Catching Up

“The pursuit of truth shall set you free–even if you never catch up with it”–Clarence Darrow



It’s been roughly a month since I last updated this blog and for that I offer my apologies.  Who I’m apologizing to is anyone’s guess but it’s warranted nonetheless.
Ok so let’s get started.
There have actually been some fairly big developments over the last 30+ days and I’ll try and go over them as thoroughly as possible without being to dull.  I suppose I’ll just rattle them off in a list format.
-I took the FSOT again which is of course the entrance exam that all candidates must take when applying to the State Department.  As I found out last year, the FSOT is just the beginning of the process and passing it (like I did) is hardly a guarantor of success.  I spoke briefly with a defense contractor who was taking the exam with me and I soon found out that it was his 7th time taking the test even though he passed the FSOT each time.  Kudos to him for sticking with it.  All of the testing slots were filled in London and Paris so the next closest capital I could get to in order to take the test was in Dublin.  Though my return to Ireland was much sooner than I had anticipated, it was of course a blast and I drank way too much with people who were way too fun.
-This semester is a couple weeks shorter than the previous one and therefore the insane amount of work is condensed with even shorter deadlines.  As I glance over my calendar, I can’t find a single week where I do not have an assignment or presentation due.  But I enjoy being busy.  To an extent.
-I got an internship.  Though it wasn’t my first choice, it turned out to be the most practical, and I am pleased to announce that I will be spending my summer in London working at the U.S. Commercial Service which is housed at the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square.  Working at the embassy will provide with both public and private sector work experience which I think will be valuable when I pursue employment in the fall following the completion of my MA program.  O and that brings me to another big development.
-When I’m done with my MA I’ll be trading in the British Capital for the American one.  That’s right, I’m going to move to DC in the fall and try my best to land a position there.  Whether it be on a congressional staff or researching policy at a think tank, I’m going to find a job there and I’m going to succeed.  Upon realizing how quickly this year is going by I began looking ahead towards the conclusion of my time here in London and it became quickly apparent that I cannot go back to Marlton and sit on my ass and wait for an opportunity.  I need to get out there and find one myself with a sink or swim mentality and that’s precisely what I plan to do.
-As far as trips are concerned for this semester they’ll be few and far in between.  I need to budget my money more wisely seeing as I have a plane ticket to book in June so I can return to the States for Dan and Julianne’s wedding.  I can’t miss that and seeing as it’ll have almost been 10 months since I left home by then, I think a trip back is in order.  I will, however, be traveling to Rome at the end of March for Easter weekend.  I had been debating whether to visit Rome or Barcelona in the Spring and at that moment there was breaking news on BBC informing me that the Pope was resigning and that settled the matter.  I don’t think I’ll ever in my life have the opportunity to be at the Vatican for a new Pope’s first major religious holiday.
-With this semester quickly becoming a giant blur I thought it important to take some time and enjoy the city a little more.  I’ve sort of taken London for granted the same way as most people take their hometowns for granted.  When it seems like it’s always going to be there you lose the sense of urgency that is necessary.  This past Saturday (yesterday) I took a couple hours out of my day and walked from my flat in Earl’s Court through Knightsbridge and into Westminster.  It’s amazing how many impressive things there are just minutes away from where I live.  During the course of my journey I walked past the Victoria and Albert museum, Harrod’s, Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Wellington Arch, Downing Street, Horse Guards Parade and of course the Houses of Parliament aka Westminster Palace.  I continued yesterday with that same spirit of appreciativeness and went out to Camden Town to visit a new favorite place for the IR students, the Wheelbarrow.  The Wheelbarrow is basically a dive bar with live music 7 nights a week and has a pretty diverse crowd.  There you can find shockingly young high school students and men that are old enough to be my grandfather but nonetheless have giant hooks through their ears.  It’s an extraordinary place.
I think that about sums it all up for now.  I should have much more to write about in the next few weeks.
Stay tuned.



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