Monday, October 31, 2011

Done Done & Done

Whew, I’m back. I apologize for not writing in a while, but I’ve been busy accomplishing all the things I will tell you about in this post. 

First up was my trip to the DMV. Typical of a true New Yorker, I neither drive nor am I licensed to do so. I had a learner’s permit once, but it expired. Since then my only form of ID has been my passport. In order to travel to Ghana we need to apply for a visa. As a part of the process I had to submit my passport with the application. So that left me ID-less—hence my trip to the DMV. I had to get a non-driver’s ID card. Unlike my trip to Borough Hall, the DMV was quite uneventful. In true city agency style, there were way more windows than workers. But the genius in the DMV waiting system is its use of alpha-numeric call numbers that keeps you in the dark as to just how many people are in front of you.

DMV Call number LED board

 There’s no apparent order to which letter group is called next, so you’re basically forced to sit and wait. It really wasn’t too long of an ordeal from start to finish and $14 later I have an ID that’s good for 8 years—even if I am looking down in the picture

So if you’re keeping track, that’s DMV and visas—check. 

Last weekend was our last Oxford class in which as a final evaluation we taught a practicum. There’s really no way to fail, but I did well, received a great evaluation, and was even ranked in the top 25% of the class. So I currently hold a 60 hour certification and am technically certified to teach ESL, however, there is a 40 hour online grammar portion to complete that will grant me a 100 hour certification. I’ll be completing the extended certification over the next few weeks, but as far as I’m concerned: Oxford certification—check. 

I am most excited to report that Friday was my last day of work… Check! Having finished the project that I was working on Thursday, I spent the entire work day Friday reading expat blogs of their Ghanaian adventures. This is when the true excitement hit me. I realized that having officially finished work, everything that I do from here on out will be in preparation for my trip abroad. It also hit me that I have 3 weeks to pack

The Mister and I are spending Thanksgiving with his family in the Midwest. That is also where we will store our belongings that we aren’t taking with us to Ghana. So, do the math, even though we’re not leaving for Ghana until the end of December, we have to have our entire apartment packed up and vacated by Thanksgiving. Friday may have been my last day of work, but really the work has just begun!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Almost Mrs. Mister

So I’m still chipping away at my massive checklist. Over the past week, I was able to tackle some major tasks.

First up doctor visits—Yay! Not so much. Aside from my yearly physical my main purpose for visiting the doctor was to take advantage of this plush health insurance while I have it get the necessary vaccinations for my upcoming trip. Ouch! I’ve never been afraid of needles, but after the first shot, I found myself looking for the escape hatch. The nurse explained to me that it’s not the needle that hurts; it’s actually the depositing of the vaccine into the muscle tissue that’s painful. Tomato – Tomahto Ouch! I did score cool points for being a big girl about the Tetanus vaccine which is reportedly the one that people complain hurts the most. But whatever points I scored there were lost over the next few days, as I was such a wimp about my arms hurting. Seriously, I couldn’t even sleep comfortably (which only added to my extreme fatigue from being so busy). But I’m better now. :) 

Next up: Rings! In my last post I mentioned that The Mister and I would be inking the ring check box. Well, we did. Not much to report here except we were able to order our rings. Although we spent more than I had wanted to spend, (gold is through the roof!) I’m excited for and can’t wait to see how they turn out.

This past weekend was the second of our three-weekend, intensive ESL teacher training. I’m appreciative of the useful information that I’m acquiring, but man am I tired! I guess I never really realized how necessary the weekends are for recuperation. I mean, I just always looked forward to the weekend as free time to do what I want, rather than a time for physical and mental rest. I didn’t realize how much off my free time I actually spend resting. I’ve been going non-stop for the past two weeks—I’m drained! I can’t wait to have my weekends back.

What does the weekend mean to you? A time to kick it or a time to kick up your heels?

Oh! I almost forgot to mention: We got our marriage license today! Big step…even bigger headache! Dealing with government agencies is quite possibly one of my top five most hated things. They hire just enough idiots to keep things running. There are always more windows than workers. And I think it’s a rule that when one window opens, another one closes. Like I said, just enough to give the appearance of a moving line. Every now and then, you spot the one clerk, who seems competent enough to be the beaconing light at the end of the dreary tunnel. But what happens? Super Clerk is trapped handling the moronic patron who didn’t do any research and has a million and one questions.  So, now your line count is all thrown off. By your count, there are just enough people in front of you so that your spot should land you at Super Clerk’s window. But the Moronic Duo is taking so long that now the count is off. So you begin to panic. Now you want them to take longer so that they’ll finish just in time for you to be next with Super Clerk’s. But hey what’s this? The dimwitted security guard. Yes, the same guard that you showed your online confirmation number to upon your arrival. The online confirmation number that was supposed to speed up the process for you. Dimwit decides, now that you’re second in line, the line is too long and some sort of express line needs to be established. You have your confirmation number, so you can go straight to Super Clerk’s line. Sigh of relief. As they say, all’s well that ends well. The Mister and I can officially be married.

Next episode: the DMV…

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Back to School

When I started this blog, I figured now would be a perfect time to do so, given that so much is happening in my life all at once. But for that very reason, this is also an insane time to take on the responsibility of maintaining a blog; but I will do my best.
So I’ve been MIA, because I’ve had a pretty hectic schedule lately. A lot of odds and ends to take care of and most worthy of mentioning: school’s in session! Triple time, at that!
For the past year I have been teaching an adult GED course, which is back in session for the fall semester. This semester, I have also signed up to teach an ESL class. (I figured it would help to have some classroom experience as I embark on my TESL/TEFL certification.) And finally, this weekend The Mister and I started our TESL/TEFL certification course. So between lesson planning, teaching, learning, homework, and oh yeah—working nine to five… busy doesn’t even begin to describe it.
But I’m not here to complain; there’s definitely a silver lining to all of these errands and responsibilities. As much time and energy it takes to be a teacher, I have never had a more fulfilling experience. As much as I wanted to be out enjoying the beautiful NYC weather this weekend, the skills and concepts I’m acquiring in my certification course will help me to be a better teacher here and abroad. And every errand that I run is another check on the preparations for Ghana checklist.
Speaking of errands, I’m super excited about an errand The Mister and I will be tackling tomorrow: Rings!

Random Thoughts: Expected to be Expecting

Without fail anyone who has ventured a guess at what my exciting news could be has guessed pregnancy. Usually, a woman of my age and relationship status, who has scrapped future wedding plans for an expedited City Hall wedding, is knocked up expecting.  So I can’t say I’m surprised to be expected to be expecting. But I will say I’m relieved that I can proudly answer, “No” to the supposition.  Anyone who knows me personally knows how eager I am to become a mother—but only under the right circumstances. And for me, those circumstances include marriage first, babies after.  Right after! Well, that was the plan anyways. But now that we’re moving across the world, away from everything and everyone we know, maybe right after will have to wait.