Flag Day Eve

Tomorrow is the big day! This week they have kept us too busy to really spend too much time anticipating flag day. We had our “core skills” rotations. So we worked on our public speaking, did another writing session and learned some of the common pitfalls to avoid in a Foreign Service career. My favorite session was the one I was dreading the most,”Composure Under Fire.” It had two parts, in the first we were given tips on how to handle the “tough questions.” In the second session our classmates fired some of the really difficult questions at us in rapid succession. As the day went on the questions had a tendency to get progressively crazier. I had a couple questions where I felt a bit like a deer in headlights, but I was actually surprised at how much more at ease I felt handling those questions after the session. I’m not going to claim I’ll do a spectacular job answering them if I do get them in the wild but I at least feel like I have a few good tricks to keep myself doing damage!

The public speaking was another story. I am not an accomplished public speaker. In fact I tend to avoid it like the plague. I’ve been informed that I talk insanely fast. I watched the DVD  they made of my speech and personally I don’t know what he was talking about, I talk at what I think is a perfectly acceptable speed. Clearly people just need to listen faster. 😉 It’s a family curse, we all seem to talk really fast. The funniest advice I got was that I should tan before speaking on camera. Apparently, the camera had trouble adjusting to my skin because I am so pale.

Tomorrow afternoon is of course the BIG day when we finally find out where we are going. The closer flag day has gotten the less and less I have become married to any specific post or region. I’m actually at this point excited to go to anywhere on the bid list. I suppose that is a good thing. I have about 30 posts that I think I might realistically get, but I think I’ll be excited no matter where I go. We shall just have to see what flag day yields! I can’t believe how quickly A-100 is coming to a close. Next week is my last week in A-100 and then off to more training. I’ll find out tomorrow exactly what that training will be.

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