good news, bad news, no news

Good times on Duolingo.
Good times on Duolingo.

Good news:

  1. China is still in play. Apparently, as long as I get my authenticated background check in by July 31, I’m on track to go. (More on that later.)
  2. I have been applying to other positions as a backup. Some of them seem kind of interesting.
  3. I have a place to stay for a while until I leave.
  4. Getting rid of my stuff is going well. Planning on a huge yard sale in conjunction with my friend Bethany. If you’re in the Twin Cities, prepare to be dazzled by savings.

Bad news:

  1. The state of Minnesota messed up my background check. They mistyped the day and year of my birth on the report (at least they got the month right, I guess?). If I were China, I wouldn’t accept that. How do they know it’s me and not some other person with my fairly common name? Additionally, someone else notarized it, essentially affirming that the information is correct. This is, just to remind you, the background check that is due next Thursday. In any situation like this, I’m very careful to think, “Is there any way this might be a tiny bit my fault?” I don’t see how in this case. She messed up, and now she is my sworn enemy. I FedExed the document back to the person in question (put her name on the envelope). I asked her to please reissue the certificate, this time with the CORRECT information, just for fun. I’m going to call her, too. As long as I can get it by early next week, I can take it in for authentication in person. Which is a giant pain in the ass and not what I need to be focusing on next week. But if that’s how it’s going to be, that’s how it’s going to be.
  2. Chinese is really difficult. A friend told me about Busuu.com, which is pretty good. I like that it’s free and focuses on business English, rather than some of the weird phrases Duolingo uses. But it uses Chinese characters instead of pinyin, and I was kind of hoping to get away with not learning those. The level of detail in the characters makes my eyes feel old. I feel like I can’t see everything I need to see. But the only thing that really let me make a breakthrough in Spanish was practice, practice, practice. I hope that when I get there and can get into a class (or better yet, private lessons), I’ll improve.

No news:

  1. I had an interview yesterday. Actually, that’s not true. I showed up for an interview yesterday, but it’s actually scheduled for next week. This is a case where the fault is 100% mine. But by then I’ll know if my background check will get to me or not, so the timing might be pretty good for that. That’s like, WORST case scenario. Let’s hope my strongly worded letter gets through to the background check lady.
  2. I also applied for a job teaching ESL in Hungary. It seems interesting, although I think I’m going to pass because I will make NO money. It was funny because the program director emailed me and said, “Hey, fellow Badger. I graduated from high school in Fond du Lac and went to Ripon College.” For those new to the Sarah Snider experience, my family (with one notable exception) lives in or near Fond du Lac. Small world. I guess that’s a reassuring thought to end on.
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