11 April


Had an interview for a Peace Corps Volunteer position earlier this morning. If I get the job, I’ll be in Jamaica from March 12, 2018-May 2020 as a Primary Literacy Adviser. Like most sesquipedalian job titles, this could mean a lot of things and thus is largely meaningless. Shouts out to Wittgenstein or Russell or the bald king of France that doesn’t exist, or something.

What I know is that if I’m chosen, I’ll be working under the direction of a school’s principal to help inspire a love of reading in tots. This could mean helping the teachers teach the tots in the classroom during the schoolday. Or it could mean maintaining a reading group and tutoring tots after school. Or it could mean working with parents of tots to promote literacy education. Or it could mean all of these or none.

If I’m chosen.

The Peace Corps is moderately selective: 25,000 applicants/year competing for 4,000 spots. Rough math that’s what, 4 over 25 times 4 carry the one beep boop boop 16 percent. So but that brings me to the point of this post: the interview did not go well.

I mean look. I don’t think I’m the most charming person in the state of Texas. I definitely don’t do well in large groups of people. I shit my pants before, in the middle of, and after giving presentations. But in a one-on-one situation, when all I have to do is talk about myself (shouts out to Narcissus), I tend to do okay. Hell, I’ll go so far as to say that I think I interview well. I mean generally. I like to think I’m affable. Perceptive. Well-spoken and sincere.

This is what I like to think.

But man, this guy was colder than the coldest of witches’ tits. Whatever I was selling, he wasn’t buying. And I came prepared. Studied common questions, physically with ink pen and paper paper wrote down my answers and, extra credit: spawned a list of potential questions to ask. What I’m saying is the product was good, is what I’m saying. Maybe the shit wasn’t pearl but it wasn’t cut with nothing, neither, is what I’m saying. (Yes, I did just finish the first season of The Wire yesterday. Letcha boy live.)

It’s not like he was actively hostile, the interviewer. He was fine. It’s just the whole thing was so…scripted. He asked only questions that were on his prompt that was on his second monitor that he rarely (read: never) looked up at my red and mottled face from. I’m talking zero good old-fashioned televisual eye contact. Zero, homie.

So I had nothing to work with, nothing to go off of. It was obvious that he didn’t particularly care about me, which was fine, but the dude didn’t even pretend to. That’s what gives me a huge case of the screaming meemies about the whole thing. No pretense, no social bullshit. No feigned humanity. Nothing but the script.

I guess it comes with the job. Re: # of applicants. Dude’s probably conducting another dozen and a half interviews this week alone. Who in that situation could maintain an air of caring? Who  could remain impervious to desensitization? Who would want to?

At least this is what I’m telling myself to try to make myself feel better about myself. Shouts out to the self.

I don’t expect to get the invitation, folks. Objectively speaking, odds are that the application process ends here.

But I want it. I want it more than anything. And I think I’d be really good at doing whatever vague shit a Primary Literacy Advisor does. And I told whatshisface this, albeit w/ a slightly different phraseology. Whatever–I can always reapply.

Also, tots is a great word.

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