Sunday, June 12, 2011



FSOT-7-MapI've been preparing to take the Foreign Service Officer Test since February. The FSOT is the first of many steps in becoming a career U.S. diplomat working in foreign embassies for the Department of State. It sounds like a wicked cool gig, especially considering my journalism career is going nowhere fast these days. The exam is given three times a year, and on June 6, the closest location was at the University of Maine at Farmington.

So, I studied a lot, woke up early, and drove to Farmington, Maine. It was a really long drive just to sit a three-hour exam. But it was a bright, sunny and beautiful summer morning. And Maine is really gorgeous. Once I got off the expressway, I drove on two-lane highways through dense forrest which was punctuated with tiny towns and clear lakes.

The test was brutal. While I didn't make myself sick over it (like I did with the GRE), it was long and my essay was awful and I didn't know that FDR was the one who called the Allied powers the "Four Policemen." (I guessed Truman. MIZ-ZOU-RAH!) However, I think I passed. I'll find out in approximately three to five weeks.

I was also charmed by Farmington, ME. The University is small, but has adorable old buildings. There were tons of prospective students on campus. I had pineapple gelato with my lunch after my test at a lovely little sandwich shop down the street from the test center. I also found first editions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at a used bookstore with the best name ever: Twice Told Tales.


I kept thinking that Farmington was simply crying out for a Missouri Photo Workshop. There were so many stories, just right there! It felt like a lot of deja-vu, which may be the universe's way of saying that all small towns are essentially alike in nature, whether they be in Missouri or Maine.

In short: I took a test. The test was in a nice town. I hope I passed. The end.