Thursday, March 28, 2013

Language Loser No More

Well, it's certainly been a long time since I've been able to blog! Or read a book, go to a movie, drive into the city, or anything else that was not eating, sleeping, and studying Indonesian. You see, back in late February I went in for what at the time I thought was The Great Test, but which turned out only to be Language Test I.

This failure did a lot of things for me and to me. The loss of face was immense, of course. You don't often get a chance to be told exactly how you are doing in your profession if you aren't an athlete, but at State in language training you either make the required grade or you don't. I joined a sad army of shaggy language veterans at FSI, a building full of brilliant people who aren't used to failure. As a consequence of failing the first test, my training schedule between now and July had to be completely rewritten. There was enough space there to allow for another month of language training and still leave at the same time, but only just. If I wanted to get off language probation and still leave in July, it was success at the second attempt or bust.

Of course there was a brief urge to look into returning to insurance or law, but this did not last long at all. No, instead getting the required score became a huge focus in life. I went on mental afterburner for a month. I mean, I had passed two state bar exams and the horrifying tests to get into State in the first place, right? I'll just work harder! Here are the results:

Blog Entries-0
Caffeine Intake-up 30%
Percentage of Hair Now Gray- 65%
Weight gain- Out of Range High
Attendance at A-100 Classmates' Events-0
Social Interactions with Fellow Human Beings-limited to Indonesian students, teachers, and the guy I keep bumping into in the coffee line at FSI.
Ability to Speak/Read Indonesian- Up from 1+/1+ in February to 2/2+ in March.

So, after all that, how do I feel?

Bruised, battered, missing a finger and otherwise scarred, but with the task accomplished. That's about right. Now I look forward to Con/Gen, which is full of rules, regs and legal language. It will be a good transition between Indonesian and English, I think.

Puji Tuhan! Inilah Selesai! (Praise God! It is over.)