I’d spent a weekend and a Monday filling out 18 pages of forms that had been due the Thursday before. But I’d only received the papers that Friday. Not only was it 18 pages, but they all had to be done four times, four signatures from one doctor. Four color copies of the same four photos that somehow seemed to explain me. One was me playing a guitar wearing a livestrong bracelet, as if to imply that 1) I could play the guitar or 2) I was in anyway tied with people who were all about “livingstrong”. There was also the picture of me with my mother, brother, and sister at my brothers naval graduation. I look like a ridiculous fat cow in the picture, but my mother thought it was nice, so I printed out four and cut and pasted.
Two weeks came and passed, and I’d been interviewed by the local Rotary. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t all that nervous. My odds were good. One of the men had been my DARE officer in the fifth grade, two of them were friends with my grandparents, and another one, I’d swam on the same swim team with his kids when we were young. Even though growing up in a small town sucked, there were advantages to people “knowing you”. After the local interview, it was on to the district interview.
My friend Patrick had prepped me for the district interview. He’d coached me on the right things to say, and about the polio vaccine that had been in the works. I wasn’t sure whether or not to be nervous. I mean there can’t be that many kids applying. Can there? I mean what kind of wing nut besides a few others like me would want to go live abroad in highschool? Well, I found out there were 38, and only 28 would be accepted.