It is a mystery and an embarrassment all in one.
I have inadvertently created two Blogs. Perhaps having two email addresses in two browsers led me into this mess. These two journals do not cross-populate and neither Blogpsot/Blogger nor anyone on-line seems to be able to help me delete this one and bring the other one to this site. This is unfortunate because there are now different followers of each journal and readers of one cannot see the comments of the readers of the other.
The point of notation here is to alert anyone reading this journal to consider reading the comments in the other posting by checking out the other postings that preceded this journal.
To go to the other journal, click here:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Last entry here

If you have read the explanatory message at the top of this blog, you will hopefully understand why this will be the last entry at this blog-site.

From this date forward, all postings will be done at this address:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Area 202 called again - - - great timing!

It had been 230 days since I received my nomination from my PC Recruiter and I was on my way to the gym yesterday. While I was in a parking lot, my phone rang and the Caller ID indicated it was from area code 202 (!). It had been only four days since that previous not-PC call from area code 202, so this time it was surely from the PC Placement Office. Several thoughts shot through my mind as I answered the call; 1) Okay, THIS time it HAS to be the PC since I already got that other call from area code 202 last week. 2) Is this a pure coincidence that the call was coming the evening before I am going to meet my PC Recruiter at an event at nearby Villanova University? 3) Since having that false alarm call last week, I am more than ready to receive a call from a Placement Officer.
Dismay and practically total disbelief  fogged my mind and I could barely manage to utter an intelligible response when the caller identified herself as calling from the Washington, DC National Headquarters of the National Association of Social Workers. She informed me that NASW was calling again because they wanted to give me recognition for 34 years of active membership. She offered me a free annual subscription to the professional practice journal of my choice (IF I renewed my membership). I politely informed the caller that I was not going to renew my membership and before I could explain why, she said "Thank you" and hung up. My mental fog became displaced by disappointment and even some resentment - - - disappointment because this call was (again) not from PC and resentment because NASW tried to praise me for my career-long support of the professional organization, but didn't even ask why when I informed them that I was not going to renew my membership.
I consoled myself with thoughts about meeting my PC Recruiter at the Villanova University event the next day. The call last week and this one yesterday both caused me to focus my thinking and give serious consideration to what I might ask and how I want to respond when I actually do receive a call from the PC Placement Officer.
So, false alarm times two, but beneficial nevertheless.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Area Code 202 called - Phooey!

While I was caught up in a phone conversation with our tax accountant, my phone gave me a signal that another call was waiting. I looked at the caller ID and almost jumped when I saw that the call was from area code 202 (!). I couldn't abruptly end my current call, because our taxes have been something to behold for the past two years. My wife had been transferred to work in Europe for a year by her employer. We have had to deal with two governments regarding taxes because of that and we are just now getting everything resolved and thus the need for a tax accountant and the need to continue this call. As soon as the conversation ended, however, I immediately attempted to listen to whatever voice message was waiting for me.

Nada. There wasn't a voice message. -?- . I re-checked the missed calls list and sure enough, I had missed a call from area code 202. Why would the Peace Corps not leave a message? Was it because the PC Placement Office was not going to give me an invitation and they didn't want to leave that news as a message?

I took a deep breath, held it, and called the number. I exhaled much as a full balloon deflates when you let go of it - - - the number that had called me was the Washington, DC headquarters of the National Association of Social Workers and they had called me to remind me that my membership was due for renewal.

And, we're waiting . . . maintaining PMA and waiting.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Okay, I'm ready now

During the 'Great PC Wait' I have been volunteering at our community library coordinating with other volunteers for maintenance tasks and special community events. In the winter, this includes shoveling snow so as to help the library save money (contractors have been charging the library $360 each time they shovel the walks which total about about 1,000' x 4', plus the steps, the primary and secondary entrance areas, emergency exits, and the wheelchair ramp). I have shoveled the library areas four times so far this year.  In addition, I spend a lot of time during the winter shoveling driveways and walks for some neighbors who are aged or disabled.

This winter has presented some regular snowfalls here and I am so ready for a change of pace! This morning, I shoveled my own walks and drive, then my neighbors' walks and drives and then went to the library and shoveled the walks around the building, the emergency exit areas and the steps leading to the exits as well as the wheelchair ramp and the main and secondary entrance areas. After that, when I returned home, I found that the continuing snowfall necessitated another attack of my walk and drive as well as the walks and drives of my neighbors. I no sooner got inside and began to warm up than I received a call to return to the library because of the new snow accumulation (it is still snowing). Upon returning home for the second time today, I had to once again shovel my walk & drive and one of my neighbors' drive.

Am I ready to hear from the PC? Oh, yes, I am so ready!

Alas, it is forecast to snow another 8" tonight.

Maybe in the spring, PC?

Friday, January 21, 2011

An unexpected calm - - - RAS & IAA greatly diminished

Fairly objective reporting by a few applicants very recently regarding the back-up for issuing invitations by the PC Placement Office has given me a sad, but noticeable sense of calm. Reading that all programs have been filled for this quarter and the PC Placement Office is focusing on invitations for the next quarter has greatly reduced my RAS (Restless Applicant Syndrome) and helped me put my IAA (Invitation Anticipation Anxiety) in check for the time-being.

The news helps to clarify the uncertainty of waiting and it provided support to the ever-present thoughts of actively pursuing other ventures rather than merely watching the calendar while waiting for contact from Placement.

Can anyone help but appreciate what the applicants must have gone through decades ago before we had the near immediate dissemination of news via such things as the PCJs on the Internet?

Thank you to everyone who contributes to the communication network among all interested applicants. The contributions of the experiences of PCVs and RPCVs are also greatly appreciated. A broad perspective is always helpful!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Well, back to reality

Feeling that I was nearing the end of my timeline, I decided to reach out to the Placement Office and see if I could gain any further information as to when I might receive an invitation. I came to this decision point because my file had been deemed complete and it had been referred on to the PC Placement Officer over a week ago and, according to PC Wiki,  it is now less than 6 weeks until the Staging date for my nominated region of service.

Sending the Placement Assistant a polite email seemed like a good thing to do since some others with RAS had written to PC during their wait and I had previously done so myself when my medical packet was being reviewed. I figured a pleasant email might trigger the PC PO to put some consideration toward my file, especially if I indicated that my motivation for writing was because I had read of other applicants having received invitation to the region I am nominated for and that region has a staging date already appearing in PC Wiki.

I sent a polite email the the PC PO Assistant who had previously sent me the news that my file was being forwarded to a Placement Officer and went back to my comfortable life withing the wishful thinking that I will receive an invitation rather quickly.

Well, I found myself back in reality before I could fantasize about it any further. The response came quickly and curtly:


"Let me start out by mentioning that the online blogs are a collection of hear-say from other volunteers who often do not have the full picture and often speculate much on what goes on in our office . . . You have been nominated to one of several programs . . . , many of them are full, some of them are not . . .  This is a long process, and your patience during it is not only appreciated, but indicative of your future success as a volunteer . . ."

Has my effort backfired? Am I now going to receive less consideration because my inquiry will be seen as indicative that I do not possess the degree of patience that PC expects?

I am once again waiting patiently as I watch the calendar move from the 6th week to the 5th week before what PC Wiki has listed as a staging date for my nominated region. (Can I even think about information in PC Wiki?)

Take this posting with the proverbial grain of salt. But for me, I realize that greater PMA is called for now more than ever before.

Continued best wishes to everyone during your wait.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

OKAY! Now I get to the next level of anxiety.

Immediately after the email from the Placement and Assessment Assistant last Monday, I sent an email to my former boss, the CFO of the agency I had worked at, and asked to have the request from the Peace Corps fulfilled.
I had not heard anything from either my former boss, or the PC since then, so I wrote to the P&A Assistant asking if we could move ahead in the interim, or what else I could do.
She answered me within about two hours and it was 6PM. Her response surprised me. She said that immediately before receiving my inquiry, she had received the information she requested I get from my former boss (!). She added that she has referred my file on to a Placement Officer and that I am still being considered for the programs I was nominated for and they are scheduled to leave between January and March. She told me to expect to hear from someone "within the next few weeks, if not sooner."
Well, Hooray!  - - - 
I am now at a higher level of RAS complicated with increased IAA.