The following content is comprised of personal opinions, and in no way reflects the opinions of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

(Another) New Adventure!

I commented earlier that I am planning a yet-to-be announced adventure or two this coming summer. As of yet, I still cannot say what it is. Its still very much a surprise. I know I haven't finished my documentary for Scotland yet. The Release Date for that has been changed to January 15th, 2010. I realize this puts it off quite a long time, but I still have LOTS of work to do.

However, I would like to announce another adventure I am hoping to undertake: the Peace Corps.

Becoming a Peace Corpse Volunteer means giving 27 months of service to a foreign culture. Upon departure, I will spend three months training for my specific placement and the remaining two years doing my actual job. I will begin to use this blog to document the entire process. Application, Nomination, Placement, Departure, Training, and Service. All of it will be recorded here. Through all this, this blog (now called Pack. It.Up Adventures in order to allow the incorporation of a wider base of activities) will continue to serve its original function.

I submitted my application for the Peace Corps on November 4th, 2009. To put it into perspective, the copy I printed was about 32 pages long and included my two essays, but did not include my lengthy resume. After submitting the actual application, I had to complete a 'brief' medical questionnaire that included a lot of conditions I've never heard of. I do have to say, though, that filling out all the 'no' boxes made me feel a lot better about my personal health!

On November 6th, I received an email from Nicole Redmond with the Chicago Peace Corps office. The email informed me that she was to be my recruiter and included several additional forms and files. The first two files were programs that I MAY qualify for: Secondary Education in Mathematics and Information & Communication Technology. I found it interesting that a file for Community Development wasn't included. When I email the forms back to Nicole I might ask her about that. Also attached we more forms for me to fill out (notice a trend yet?). The forms included skill description sheets for my teaching experience and my computer science experience. I also have to fill out a loan description sheet for my Federal Loans. Since all of my loans are from the government, they should (if I interpreted that right) stay deferred and subsidized while I serve in the Peace Corps.

I had a good laugh when I noticed that Nicole had also sent me a vegetarian sheet. Apparently I marked somewhere on my application that I am a vegetarian. Of course I'm not, but I had a lot of fun answering the questions on it anyway. I'll still submit it but I'll have to make sure to mention to Nicole that I am not actually a vegetarian. I read through my application and didn't find a box for that. Then again, its 32 pages. I probably missed it.

On November 7th, 2009, I received a large envelope in the regular mail from the Chicago Office that Nicole had sent as well. It contained a NAC background form and 2 fingerprint charts I needed to do. The letter opened with what I consider to be a very positive message:

"Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the Peace Corps. Your application has been received and will be reviewed in the coming weeks. After this preliminary review, you will be contacted via email with more instructions."

I have until November 18th to submit both the emailed forms and the mailed forms. I also need to submit an unofficial transcript from UMD.

I went to get my fingerprints taken on Friday. I now know I should not have waited...

I drove to the Courthouse in downtown Duluth and headed into the Sheriff's office. They informed me they only do fingerprints on Mondays and Wednesdays. Seeing as how I need the prints to Chicago by Wednesday, I booked an appointment for Monday. I really didn't want to wait till then, so I poked around the web a bit. I called the Hermantown PD to see if they do them. Also on Mondays and Wednesdays. My next turn was the Proctor PD. When I asked them if it were possible to get them done today, the lady informed me they only do them by appointment, but they had an open slot at 3:15 if I could get there in time. It was 2:45. I drove as fast as I could (the speed limit) to get some cash and get down to Proctor. 20 dollars and half an hour later I had 2 fingerprint cards ready to be mailed.

I only have a few minor forms left to collect and fill out before I can mail them back, which will hopefully happen on Monday. Then I wait for the next email.

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