On Friday, I officially graduated from the FSI Economic Studies Course! Woot! It was a lot of work, made somewhat harder by missing two weeks when Dad passed away and then not being 100% when I came back, but I made it through. Though, I’m not entirely sure that it counts since we didn’t actually get to see the gold at the Federal Reserve when we went to New York. 😉 Our last week of class had the excitement of a snow day, and cramming all 20 of our capstone presentations in to one day instead of the two they’d had scheduled. It was hectic, especially since I had to go a day earlier than planned, but at the same time, there wasn’t as much time for tough questions. Fortunately, though, all’s well that ends well and the snow is now melting and the next week or so should be warmer.
On Monday, I will start German classes at FSI. I’m looking forward to using my brain a bit differently and I think that getting in to German classes will also help make my assignment to Frankfurt feel a bit more real. I’ve been so focused on getting through the Econ Studies Course that I haven’t had too much time to focus on the excitement that will be my move to Frankfurt in June. I need to sit down with the departure checklist, an arrival checklist for Frankfurt, etc. and start making a list of what I need to do and deadlines for things that have them, like getting the Diplocat’s paperwork in order, etc.
So, that’s the news here. I hope all is well out in the blogosphere! I’ll leave you with this video from Carly Rae Jepsen (I saw her perform on Canada Day in Ottawa in 2013, btw) that cracks me up. I mean, Tom Hanks lip syncing to a pop song. What’s not to like?
Filed under Canada, Canada Day, Diplocat, Frankfurt, FSI, Funeral, Funny, Germany, New York, New York City, Ottawa, Snow, Spring, Washington DC, Winter
Shortly after my last post, I went to New York City for three days with the FSI Economic Studies Course. We visited the NYMEX, the NY Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. Mission to the UN, a credit rating agency, and a couple of banks. It was a really interesting trip and I learned a lot from all of our appointments. It’s one thing to learn about the theory and to look at data and another thing to talk with people who are actually making sovereign risk assessments, analyzing foreign economies for the Fed, etc.
I’d actually never been to New York City before, so it was also nice to finally see some of the sites there during our free time in the evenings. One of our meetings was close to the World Trade Center memorial, so some of us stopped by there on our way back to the hotel at the end of the day. I also met up with one of my friends from A-100 who has since left the Foreign Service and it was reallllllly good to catch up with her. She left the Foreign Service for a variety of reasons and it seems like things have worked out well for her and it’s really good to see her happy there.
We’re now in to the Country Data Analysis section of the course which has been interesting. Essentially, we’re taking a lot of what we’ve learned and applying it to analyze economies of the countries we’ve been assigned. This first part is in groups of four and then we’ll each do an individual capstone project. Most people do something related to their onward assignment, but it’s not necessarily required. I suspect I’ll do something related to Germany but need to see what issues I might want to try to dig in to.
I’ve also continued to organize some of the administrative stuff that comes with transferring, like getting myself enrolled in German language training after the Econ Course and a required leadership class, too. I’ve gotten my housing survey from the Frankfurt and am filling that out. I’m pondering what I want to do about a car there, meaning whether to ship my current car, buy something else here and ship that, buy something else there, etc. I’ve also started to make some basic lists of what I’ll need to take on the plane with me, in my suitcases, in my air freight, etc. The lists will evolve, I’m sure, but it’s helpful to start sketching things out a bit. I also need to get my diplomatic passport renewed so that I have the new one back in plenty of time to apply for my German visa.
I also ended up having to find an urgent care place to take care of an illness that popped up in January. I hadn’t had to see a doctor here in the DC area before, so I didn’t really have a relationship with a primary care provider here. I searched a few Foreign Service groups, and found a recommendation, took myself to the urgent care place and got it taken care of. Fortunately, it turned out to be something easily treatable, but I wasn’t sure what it would be going in.
So, that’s what’s new here. Hope all’s well in the blogosphere!
Filed under Diplocat, Family, Frankfurt, Friends, FSI, Germany, New York, New York City, Spring, Transfer, Washington DC, Winter
From time to time, I make the drive down to go shopping in New York. Groceries are usually cheaper in New York and there are a few things that I haven’t been able to find here in Canada, though admittedly many U.S. grocery products are available here.
However, I had not been able to find Shiner beer in Watertown or Ogdensburg, NY, the two towns where I tend to shop. After checking several places in both towns not too long after I got here and not having any luck, I did some research and discovered that Shiner didn’t have a distributor in New York. Alas! Then, I saw news that Shiner was coming to New York and got all excited. However, disappointment struck again when I learned that their distributor only operated in New York City and surrounding areas. So, imagine my surprise when I wandered in to a grocery store just across the border and saw this glorious sight:
It was amazing. I am not a huge beer drinker, but Shiner is just one of those things that reminds me of home and is nice to have available when I get a craving every now and then. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to stock up when I drive further south in to Shiner-land or to hoard it and ration it when I bring it back since it’s now easily accessible.
Happy Shiner Day to me!