Saturday, August 21, 2010

Test eaze...1,2,3

When I took the GRE 6 years ago I promised myself I would never take another *stupid* standardized test again. I thought that I was in the clear as far as testing goes, because in the real world it's not about tests but about brains, skills, being in the right place at the right time, etc.

I was wrong.

If I want to start a career as a foreign service officer I have to take a special test for it, which is run by the ACT. The same ACT I took when I was 16. Along with the SAT, the AP exams, and the who's-it-what's-its I took my junior and senior years in high school which, when I look back now, just seem like a hazy fog of frantic test-taking, not necessarily my carefree years.

During those non-carefree years I used to make sure to wear my special, lucky black hoodie on the days I had a test to take. I stupidly wore the hoodie once when I helped to paint my brother's new house and thus ended up getting eggshell-colored paint on it. I threw the hoodie away. I shouldn't have thrown it away, though. A little paint wouldn't have taken away the hoodie's natural powers --and if I had the hoodie now I could have worn it to take this test I have to take sometime in the next several months. I could use some luck. The failure rate for this particular test is 80%.

4/30/2012 edit: Actually, the passage rate is 40%. And only 3% of the people that take the test end up becoming an FSO. I like them odds. Still haven't taken the test. I had discovered that it would be a good idea to study, so that's what I kind have been doing.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The kids are alright

I have been observing that the people in my area that have kids are so old. I don't feel like I could be a part of their club yet. If I were to live in other parts of the country I would see much younger couples with kids and babies, and I could probably see myself more like them and not feel so weird about the idea of growing my family. I know some pregnant people, and I know so many people getting married in the next year. We are growing up.

I can't wait for my friends' wedding in a few weeks because it's going to be in Serbia. Serbian weddings sound wild. The festivities are supposed to begin at 10:30am and they proceed until at least 4am the next morning. I was told by a Balkan coworker to bring antacids and tylenol, because we will be wined, dined, and danced for almost 24 hours straight. I can't wait.

Today I went to a national park and my friends and I saw a lot of children. I felt kind of like we were on a child safari, observing the different shapes, sizes, haircuts, and wardrobe choices. All kids, with the exception of my darling nieces and nephews, are strange and alien to me. Where I live, you don't see many, and when you do they are usually in 1s and 2s and they're just visiting.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Perchance to dream

My mom grew up in the Philippines, speaking Tagalog (Filipino), but when she came to the States she pretty much stuck to English, and got really good at it. She doesn't have a foreign accent at all.

She didn't speak Tagalog with my brothers and me as we grew up, thinking that it wasn't a language worth knowing, really. She was much more interested in us taking Spanish in school and concentrating on that. From what I recall, the only Tagalog word she used with us is the word "muta." Muta is what Americans would call the "sleep" in their eyes, the crusty stuff in our eyes each morning. I never heard my mom say the English equivalent to us. I taught my husband to say muta pretty early on in our relationship. Any kids I might have one day will also learn muta. But I hope my own family could also learn and use other Tagalog words, in addition to speaking Spanish, since that's my husband's native language. Unlike my mom, I believe the more languages, the better. There's always room for more.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Sharing is caring

I'm sharing now and it's scary. I'm used to having only 2 people read my blog, my buddy who also blogs, regularly, (you'll note that she's also the one that leaves me comments) and my hubby a.k.a. The Hubmiester. And maybe my dad? Although I'm not sure.


Just got a call from my grandma. I love that woman. And she's also very efficient. Our phone chats are always brief. This one was just over 3 minutes, and we managed to talk about my return from Mexico, my work, and babies. She even wished me a happy Thanksgiving. We don't talk that often. I'm so much better in person.

I don't give good phone.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


It has come to my attention that I do nothing. When trying to account for what I do with my time, I find that my time passes, but I didn’t really use that time to do anything in particular; and seldom anything of note. When someone asks me the dreaded question, so, what do you do in your spare time? I usually say I cook, I read, I watch movies, I like languages.

I cook but I’m not a cook.

I read but I’m not an avid reader.

I have been told that I am a skilled writer, but I’m not a writer. I rarely write anything. I think I’m pretty good at writing emails, but I don’t use email to keep in touch with people anymore. I use Facebook, like everyone else. I don’t tell anyone that I write, or used to write, or would like to write. Somehow it’s easier to say that I watch movies, probably because watching is passive, and writing is active and, to me, too personal to share with someone I barely know.

I believe I’m naturally athletic, but I don’t exercise. I walk every day, but it’s not much, and it’s mostly to get from the metro to work or home. And when I walk, I don’t wear sensible shoes. I wear flats that smush my toes, flip flops that restrict the natural movement of my feet.

I study languages but I’m neither a polyglot nor a linguist. The problem is I study but I don’t speak.

I’m not trying to be harsh on myself, I’m just trying to figure myself out. I think I would like to be a person that does something. A person that has hobbies, talents, skills. I do enjoy life and I have a good time in my spare time, it’s just that I would like to transfer my creativity into activity.