Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

the waiting GAME

The thing about the Corps is that it is a long waiting game.

They require so much information during your preparation stages that its almost a filtering system to see how serious people really are about going. On top of that, they make you run around to get tested, checked, and treated before you can even get considered to go. Getting the interview is like getting all of your college application stuff in - and that is one big headache. Getting the nomination is the easy part - its just an interview with a recruiter who has returned from the Corps and is excited to see someone else experience what they did. Getting the invitation is a brutal combination of getting all your medical, legal, and dental tests/checks done and waiting for them to get around to your paperwork. They say they have stacks of paperwork to go through and medical kits to examine. I think they are just trying to get us to the point of frustration, to make us go through the mountain tops and valleys of emotional decision making, making us second guess our 27 month commitment to poor living standards and being isolated from our family and friends and from the familiar.

Thats what the process is, a patient submission to the uncertainty of the outcome with the mixed desires of really wanting to go and not wanting to leave; because it's not about not wanting go, but whether or not we really want to leave.

Then there's the question of are we really going to do anything meaningful. There is the book that the Corps hands out with narrative stories of how they've touched one person or two people's lives, or how they've touched an entire community, but didn't see the fruit of their planting until fourty years later. Then there are the countless stories of how people say they felt like they wasted 2 years of their life, didn't do anything, and just sat around and watched the sun move from the east to the west. The people who enjoyed their experiences say that the people who didn't enjoy their experiences just weren't assertive and leaders, because they say that there is always something someone can do to make a difference.

At this point, I just want to get my invitation letter so I can get excited about the prospect of going with certainty.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the new POLITICS

- Gas prices are at US$122
- The war on Iraq has passed the 5 year mark with a death toll of over 4,000
- 79% of Americans now believe that we are in a economic recession
- The real estate market is in crisis
- School killings continue to go on
- International relations are a mess
- 22,000 dead in Myanmar because of a cyclone
- Microsoft is trying to buy Yahoo! but is now pulling back because their feelings were hurt
- Food shortages in the rest of world only affect the US in the amount of bags of rice we can buy at Costco, limiting us to 80 lbs. per visit
- Healthcare crisis without any solution
- The dollar is on life support

And...

a historic election: the oldest, the blackest, and the femalest candidates are competing in an election that will remain in the history books as long as the United States of America stay united.

There is a lot of complaining going on. The democrats are complaining that if there is so much infighting within the DNC, that the republican nominee with automatically win. The republicans are complaining that McCain isn't conservative enough, is too old, and is too buddy buddy with the democratic party. They are using slander to say that Barack is out of touch, that Hilary will conduct politics as usual in Washington, and McCain is always two steps behind the knowledge curve - in fact, none of them have anything to really offer at this point except for empty, but persuasive rhetoric.

Here's what I think is stupid:
People polarizing to one party or another because of anything outside of the issues.
People living and willing to die by a party simply because they were raised that way.
People not learning more than what is being said on television about the politicians and the issues.
People willing to follow someone because they make them feel good.
People being swayed by temporary alleviating measures that will lead to unsustainable difficulties
People concerned more about the way someone from a distance makes them feel than by the issues that are on the table
People that are obsessed with pushing their own moral/economic agenda without concern for the others affected

Regardless, this is a historic election. I love how people are duking it out in this election, how each of the candidates are making an incredible run for the border to secure their position when it comes down to the finish line. This is politics, and as dirty, immature, and arbitrary as the game is, it is one that has become a staple within our culture. We love to waste millions of dollars on candidates in hope that someone just above mediocre will rise above the rest, ignoring issues like character and a broad intelligence and a genuine care for people outside of their $1 million dollar salary ranges. We live in a capitalistic society, but is it really necessary to mock the people by drinking beer and taking shots with them, or by artificially sitting at diners they would otherwise never walk into? I blame the people for their stupidity - that we are but sheep in a country run by wolves.

Also, what good is choice when our options all suck?

One thing I said YEARS ago was that if Hilary Clinton wins the presidency, I will be moving out the country. Thank goodness that I'm going to the Corps because a 1 in 3 chance is still a good chance to me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

the beginning of the BEGINNING

I have a sty in my eye. Probably not the best way to start a fresh blog, but whatever, go ahead, sue me. The sty is annoying me in so many ways and it is actually ten times worse than the time I had pink eye. I don't know why this sty is so bad, or why I sound like Dr. Seuss.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope that you get as much out of it as I will. Please note that your validation of my experiences through meaningful and out of control comments are always appreciated.

Why am I starting a blog?

1. I am trying to become famous. I realized that to truly make a difference in this world, you either have to have ridiculous amounts of money like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, OR you have to be famous like Bono or Angelina Jolie. Celebrities have become the new wave of raising the necessary money to make world changes. I hope that what I write is entertaining enough for you to want to check my blog as often as you check your Facebook or Myspace accounts.

2. I want to share my life with you (the world). I have, and am in the process of making some significant decisions in my life, and quite often, people don't know where the decision came from or what decision I actually made. This is a blog to help enlighten you about me and about some thoughts that are pertinent to all of our existences while we are on this earth.

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Peace Corps - Pronounced 'peace core' NOT 'peace corpse.'

So after a long and strenuous and really really annoying process, I have finally finished ALL of my medical kit. Here's what has happened to this point. In March, I randomly typed in www.peacecorps.gov and decided to read through exactly what the Peace Corps was. All I knew at this point about the Corps was what I saw on Shallow Hal, the movie with Jack Black. I honestly thought that the Peace Corps were a bunch of tree hugging fruit cakes who acted like hippies on a global scale. Nonetheless, I ventured on and found that they offered positions in NGO development and Business Development and I thought, NIIIIIIIIIIIIICE (sort of like Borat, but more manly).

After looking around and reading the descriptions, I began my application and although it took me about a week to complete along with another two weeks to get all of my transcripts, recommendations, and other required docs in I stayed the course (something absolutely rare to me). I have always had this belief that if an organization is good enough to work with, they will recognize my talents and just recruit me on the spot - it's happened in the past, so I thought, why not always? But I thought that this would be a great opportunity to exercise my process skills and just go through with it. Then came the interview.

The interview was the best part. Here's a secret that you should apply, if you know who your interviewer is for anything, find them outside of the interview setting before you meet with them. Befriend them and build a rapport that is more like a friendship than like an interview. My interview lasted about two and a half hours and most of the time we were talking about her boyfriend. We looked through the nomination list and found something that I thought fit me perfectly, so I said I wanted it and she nominated me on the spot that day. Being assertive works, try it. It was from that point that the process got annoying.

So, they send you this medical kit with requirements for just about everything that anyone can think of. It took me about three weeks to get the appointments, shots, blood work, dental work, turn my head and cough tests and about US$400 in fees to get everything done. After I sealed the envelope and sent it in, they then thought it would be humorous to send me a list of three other things that I needed before I could get placed. I just finished and faxed it all today and hopefully, they won't be asking me for any more things. From now on, I play the waiting game.

The most interesting part in this process is the normal fluctuations in trying to decide whether or not I really want to go. These are my prime years and for what I could be spending my time accumulating wealth and moving up in the working world, finding a girl to settle down with and have beautiful babies with, and growing closer with friends, I am planning on going to the jungles, mountains, or forest to spend TWO YEARS with random people I don't know from Adam at this point - to both help and to teach, to learn and to grow. 27 months of doing who knows what under the label of "Business Development" for people in Central/South America.

Learn what "Business Development" means and what the volunteers actually do...

I am really excited about the prospect of being able to help people grow though. My thoughts so far are to:
1. start a business ethics and leadership library (please donate books!)
2. begin an annual conference for business and political leaders
3. start a mentorship/apprenticeship program for youths to get connected with people in various fields to see what they want to do in the future
Business development in a developing nation! That is as exciting as it gets.

At this point, the see-saw of my mind is going back and forth much more than you can imagine. Words cannot put into place the type of anxiety and desire for the 'right' decision to be made that I feel. Only if the world was a one way street by which you couldn't make any turns or go the opposite direction.

As for now, I will wait and see what to do. This turmoil between staying in the States, pursuing a career, or joining the Peace Corps and living for others for two years is driving me mad. What do you think?

About Me

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For two months from July 15, 2011 onward, I'd decided to drop everything until I reached an intense level of passion for God. It required that I trusted God with my everything: finances, future, and even my daily schedule. Through this impractical process, I have found that God is even greater than anything I could've expected. This was my 62 day journey and beyond...