Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Checking in from Houston

With all due respect and thanks to Benjamin and Tammy for letting me stay at their house, allowing me free rein of their kitchen, computer, etc, I must object to this keyboard. It and I are not getting along well. I will make do w/ what I can, however.

So, I've been in Houston now for about 40 hours or so, having arrived on Monday evening. It is now Wed morning, by my estimation (and also my watch says so) and I'm preparing to leave at some point to Dallas. Which is not to say that I've actually begun gathering up my things that are scattered all over the guest bedroom. Rather, I'm sitting here blogging. Priorities, man!
Speaking of priorities, my borrowed car is a mess! When I picked it up, it was fairly empty but my stuff is all over it, so I think I'll be cleaning out the inside, vacuuming out the floors, etc, before taking it to Dallas. It'll be nice to drive a cleaner car. It's been running great, gets good radio reception, and so I'm very happy to have it, to be sure. It has really saved me from a lot of headache, financial problems, and logistical issues. The lack of a CD player hasn't even been a huge impediment - I'm enjoying catching up on talk radio. I don't listen much in Japan to talk radio, though I usually enjoy it between a 5-8 on a scale of 1-10 (I said usually) b/c I've got way too much other stuff to do. But compared to what else is on the radio, it's become my favorite. And I include all talk radio, be it the evil Rush to the sardonic Glenn Beck to my favorite freaky wacko preachers like John Macarthur and David Jeremiah. Truly, my radio palate is a foreshadowing of a life lived in bent, closed-minded, clean-living obscurity. Truly, I scare myself.

It just occurred to me yesterday that I have so much going on over the rest of my trip - really a good portion of my time is booked solid. I'm supposed to do some shopping as well - I will have to get on that in Dallas, 'cause I don't have time to do it in Norman, really.

Kerwin, Sunny, and Zoe came to Benjamin and Tammy's house last night. Zoe is like 2 yrs and change, and she is oh-my-gosh-how-cute-can-you-be cute. And shy. But she was a joy, and she conked out on Kerwin's lap while we were chatting after playing guitar (Benjamin let me play his new Taylor. Sweet!) and then Kerwin picked her up but needed to put his shoes on, so I got to hold her for 2 minutes. I didn't want to give her back, to be honest.

Gotta get me one of those.

OK, the interview went quite well I'd say. It was funny that I knew the JET coordinator guy and also two of the three interviewers. One of them was the JET coordinator from last year and another was her boss who had fast-forwarded my visa app last July. So I was glad to see them as my interviewers. The other was an OU Japanese prof. I wonder if they pressed me a little bit more than they ordinarily would have just b/c they knew me and they know Aubrey and b/c Aub is already a JET. Perhaps. They definitely parsed how I would differentiate myself from Aub and also how we would function in a different setting than rural Kikai, etc. They also asked me a lot of questions about what I don't like about Japan, the JET program, etc. I thought that was strange, but in retrospect it is very possibly a good thing since I wasn't the one being negative so they thought they had to bring that out. Hope so - God knows I can be quite negative sometimes, but typically not in interviews. I was darkly sarcastic, just for a bit of comic effect, in an all-day interview once, and that was one of the main reasons cited for not hiring me. Lesson learned, and learned well, you know?
All that said, I'd say it was a good experience. I also offered advice and answers to questions from the other interviewers who were waiting, so they seemed to appreciate that. After the interview, I was tempted by Starbux downstairs, but I was strong! I did NOT give in!

Headed to Dallas today. Please pray for Aubrey - she has been sick for three days; nothing serious, just cold-like symptoms induced by eating some hidden wheat on Sunday.

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