Friday, April 30, 2004

Uh're catching on!

Of COURSE you are! We've always thought so.

What have I done?

So, clearly I have too much free time on my hands. This is what I did with my day. It's now 8pm, and I got out of school at NOON. 8 hours of work, just to change a few things on my template. Am I insane?

I'll get it working...

Just wait...

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Response from JET

I was, of course, not allowed to read any of my recommendation letters, I am sure that they must have all been wonderful, for I was granted an interview in February. They only grant interviews to about 65% of the applicants, so already I had beaten out a third of the competition.

For the final selection to A.L.T. positions, they choose about half of those that were interviewed, or about a third of the total number of applicants. All I had to do was make sure I made it into the top half of those interviewed.

I actually own a suit now. A real suit, my first one. Since it was a real job interview, I decided I needed a real suit. So, even if I didn't get the job, at least I would have the suit.

Candidates are not allowed to discuss what happens during the interview with other candidates, so I had no idea what to expect, and was not sure how to prepare. I was extremely nervous. This was the JET program! My chance to go to Japan! I had been wanting to apply since I first heard about it my freshman year.

I was so nervous that I could hardly sleep the night before the interview. I was so nervous, I could hardly take part in a normal conversation the day of the interview.

I was the last one scheduled for an interview in Spokane.

While waiting, assistants to the interviewers tried to help the interviewees relax. It helped a little, but not much.

When the interview finally started (it seemed to me like hours of waiting, but in reality they were only a few minutes behind), my three interviewers asked the standard questions. One of the questions was "Do you have a criminal record?"

Of course, the correct answer to this question is "no," which is true in my case. I don't have a criminal record. Did I mention I was nervous?

I said "Well...actually..." Actually, I had been arrested once. When I was 18, I got into a fight with my step-brother, who was 16. My step-father called the cops. I even had to go to court over it (even though my step-brother wrote them a letter explaining that we were brothers, and brothers sometimes fight, and he wasn't interested in pressing charges, etc). Long story short, I went to court, and now the whole incident has been removed from my records. But...actually...

After explaining the story, three blank faces stared back at me. Perhaps this was too much honesty too soon. However, at that moment, I realized how ridiculous I was behaving because of my nervousness, and as a result I was able to calm down a little bit.

The rest of the interview went fairly well. My interviewers had a good sense of humor, and the more we talked, the more I relaxed and was able to act like myself (although, to be honest, I never did truly act like myself, even when I had started to calm down).

Then came the final question. It was something like "Choose two symbols of American culture, and give a two minute speech on them, pretending we are middle school students with about a 100 word vocabulary. You have 30 seconds to prepare."

I started this final question full of confidence. I chose two symbols at random, the American Flag, and a Thanksgiving Turkey. I drew pictures of both on a piece of paper, and began my speech. It went great. For one minute and thirty seconds. And then I froze up.

I stood there, jaw moving, no speech coming out. How could I have run out of things to say so quickly? Didn't I grow up in America? Shouldn't I be able to speak for two minutes about EITHER of these, let alone both?

My judges, er, interviewers were silent.

Eventually, my two minutes were up, and so was the interview. I left in a daze. I had blown it, at the last possible instant, in the last thirty seconds. YEARS of thinking about the JET program, months of paperwork and applications and impatient waiting.

In the elevator ride down, my brain started working again; I thought of more things I could have said. On the way to the car, still more. By the time I had made it all the way back home, I could have spoken on those two symbolic images of American culture for at least 15 minutes with no interruptions, and to repetition, and this is not an exaggeration.


Anyway, at least I tried. I knew they only took the top third of the applicants. I knew I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up.

Actually, that's not true at all. I knew from the outset that I would be chosen, knew it as truly as I know that the sky is blue, and water is wet. I'm not a top 30% guy, I'm a top 2% guy! Of course they're going to choose me!

So, long story short, it was no surprise at all when I found a rather large envelope in my mailbox, labeled with "Jet Program open immediately Reply needed ASAP!" I got in!

At the end of next month, I should know where in Japan I have been placed....

About me

Hey everybody! It's "Get To Know Me" time!
A long time ago, I took an IQ test at eMode, and wandered to their matchmaking section (now called Tickle). I listed a profile there. Fun site, but since I've found THE ONE, I don't go there anymore. Anyway, I just went there, and grabbed my old info, and now I'm posting it here. I wonder if anything has changed...

About me
I don't suffer sports anguish. I don't scratch myself in public. I ask for directions when I'm lost. I can't parallel park well, and I'm not afraid to admit it. I can enjoy an otherwise bad movie if it has even one really good, intelligently written scene in it that makes you think. I sometimes like to see just how many people I can get together for an activity. Sometimes I’m a very laid-back, go with the flow type of guy, and sometimes I just can’t sit still and want to be out doing things constantly. I have no consistency. I have a weird relationship with the rest of my family: I enjoy their company. Visitors to my family’s home may even complain that my family likes to talk together too much.

Who He's Looking For
Tickle is a matchmaking site, but fortunately for me, I've already found someone. Originally, I wrote: I'm looking for someone who feels the same way I do. Oh, and shares my interests. Also, let's make her intelligent and funny, with no emotional hang-ups, but with a good sense of humor (meaning she laughs at my jokes). While we're at it, she’s confident, with a zest for life. Also, she should be accepting of me the way that I am, in fact, she should think I'm perfect and in no need of changing (especially my religion. I’m a devout atheist, and that is never ever going to change). In fact, as long as we are fantasizing, why don’t we go all the way? She speaks multiple languages, is independently wealthy, has supermodel good looks, and graduated Summa Cum Laude; yet amazingly she is still single and looking for a guy just like me.

Actually, she's not independently wealthy, and has not graduated yet, but it's surprisingly close!

His Interests
(Tickle strictly limits how much you can post, so these answers are all much shorter than they would be otherwise)
I am a book junkie. Mostly I read fiction, humor, scifi, fantasy stuff. Some favorite authors: Pratchett, Anthony, Tolkien, Heinlein, Feist, Harrison, Foster, Barry, Brooks, Chalker, Asimov, and more.
Part of my childhood was spent growing up on a farm, and my family owned cats, dogs, birds, fish, and other animals. I like animals, in the sense that I like to visit them at other people's homes.
Music I'm Into:
Alternative, Classical, Dance, Easy listening, Hard rock, Holiday music, Pop, Rap & Hip Hop, Rock, Soft Rock, Soundtracks
Definitely eclectic: Ace of Base, Bare Naked Ladies, Billy Joel, Bloodhound Gang, Collective Soul, Cranberries, Crash Test Dummies, Eminem, Enya, Enigma, Everclear, Foo Fighters, Genesis out of space!
My Hangouts:
Usually a coffee shop or diner where my friends and I can discuss the movie we just watched.

More About Him
I'm picky when it comes to:
What I eat. How I spend my time. What I wear. I'm not that picky when it comes to people I hang out with. I'm VERY picky (perhaps too much so) when it comes to whom I would share my life with.
In my bedroom, you'd find:
Numerous computers. An extensive movie collection. Two bookshelves (both full). Three desks (all being used). Two chess boards (Gifts. I should learn to play, everyone appears to think I can).
Best things I learned from my parents:
Independence. I could cook for myself before I could read. I've come home to find the rest of my family gone to another state for a week. In my family, we learn self-reliance as a survival trait.
Three things I can't live without:
Freedom. Justice. Truth. There are no material things I cannot live without. (Well, maybe my toothbrush)

Well, it's mostly the same now.

A Picture!

I found this great site, " - Free Image Hosting," and it does exactly that. So, now you can see my face in the upper right corner of this blog. Sorry my forehead is so shiny. This is not the best picture of me, but it's hard to find one that doesn't contain nudity or incriminating evidence.

Here it is...

My first post.
I wish I had something profound to say for my first blog entry ever, but that's life. My friends told me to start a blog to document my move to Japan. Of course, I don't actually leave for Japan until the end of July, so I have no deep insights in to Japanese culture yet. Right now, I was just struggling to find a domain prefix for the Blogger. My first name was taken, so I looked it up in a thesauras, and every synonym was also taken! Paragon, Nonesuch, etc. Sigh. Anyway, hopefully I'll remember to keep this updated, now that I've actually got it online. ;)