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Everyone at Once: “Mexico!” February 14, 2006

Posted by KG in FS Life, State.
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Fellow FS folks who read this blog probably have fond memories of Flag Day. For those unfamiliar, that’s the day where the powers-that-be tell you your first assignment. In its most recent Generalist iteration, the latest A-100 class and assorted guests assemble in the FSI gym (specifically, 3 PM on the Tuesday of their sixth week. Yes it is that tightly planned), where they sit and squirm, waiting to hear what direction their life will soon take. The drill: the aforementioned powers hold up a miniature flag (natch) and the peanut gallery yells the name of the country represented. The position is announced, the lucky Junior Officer reacts with one of about sixty-eight possible emotions ranging from blasé acceptance to schadenfreude, parents and friends cry. Lather, rinse, and repeat until all flags are exhausted. Follow with libation, frivolity, and a tremendous amount of trying to put together what it all means. The experience is a bit like riding a roller coaster while trying to do differential equations. The various FSO blogs I’ve found are amusing in the uniformity of how they treat the day: see, for example, Prince Roy, Aaron, and this blog’s previous incarnation.

Today was the Flag Day for the 127th A100 class, and I decided to crash the occasion and see which three members of their class would be joining me (inshallah) in Islamabad. The energy in the room was infectious… and then I got a phone call.

While 77 colleagues were buzzing about, waiting for the arrival of the flags, I received a call from someone obliquely connected to my own situation — someone significantly more senior in the larger scheme of things than I am. Getting the phone call at that particular moment felt kind of poetic. The actual result of the phone call wasn’t movement in the literal sense, but symbolically it felt good, like something positive was actually happening. (Details, you say? Sorry, not over these channels.)
Still reeling from my phone call, I watched the “new kids” as they celebrated, commiserated, and wildly gesticulated. Many seemed happy, while others looked at their flags the way a puppy looks at its reflection. Man, do I remember that feeling. Congratulations, guys, enjoy the buzz. But not too much — you still have to be in your seats by 8:30, at least until next Friday.

(if anyone from the 127th reads this and has a blog of their own, stop being shy and leave a link, yo.)

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Comments»

1. Sister - February 16, 2006

I want details. E-mail me, Blah Blah.

2. rachael - January 19, 2007

i love that!


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