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Step Two: Interview

15 May

 

I must be frank:

The long-awaited interview was not nearly as frightening, overwhelming, or in any way as earth-shattering as I expected it to be.

In fact, it was quite informative, and I might even say fun.

Our emails indicated my interview to begin at noon, Matthew and I together at 1:00pm, and Matthew from 1:30 – 2:30.  We prepared and got ourselves ready to meet for this relatively brief but crucial interview.  It would all take place in just over two hours – no sweat.

It lasted until 5pm.

FIVE HOURS, people!  It was a heck of a long time to interview and discuss and question, but while talking, the time really flew by. Before we left for Chicago, I did a Google search of typical Peace Corps interview questions which we looked over several times during travel or down times.  Every question the interviewer asked was one we had explored while preparing – mega sigh of relief!  I think we found the right balance between planning a solid response but not rehearsing to the point of insincerity.

Some questions we felt we answered better than others.  A lot of the questions dealt with a similar theme of adjustment and understanding while serving in another country.  It felt slightly challenging to give a response without repetition; so many times I felt like, “Ok, we talked about this before, I get it…”

But, that also really got us thinking.  Obviously if these questions of adjustment, comfort and respect are coming up over and over again, they are clearly important factors we definitely need to prepare ourselves to face.

The interviewer did ask us together about a time we faced a major crisis and how we handled it as a pair.

We sat, stumped.

What I really wanted to say was, “Hot damn – what a total working-class, white person problem we have! Look at us with no problems!”  I felt like this lady, who cracks me up, but also kills me a bit inside because it’s too true:

 

 

 

We couldn’t think of one damn crisis.  I wanted to crawl under a chair, embarassed for our fortunate existence thus far.

I’m not sure how to process something like that.  I mean, sure we have had some bumps in the road.  We’ve both dealt with deaths and financial problems; we’ve had some crazy schedules and distances to get in the way.  So far, though, there has not been a situation in which we have really had to take a huge step back and really consider what it – what us, life, the universe, everything – really means.

Is this a bad thing?  To have had such a floating existence?  Should I feel bad that I feel… good?

I don’t know how to answer this.  But I do know that these reckonings together are a huge reason – if not the biggest reason – as to why I have such a burning passion to become a volunteer.  I won’t get on a soap box here and give a mushy speech about giving back to my world, creating opportunities, blah blah blah.

I will say, however, that I want to push myself.  I want to challenge myself infinitely more than I have ever been challenged.  The Peace Corps has this shnazzy little ditty: “Life is calling.  How far will you go?”

Maybe you can imagine this burning feeling, but I can hardly describe it effectively.  I just live in this deep, incessant state of desire, a constant desire to do so much more.  There is everything out in the world waiting, and I feel like I have hardly enough seconds in the day to take it all in.  I absolutely, positively want to make a difference in the lives of others, especially if I can do so through teaching, because it is so much a part of me.  But it’s hard to get at that point without sounding conceited or coming across as having a giant stick up my butt.

None of this will really matter much though until we are for sure nominated.  Our recruiter told us it could be anywhere from three days to three months until we hear back. I try so hard not to get too excited until I know anything for sure is happening.  I don’t think I will believe it until we are on the plane to our country, and even then I will have to pinch myself to make sure I am not just living in a glorious, abstract dream.

And until that time, that is exactly what we will have to live upon: imperfect, steadfast dreams.  I’m just going to have to let my lover speak the rest here, as he can say anything far more beautifully than I could ever hope to do:

Long enough have you dream’d contemptible dreams, 
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light
and of every moment of your life.
– Walt Whitman
 

That sounds pretty damn great to me.


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One Response to “Step Two: Interview”

  1. timswhateverworld May 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    !!!!

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