The End of the Worst Week of 2010

On Thursday of last week, we drove to DC. The trip wasn't too bad, but going through the mountains in PA, we hit fog and rain which slowed us down. In Maryland, the rain got worse and, in DC, the rain became a torrential downpour. It made for a pretty miserable last couple of hours and an honestly almost undrivable final 30 minutes.

That night, we tried to get Nila to sleep in a new environment. It didn't go too well, which wouldn't have been a huge problem except that I had to get up at 5 am for the Foreign Service assessment the next morning.

I was up at 5 the next morning with about 5 hours of sleep and at the assessment center by 6:30 am. Thus began a 9 hour day filled with assessment (25%), waiting (75%) and anxiety (100%). I don't know why I felt so much anxiety, really. I wasn't uncomfortable with the assessments and I did ok. I think it was the waiting.

When I found out I hadn't reached the minimum cut off score, I headed home hoping for a high calorie dinner. That part of the weekend, at least, went as planned.

We started our Saturday well, with a drive through town, a trip to Target (obviously) and a visit to the Museum of Natural History on the National Mall.

On the way back to the car from the museum, however, Angie had a seizure. We were able to get her seated on a short (5-6 in) marble wall, but the seizure turned out to be of the "crazy-big*" variety and Angie ended up with her head in the bushes.

It was traumatic. For me. I'm sure it was for Angie, too, but I can really only speak for myself. Luckily, Nila was in her stroller, so I was able to wheel her to face the street and not her mother, although, I think I may not have moved fast enough. She keeps asking about the "frog in mommy's throat."

As Angie came back to, I had to go get the car. She was in no shape to walk even though she tried to prove she was by taking a couple of stumbly, drunken steps. I advised her to sit down and commanded her not to lay down again. She was still fairly out of it, but I got her to agree.

The last thing I told her was: "Sit there. Don't lay down again...and try not to look homeless."

Nila and I hurried off to the car and I prayed she wouldn't try to get up and follow, or worse, get arrested for public drunkenness. Nila fell asleep as soon as she hit the car seat and we rushed to get Angie from her seat on the sidewalk.

The rest of the week has been uneventful, except for another rainy drive on Sunday and Nila's first swim lesson on Tuesday.

This morning, I slept through my appointment with Mike, my fitness trainer. How embarrassing. I only hope that 7 full days of terribleness are enough.


State Department 3, Me 0

On Friday, October 1, I took the Foreign Service oral examination for the third time.

I took it first after I graduated from college and once more just after graduate school. All three times I have been unsuccessful...

One needs a 5.25 to pass. The first time I got a 4.9. Two years of graduate school and an MPA got me up to a 5.0, so I put it aside and decided to just go to Iraq on my own.

I did. So, seven years later, one trip to Iraq, a second foreign language and international work experience brought my score up to... wait for it... 5.1.

For reals.

I have signed a non-disclosure agreement about the exam, so I can't say much. Suffice it to say, I apparently don't work in groups well - I know some people from my time in Iraq who are probably not surprised- and I can't sell myself.

I have a pretty good idea of how I could probably get the remaining .15 points. The question is: Is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. I need to decide what my true motivation is.