While I wait for my Chinese visa to come through, I have to remain in D.C. There is a temptation to take advantage of this down time by taking an in-place vacation. But there are too many things that I want to do, that I didn’t had the time for while I was in training.
This small delay in getting started on my tour in China is a bit disappointing, but it is also an opportunity to work on my own professional skills.
I am working on some online courses that are quite interesting, such as “processing security advisory opinions” (more interesting than the title suggests) and “detecting impostors” (useful for matching people to their documents when adjudicating a visa application).
I can also work on my Chinese language skills. I’m reading a book from the Chinese classics, which was written in Classical Chinese. Reading one page of it can take an hour or more, because that style of writing is very compact (and because my Chinese isn’t as good as I would like it to be).
There is also the opportunity to spend some more time with my classmates. I got to participate in some activities this weekend that I would have missed had I begun my travel on Thursday. One got married, and we celebrated with him yesterday. Later was poker night at another classmate’s apartment. This afternoon several of us are going to a baseball game.
Tomorrow I will wait for instructions from my supervisors, and will continue to work on my own professional development.
This extra time in D.C. is a gift, and it would be a shame to waste it.