It's another normal day with, it seems, everyone asking me if I know where I'm going yet. They get the normal answer "No, not yet, any day now hopefully".
It gets to lunchtime. Get my lunch from the canteen as usual and head up to the staff room. Plate in one hand I get an envelope out of my pigeon hole with the other fully expecting it to be the normal nonsense from one company or another. I turn to walk to the table while simultaneously turning the envelope over. There's a sticker on the front saying British Council. I get to the table in somewhat of a daze. "It's here" I say rather faintly, "oh my god". A friend and colleague reaches a hand out from the other side of the table.
"Give it here" he said. I start to hand him my plate as there isn't anywhere to put it while I open the envelope. "Not that" he tells me "you're not opening it, give it here". I don't give it to him "no, I'm ok, I'll do it", put my plate down and kneel on the chairs behind me. I open the envelope which is full of papers. The top one says that they've identified a possible exchange partner for me. They give me her name and further down the name and address of the school.
It's in New York, oh my god, I'm going to New York, Bronx to be exact. I turn to everyone, they're waiting expectantly. "I'm going to New York" I scream. There's a chorus of well dones, fantastics and wonderfuls from all around the staff room while a few members of staff who have no idea what I'm talking about look puzzled. I tell them the name of the match, the school and that it's in Bronx. I seem to just say over and over again "oh my god I'm going to New York". Then I start to weep. I weep because waiting to hear has made me rather stressed and highly strung, I weep with joy that I'm going to New York, I weep because it's about the only thing left in me I can do.
As I'm weeping the friend that's possibly borne most of my worries and stress about the whole ordeal comes into the staffroom. He sees me crying and guesses that I've heard. "Where you going" he asks. Someone says Alaska and he looks to me for confirmation, I just nod. He looks disappointed then tries to put a positive slant on it until someone tells him that it's New York. He looks absolutely delighted.
Since then, apart from a little frustration after speaking to my mother, I've been bouncing around everywhere. Went to see the Head, she hasn't yet received the full information on the match. So at the moment I know very little about her except what I've been able to glean from Google, which actually isn't that little. She seems to have had a very busy life.
The school looks like it'll be absolutely fantastic.
Now I need to read the fistful of other papers that were in the envelope. I hope there's not one at the back saying "ONLY JOKING".