. I’m completely impressed by my classmates. The 146th hosted a meet and greet for us last night as well so I have spent much of the last 24 hours trying to get to know as many as my classmates as possible. It’s exhausting trying to meet around a 100 people and remember their names but it is a great group and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Oh and for those who were concerned… yes I made it on time and with plenty to spare. It was day one though, so we will see how Lisa vs. the 5am wake-up call round two goes.

Avoiding Mortal Peril

Several members of my A-100 group have been joking on our group message board that now that the “dream” is about to be a reality, that they are terrified some tragedy might befall them. My pre-A-100 worries have mostly centered on silly, mundane things like getting lost trying to find FSI and oversleeping. Perhaps, the universe is trying to tell me I need to fear the random piano dropping out of the sky and turning me into a pancake rather that sleeping through the morning alarm.  Continue reading ‘Avoiding Mortal Peril’