In one hour, whether or not I’ve finished writing this post, I am going to wrap up here to go attend to my chai, brewing downstairs in my slow cooker. Today’s spices are pretty standard (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper), but I’ve substituted green tea for black tea.
I’ve never used green tea before, but if at first I don’t succeed, I’ll chai, chai again.
My roommate, who does not understand that nice things can be inexpensive, recently gifted me with a thirty dollar device for brewing tea. You add the tea to a little basket, add the hot water, and let it steep. When it’s done brewing, you remove the basket and spend the next six hours being amazed that your tea is still hot. The insulation on this thing is astonishing.
It seems wrong to stick a ten-cent bag of Lipton in this baby, so I went to the tea shop. This being Asheville, there is a store devoted to tea. Two stores, actually. There is even a store devoted to olive oil. At any rate, I walked over to Dobra Tea and confessed my ignorance. The helpful tea lady steered me toward a few varieties of green tea and oolong, and since then I’ve been drinking tea like it’s going out of style. Which it probably isn’t. People have been drinking tea for literally thousands of years, although probably not with the insulation I’m enjoying. Which is my way of explaining that I keep burning myself. Anyway.
My new tea gizmo is an awfully handy tool, but it’s too soon to say whether it will journey with me to my Peace Corps service. Actually, it’s too soon to say whether I will journey toward Peace Corps service, though as of yesterday I’m one step closer: I have received a nomination to join the Peace Corps in the sector of Education, to depart in October.
The October part is tentative. The education part is tentative. The joining-the-Peace-Corps part is tentative. The nomination is nothing firm. It just means they want me to proceed to the next stage: legal, medical, suitability, and competitive reviews. If I get pre-cleared for all of that, I’ll get an invitation to join the Peace Corps.
The invitation is the actual offer to sign on. If they decide I’m a competitive candidate, I’ll get that invitation in another few months — June, give or take. And then at that point I get to go to a lot of doctors to ensure that I won’t drop dead during the two years of service.
As for being competitive: on the one hand, I’d like to think that my professional experience gives me a boost over the bulk of candidates, the ones applying straight out of college. On the other hand, the nomination is in the area of education, which in the Peace Corps usually means English education. I’ve got education experience coming out my ears, but that’s been in computers and, more broadly, libraries.
I don’t have much experience teaching English, unless silently correcting other people’s grammar counts. Does that count?
I do meet their minimum requirements, thanks to the substitute teaching I’ve done, but I don’t know that I’m competitive. I would not necessarily be averse to volunteering as an English tutor, but the local literary council requires a huge time commitment just to get trained, and then a huge time commitment after getting trained.
So I suppose I’ll look into substitute teaching opportunities. If I find some and they make me more competitive, grand; if I don’t manage to make myself more competitive and I still get invited to join, grand; if they decide they’re not interested, they’ll join an impressive list of potential employers who decided not to hire me.