Friday, September 10, 2010

by Friday night...

By Friday night, DC time, I'll have completed my certification and will be an official ETS employee. I've been wrestling with my two computers, trying to get both of them ETS-ready. For the Mac, this meant downloading software called Virtual Box, but I eventually nixed that idea after tinkering fruitlessly with VB for several hours. I had thought about using the Mac for my essay rating, but since VB didn't seem to be running correctly on it, I uninstalled everything and focused solely on my Asus netbook. Per my brother's advice, I'll be attempting to use Virtual Box again later, but right now, I need to have a system up and running. The only Windows-compatible machine in the house is my Asus, so... voilà, quoi.

For the laptop, then, preparation has meant flushing out the virus-laden OS and memory, reinstalling everything anew from the system disk, patching the software by finding and installing updates, and then making certain browser- and system-related tweaks based on a template given to me by ETS. All that's left for me to do is to go through the training (8 hours), the review (1 hour), and the certification test (2 hours). Eleven hours in all. If I start in the morning, I'll be done and certified by evening, and will be four days ahead of schedule (certification deadline is September 14, my brother David's birthday).

Thus begins the next phase of life. I've had to rely on a lot of charity over the past year and a half, since I quit two (admittedly low-paying) jobs to take care of Mom. Now I'm going to be back in the workaday world, and along with my scholastic debt, I've got some personal debts that need paying. It'll be good to start paying them, and to start thinking about the future. Some things have become a lot clearer to me over the course of this trial; others haven't, and I'll probably do a bit of my thinking out loud right here, on Ye Olde Blogge.

Life-changes are happening everywhere, it seems. My French brother Dominique wrote me to say that he and his family are thinking about moving back west, away from Alsace and closer to Nantes-- possibly to one of the touristy islands that lie off the coast of Bretagne (Brittany), to set up a bed-and-breakfast. I think the idea sounds awesome. My own dreams aren't quite so big, but I wish Dom and his family luck as they ponder this great leap westward. At least they'll be closer to Dom's parents. That's not a bad thing.


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