Thursday we spent all day going over the manual in which we look up items to see A) whether they are allowed in the country and B) how to inspect them for pests or contaminants if they are. Apparently our entire first month or so at the academy will be over this.
Yes...an entire month...dedicated to learning how to look things up in references. @_@ Maybe I'll feel differently when I get there, but if it's like what I did on Thursday, I think I'll go batty from boredom after the first week. I mean, how much time can one really devote to "look in this glossary, then check this table" and still be covering new material?
On the bright side, I may have access to a kitchenette attached to my hotel room, so that will be nice.
The background check interview Thursday evening went all right. I don't do much that could be considered a security risk. I don't drink much, I don't have debts, I don't use drugs, I don't even go out to wild parties. The biggest "blemish" on my character I could come up with was writing fanfic, which the interviewer didn't feel worth noting on the questionnaire. The interviewer believed that the background check would probably be finished up before the academy graduation, but it depends on how quickly the interviewers get responses from my references. If the check isn't finished by December 15th, I won't get a badge at the graduation ceremony.
Friday I didn't do much at work. I arranged for the shuttle to pick up a group of us at the airport to take us to our hotel on Monday, since no one else was willing to put that on their credit card (even knowing we would be reimbursed when we got there). One poor guy found in the morning that his ticket hadn't been arranged, so he quickly had to contact someone to get that cleared up; he'll be coming on a slightly later flight. After lunch, we got one last lecture on how we ought to work together to make sure we all pass, and then we all turned in our airport ID badges and were escorted out. (If we fail the academy, we're automatically fired and therefore ineligible to return.)
This weekend I'm going to have to work on packing up the things I will need in Maryland. My plane leaves at 6am Monday morning, so I have to leave here by at least 4am if I'm going to get to the airport on time.