So. When we last left our deeply-flawed heroine, she was a sniveling pile of patheticness on the floor of her Oakwoody (not The Mothership) apartment.
But, of course, the plot has twisted. And whenever there is a pathetic, deeply-flawed heroine and a twisting plot, it is best to speak in Royal Third Person.
When she was previously sniveling, it was because she thought (mistakenly) that her enrollment into her husband's 44-week-long Mandarin Chinese class at FSI was a Done Deal.
O, how she misunderstood.
But, at the time, when she thought her enrollment WAS Official, she had to go through a long, drawn-out, painful mourning process as she moved from Homeschooling-Mother-Who-Had-No-Clue-That-Homeschooling-Could-Even-Be-Ending-This-Soon *to* Oh-Dear-LORD-They're-TAKING-THE-CHILDREN-AWAY! ALL! DAY! LONG!!
And in the middle of that, she was starting to realize that the schools that made the most sense for her children have Gerrymandered districts that look like the most complicated things on the face of the EARTH. And that the elementary school that would be best for her youngest son has a district that has literally Gerrymandered out ALL hotels and ALL apartments save ONE. So then, she had to move heaven and earth to get into there, the ONE APARTMENT COMPLEX IN THE WHOLE DISTRICT, so she could register her children for those schools.
Much crying. Much identity crises. Much feeling of loss, and of trading children for language training. And much guilt. And more crying.
All that went into the previous pathetic blog post.
HOWEVER, all that went down BEFORE she was skooled a whole lot in the intricate ins and outs of spouse placement in FSI language training!
Grab a calculator, my friends.
Mathematics and Language Classes
(or: Do You Remember Your Times Tables?)
Let's go over what we all know to be true. We all know, of course, that an employee who needs language training (Translation: that an employee who has been selected for a position that requires a certain language level that they don't already have) will get into the needed language class.
For example: my husband, James. He was selected for a position in Chengdu, China, and this position requires that he speak Mandarin Chinese at a 2/2 level. To take an employee from 0/0 to a 2/2, FSI has calculated that James will need 44 weeks in a full-time training class at FSI.
James will, of course, no question, be placed in such a class. (And behold! It begins in September!)
But then there's... me. And that's when it gets a whole lot more complicated.
It's been explained to me that language class groups consist of four people. Thus:
4 people = a class group
We've already said that employees are placed into the class, no problem. However, due to budget constraints, NO new groups/classes will be created JUST for spouses. (From what I understand, up until two years ago, they *would* create more classes for spouses. But not any longer.)
Let's say that sixteen employees total need the class. Well, then there will be four employees per group, four groups total, with no spots left over for spouses.
But let's say that there are SEVENTEEN employees that need the class. Then there will be FIVE groups, with the last group having only one employee and then three spouses could fill those empty spots.
So, for our family, the important question is: how many employees will be taking James' Chinese class? Is that number exactly divisible by four? Will there be any spots left over for me?
We won't know this for quite a long time. But it's a heavy question that affects me and the children. For if I DO get into the Chinese class, then the children will be going full-time to the schools that I so tearfully, painfully chose over the last two weeks. If I DO NOT get into the Chinese class, then Matthew (the 16 year old) will be going part-time to the high school that I chose (homeschoolers can take up to two classes in the local public schools here in Virginia, but not participate in any extra-curricular activities), and our younger one will probably still be homeschooled.
But, alas for us! For by the time we find out if I will or will not actually get to take the Chinese class (whether or not the total number of students in James' class is perfectly divisible by four and/or how many remainders there are), we will be back in HOUSTON and won't be ABLE to register the children in their schools. And so it goes. Do we register the children in their schools as though I'm going to be in the class? (I've been told I have probably a 50/50 shot at getting in.) Knowing that, if I don't get the Chinese class, I have to then go through the process of withdrawing them from their schools?
And then I read all about how incredibly difficult and painful long-term language class can be (Worldwide Available, who also posted a picture that is worth a thousand words), and I ask myself: which outcome would be better for all of us? I don't know the answer.
But if I'm statistically lucky enough to get into the class, I'm going. And the children** are going to school. And if I don't get in, I'm obviously not going. (At least I'm still a master of the obvious!) And this all reminds me of Digger's recent blog post, in which she wisely tells us all that being with State is all about WAITING. Some of you are waiting to get in. Others are waiting for their training to start. Or to be over. Or to start bidding. Or to find out what bid you got. Or to go to post. Or to come home from post. Or to go on home leave. Or to go back to post from home leave.
So, now our family is waiting to see what the children and I will be doing in the fall! And I have the stack of school registration papers sitting here on the table, staring at me.
** I have two boys. My eldest son (16) was in a Montessori school until the end of first grade, and hasn't been to school since. My youngest son (11) had literally never set foot in a school until we went looking at them a couple of weeks ago. Seeing that typed out, I can't help but think that everyone reading this will think we are INSANE. And, indeed... you are right.