At the end of the tunnel. The one that leads to my vacation...and then to another tunnel that is language training.
I am nearly done with the PAO course. Friday is the last day. I have to say I have found the course, for the most part, to be really valuable. Much of what we have learned has been very practical.
Plus, I have met some folks who I plan to keep in contact with and hopefully share ideas (plus one person to avoid serving with like the plague...ALWAYS valuable information). And I have heard some GREAT things about my new Ambassador from folks who have worked with him.
All of this makes me very happy.
Next week, I have grants training. It has been described by many as some of the most painful training FSI offers. Having not been in the course yet, I imagine some of that is not really the instructors' fault. I mean, the topic is by neccessity legalistic and dry. We have to know it to get our warrant so we can give grants at post.
One person described it as about as thrilling as watching paint dry. Another advised me to take the online version. But that, unfortunately, would mean needed to burn another week of leave. And I am already taking four weeks (starting after next week's grants class is done), much of which my wife can not take with me. But this will get me out of "use or lose" leave territory, and we will be spending a week and a half together in Seattle and on an Alaska cruise (that would be the light I am seeing at the end of this tunnel).
And actually, I am really excited about studying language. I have always liked learning new languages. Had my parents not divorced and my mom and I moved to another state, I was slated to take four years of French, three of Spanish, and two each of German and Latin by the time I finished high school. I really dig languages. But alas, my new high school did not offer ANY language courses when I got there. They ultimately added French (so I did a second year of that by independent study....shhh, don't tell the State Department...they don't know) and later Spanish. I studied some German in college, building on what my grandfather had started teaching me when I was little. And I have since gotten Hebrew and a bit of Russian and picked up snippets of Arabic and Azeri.
So language is going to be fun. Hard, but fun.
I am sure I will complain some anyway. Because somebody's gotta do it.