Monday, December 27, 2010

"Your investigation is currently pending in the investigative stage"

Today is target completion day, and it seems that DS has missed the mark. C'est la vie. Honestly, I'll be happy if my investigation is done by January 27th. It's just hard not to want things to move quickly and be foolishly optimistic about it getting done soon.

I've also probably managed to really slow things down. Part of the process requires you list all of your international travel, including dates, companions, itinerary, etc. I've done a lot of traveling in my life- so recalling on the trips, while a fun walk down memory lane, was a bit more difficult than I had expected. A couple days after my interview with DS, I realized I had forgotten about my Christmas visit to Ireland last year. Today, I realized that a friend and I had gone up to Vancouver for a few days in college. Despite the amount I enjoy calling that country up there "America Junior", it is, technically, not part of our country and therefore should have been on my international trips list. I just emailed my investigator to let him know, and who knows how much delay this has caused. Luckily, the friend that I went up there with was one of my contacts and was interviewed by DC already. My only worry is inconsistency: either she told them about it months ago and it seems like I was hiding it, or now I've told them about something she didn't mention and it reduces her credibility. I hope they realized that "Canada" just really isn't that exciting to two girls who spent high school in Europe and, therefore, they are perfectly justified in forgetting about it entirely, honestly.

So we'll see. Hopefully it doesn't add tooo much time to the investigation. Updates will continue to follow!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

La atakalam alugha alarabiya

My Arabic phone test is officially scheduled: January 18th.

While I've always been quite confident in my Arabic abilities for daily communication, this test is going to me in Modern Standard dialect, which I haven't used orally since my 4 weeks of language classes in Damascus in 2008. While my Syrian dialect will of course be helpful (and, I've heard that using bits of it where my standard fails will be okay), I'm still worried about being able to perform at the level required for a pass.

I've decided to hunt for a tutor to get some refresher practice before the big day. I've been doing some online research about tutors over skype: not only would this be cost-effective, but its would be the best simulation of the actual test day environment being over the phone without any visual cues. I'm also considering asking the husband of a work colleague of mine to help me out; apparently, he speaks excellent formal Arabic.

So the next few weeks will be busy work work, holidays, and Arabic. I'm glad, because I think I'm into a holding pattern in terms of clearance now. I have been getting some questions about clarifying information, but all in all it seems like my role in the process is done. I'm hoping that it goes smoothly. The target clearance date of 12/27 is fast approaching, inshallah they will meet it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Worldwide Available

It's official: I'm medically worldwide available as of 12/7/2010.

Baghdad here I come.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vicarious blog life

To help the wait to FS land go faster, I've started following several blogs of present and future FSOs. (Hi guys!). It's made it incredibly exciting to hear about the life I could be living in the future, and fun to hear about the journeys others have taken to get there.

Found a good post today about the world of security clearances here. Well said!