Saturday, July 16, 2005

Madly Pinging

As the month is winding down, we are expecting our results from ACT any day now. Various members of the FSWE Group have shared a wide range of expected release dates, each of which ostensibly came from the CSRs at ACT. We're supposed to receive them last week; no, they told me the 1st of August, etc., etc.

If you can't tell, many of us seem to be on pins and needles. But our nervousness and/or obsession will not speed up the release of the results, nor will it give us that extra point or two we need to push us over the edge, and on to the next step, the FSOA.

This blog was set up with the original intention of charting my path toward the Foreign Service, and that remains my focus. I've got the motivation and desire, and I think I've got a decent chance at it. Statistically, my chances are no better than everyone else — about 1% or so.

But statistics do not play a large role in the entire process. Yeah, we cross our fingers in hopes of being in the top 20% or so of FSWE scores so that we can move on, but that is as much a test of levelheadedness and performance under pressure as it is a rote test of knowledge. The next step, the FSOA, is also a test of levelheadedness and performance under pressure, but the primary focus is on the Thirteen Dimensions (13Ds) - whether you have them, and can display them or articulate specifically that you possess them. No statistics or roulette wheel here. You perform, or you try again. Or you give up. That's it.

After that, it's out of your hands - the Medical and Security Clearances can approve or deny you, and all you will be able to do is appeal the rulings. To be honest, these can be influenced by you, but those are long-term lifestyle issues, not spontaneous on-the-spot decisions.

As of this posting, I am more encouraged than ever to be in this for the long haul, unless the FS flat-out rejects me during clearances - but I know of nothing that would elicit a denial of clearance - unless it's for that MP3 I downloaded with Napster back in 2000. ;^)

Watch this space in the near future for my results, good or bad!