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May, 2017:

The bar has been raised

Let the word go forth from this time and place: the appropriate gift to bring back from Ireland is not, repeat not, a t-shirt. Instead, it is a personalized bottle of Irish whiskey.

Let it also be said on this day that Miss Two-Cats is a marvelous human being. I am touched beyond my ability the express myself. I mean, how freaking cool is a bottle of whiskey with your name on it?!

Oh, crap…

…I’m one of “those people.”

The pressure is mounting

My “end of training” language proficiency test will take place three weeks from today. Several people in my cohort have already tested, some as early as two months ago. Their “arrival date at post” determines when they have to stop language class and leave for post. I am very lucky in that my arrival date is later than many people, so I will get the benefit of more instruction before testing.

So far, everyone has passed their test. So, I’m not worried about passing. But since my goal is higher than merely passing, I’m still feeling some pressure. The possibility of language incentive pay is a strong motivator.

Since so many people have left for post, and since everyone else who is still round must achieve a higher score (because of their job classification), the classes are getting more intense. Among the regular classes, I am in a classroom one-on-one with a teacher for two hours every day. It’s very tiring, but incredibly useful. I think I’m improving.

I have to add here that my wife is incredibly supportive. Besides her usual wonderfulness, she’s been picking up a lot of the housework that I usually do (which isn’t much, I have to admit). For example, she hates washing dishes, so I try to jump in and do the dishes whenever I can. Lately, though, she’s been shooing me out of the kitchen and telling me to go study. “Lucky” doesn’t begin to describe how I feel to have such a terrific person at my side.

Back to studying.

Out with the old…

…in with the new. 


I still love this brand of pen

Full double rainbow

This doesn’t suck.