Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Yet another form...

I got an email a yesterday asking that I fill out a form for the Fulbright Commission urgently and email it to someone at the Commission. The form is simple enough, although having problems thinking about what my "most significant publications/honors/awards/projects or other accomplishments" are. But it's in PDF format. It's been done in such a way that the form can be typed onto and printed out but it's not possible to save the typing. Therefore it's not possible to email to the person. I'm not able to edit PDFs, so not quite sure what to do about this urgent form. They did send instructions on how to make it save but it's not working.


Monday, 12 February 2007


I need to get all my immunizations up to date. I am entitled, under the NHS, to have certain immunizatnios kept up to date for free. OK no-one I know does but it is our right to have them.

I phoned my GP to arrange to have it done. Anyone would think I was asking to have travel vaccinations to go to Mars or something. It's been very hard work to get something that I am entitled to. But anyway finally the appointment is on Thursday. I just hope that I actually get the injections, the receptionist kept on referring to my appointment to chekc if my immunizations are up to date, I kept correcting and saying "yes, that and actually giving them to me so that they are all up to date".

We shall see.

Monday, 5 February 2007

Random worries

I keep having very random thoughts and worries about this whole thing. I mean I really want to do it, I'm just getting snarled up in the details.

I have to have a medical examination by my GP to get my visa. They tell us it'll take approximately 2 hours and that we'll probably have to pay. I made a preliminary enquiry with my GP just to find out how much it'll cost so that I could start saving for it. The receptionist was adamant that they wouldn't do it, they only allow a double appointment, 20 minutes, for medical exams. So what am I going to do about that?

I also need to have had a BCG immunisation in the last 5 years. If not a chest x-ray needs to be taken to show immunity. I had my BCG when I was in school as did everyone else my age. I don't fancy a chest x-ray or paying for it. Mum just suggested a way out would be to just get another BCG which is a great idea. I thought that as I'm a teacher I would just speak to the school nurse about when the next round of immunisations are in school and try and get it done at the same time. However, it would appear that they no longer immunise every child at a certain age, only those at risk. I may try asking anyway.

The alternative is to phone up my GP tomorrow and ask to have it done there. I'm going back to Wales next week, where my mum lives and where my GP still is, so I might be able to get it done. We also need to have up-to-date immunisations to work in many school districts in the States so I was thinking of just asking to have everything done that could be possibly out of date. I've no idea how much it'll all cost, though maybe I'll be able to swing having a lot of them done for free, I can claim to be exposed to lots of germs being a teacher.

Currently I live in a rented house. It has two bedrooms so I put on my application form that there was room for 2 adults and a child. I'm waiting to receive a not insignificant amount of money at the moment. I'd like to use it to buy a flat so that I don't have to worry about the landlord getting suspicious that I'm not living there and also so that I know I've definitely got somewhere to live when i get back. Problem is I can only afford a one bedroom flat in this area, which is absolutely fine for just me but might cause a problem if I'm matched with someone who suits my current 2 adults and a child accommodation. What I need is a donor, or several donors to give me money so that I can afford a 2 bed place!!!

I might be going out to Florida at Easter. My family are going and they want me to go with them. I'm in two minds though as I feel I really ought to be saving money. But if the match with my partner has already been made then i was thinking I could take a few days out of the holiday to fly or drive to meet my partner and see my new school. It would be terribly exciting. I doubt there's many who meet their partner before the Washington orientation and even fewer that see their new school. So do I go or do I stay?

I'm worried about making friends when I get there. I know, or at least hope that some kind of support network will have been put in place for me but they may meet me and decide they don't want anything else to do with me. I know what in the first couple of meetings with new people the general impression I give of myself is that I'm a miserable cow. I have been told this by most of my, now very good, friends.

I'm dreadfully shy with new people in a social situation although I am learning to overcome it somewhat now it is still very much present. It happens in new work places as well, so maybe my "friends" and my new colleagues will think I'm miserable. I hope not. I'm sure I will make friends. I mean I moved to London not knowing a soul and now I have a great group of friends. But it is a worry.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Forms to post

I finally got round to posting off the forms that were sent with the acceptance letter. Very bad of me I know but one of them was to say that yes I was definitely going to take part and I wanted to think about it.

But they've gone now. I've signed my life away. I've stated that:

  • I wish to proceed as a candidate in the exchange
  • I have sufficient funds available (at least £18,000!!!!!!). Well, I will have through the year with my salary, I hope it doesn't mean I should have it in one lump at the start
  • How I heard about them. It's so long ago that I actually can't remember. I made something up.
  • There are no reasons why I might have to withdraw my application
  • There are no medical problems which might stop me taking part
  • I've had no major illnesses over the last 5 years (except for a slipped disc in my neck which has resulted in exactly zero time off work)
  • I'm confident my salary and savings will be sufficient for the year
  • I know I have to return to my school on my return
  • I don't have a spouse to worry about whether they will find work or not
  • I understand that the accommodation arrangements are private between me and my partner
  • I'd rather go to San Francisco if I got the choice. Or New York
  • I have a valid driving licence
  • The religion and sex of the exchange teacher is irrelevant to my school
Matches are expected to be made in March. I can't wait.