Preparing for Foreign Service...
To be of service is an aspiration of many. Whether, local, civil, national or international, certain service to the human community should be a hand up.
In my life I have taken into consideration numbers of possibilities. Since part of my family gave their lives in service to the military I entertained this venue when the time passed, the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training) when I was at the University of Arizona-(I was Actually approached by the Intelligence Community at one point, even speaking to them in regards to to incident in the Soviet Union, impressed, I was encouraged to join...but didnt)-, Several times I had received postings from the National Guard
and other national associations with various other possibilities that might have come to pass. In college I had all the manuals and training materials, taking mock tests...and passing them. But now I was really too old for boot-camp, or was I? I wasnt of the mind-set then-but perhaps I had my own self-made version of these to come in the future...that were unique to the tasks ahead of me...(to be read in the future of this story) I just wanted to teach, my background was in education as well as my families, and I had the major Huzba..credential, and I took all the courses for certifications budgeted out- ammassing a large envelope of these, that were discarded over the years as paper with (the only meaning) a position in which I could use them. In Phoenix...I did not find one..all taken up, and so I found quick use of these and had to expand my efforts to teach (if not domesticly) Internationally.
Some teaching jobs were even listed in the directory of service jobs of the military-but a military background was almost manditory. Domestic peace-time jobs with companies like Teach for America
have also been considered. Whatever source the experience comes from should provide incentive to develop character.
I applied to about 15 Universities across the nation 4 in Great Britian offering different advanced programs towards "education" in the direction of an Ed.d (Educational Doctorate) for the purposes of "teaching', not that the credential wouldnt be considered -immediate overqualification- it would! . It may not really be of much interest to the reader, and not singularly to boast, but I was not turned down for any one of these Universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Washington U, Yale..etc etc)and moreover I was very happy at their acceptance, seeking advancement in several different areas of endevor from a Phd, MBA to a Juris Doctorate (Law) and even a possibility to go to medical school. But I am an artist...my values are planted there firmly. If I were a lawyer and I wanted that...surely I would be one, or a Businessman keen on a Harvard MBA....I would have that too. This is not my business however. I have my personal interests...and venues for teaching the arts is pretty channeled and focused regardless of the parameters, an MFA (at this point being the "top" degree in the country for this)
Later I had the option for a Phd Doctorate of Arts and Humanities
, that was more appropriate for my field. The possibility was usable on an international scale for teaching. One Experience is set into my mind.....Foreign Service
It came in a letter after numerous applications. I had been working in my studio all day painting when there was a knock on my front door in Tempe and then the doorbell rang repeatedly.For several months I had been entertaining possibilities of living abroad. Since I had a post-graduate degree and was facilitated at least from a basic level at 34, I felt the growing desire to grow, put my experience to work with a possibility of traveling aborad with the Peace Corps.
I was accepted for an interview with the Peace Corps! The letters strength seemed that it was almost a shoe-in for the possibility of working as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Balkans, and possibly even Albania. To this day I look at that letter and wonder...(if)
I had to travel for the interview to Texas, keeping my hopes and ambitions silent to others as the days grew to that time of departure. During my time in Houston I would try to arrange for multiple possiblitlites, since this trip, any trip was expensive and time should never be wasted. During the time I was in Houston I met with some gallery owners and interviewed for a teaching possiblility as well.
I flew to Houston in the morning and stayed for two days. The next day there was the interview at the Peace Corps office.
Everything went well...too well..as I was pre-selected for a possible advanced position. Going through all the paperwork and filling it out, and taking a test which was aced with colours, furthur opening up the possibilities. I had to have a medical clearance before the final stage of my selection was put into place.
Maybe I was lucky....but it seemed like all things were bridged against me the night before my appointment with a pre selected doctor for the prior screening .
The words were saddening as three problems came up in the medical report which ,in the field, might lead to problems. I was disheartened as soon as they told me....words...that a desk job could be better, or that youth wasnt quite on my side like it should have been...I felt fit and able...words like "unfortunately" sometimes do come to pass, and of course this was one of those times. No matter how one prepares...there are still some glitches.
Needless to say....I didnt pass the medical.
I flew home and continued my art work as though the idea didnt ever come to pass. Yes I felt a bit disheartened. I wanted to travel, learn and experience. An associate kept glimmering of his days in the Peace Corps long ago. To say I applied, they accepted me, but my medical condition didnt pass was somewhat of an embarrassement...
A friend called me and later sent me a letter for possibilities working on another projects, namely:
The Artists in Embassies Program through the Dept. of State
I submitted the form and was accepted..and have been a member since. I took to the task of sending out my materials for possibilities in Europe and received numerous responses. After my exhibitions in New York City in the early-mid 1990's I moved progressivly to exhibit and later have residence in Europe from 1996 onward....
Was this a leap of faith or an adventure in learning, or a lesson in dicipline (lamb slaughtered before the mighty sword of human constructs of seeming normality?) Who was too guess at this point...it was only a chance, waiting for some discovery, in a key word of Faith.
In the years ahead...I traveled, somewhat independantly, connected with what associations or groups that would offer some measure of sponsorship. Faith was always the key. Although I pressed my ideas and concepts to break through many conventional ways of doing things...I did, or attempted to do what I could with an essence of "heart" in my work.
During the 90's I joined:Local and Regional Arts Associations in Arizona
(Who were promoting the arts and offering various venues for exhibitions)Americans For the Arts
International Platform Association
(A old speakers society founded by Daniel Webster)
A National Trust for Historic Preservation
(For my interests in preservation of American historical sites and properties)Arts and Cultural Societies in the US and Great Britian
(who had as a key point:The preservation of culture and artists work)College Art Association
(To Broaden avenues and venues for possibilities in teaching)NSA National Space Society
International Space Society
(Because of my other interests of preserving global social interests in aeronautic arts-Aerospace/Space Projects) -At one point I was asked to be one of the "Founders" of some new International Lunar Research Facility..
Various public and private social arts, humanitaritan and associations " of letters" whos key works and local-international projects and private funds augmented the purpose of advancement of the arts,culture and exhibition venues and protection of their work..
As well as others...
The key word in all of this were the investment, preservation, and protection of "interests", not only of my own interests, but what I consider as important interests that support dreams, goals and ambitions of others...as well as myself.
It is important for people to pull together through associations, and spread their dreams through the interests in others
as well as endevors that can speak, in support of others with dreams and ambitions...especially in ones field of endevor.