The Big Day Approaches From Nowhere

Yesterday arrived the dreaded letter, the one I had not been expecting.

The university who I’ve applied to to do my teacher training PGCE had finally got back to me. I have an interview.

Next Wednesday.

Unbelieveable. The issue was totally out of my consciousness. I’d been concentrating so hard on my essays and dissertation research that it was completely at the back of my mind. I know I had mentioned it in previous posts, but that was just in passing. I thought I’d find out within the next few weeks, but I expected to have an interview early next year.

How wrong I was. The news led to panic. How am I supposed to get to my destination cheaply next Wednesday? I called them up to ask if they could change the date. They were very helpful and said yes… but the only problem is that if the date is changed, the chances of me being offered a place are reduced because of the fact that other people will now be offered places ahead of me.

So I had no choice but to take the advice offered. Luckily enough, it turns out that I can get to the place for £31 return on the train. Managed to get hold of an advance ticket. Which is a bit odd, because I can’t get hold of an advance ticket in a month’s time to go home. They’ve obviously all sold out.

With the travel sorted – I’m now going to go first thing on Tuesday morning and return back to Hull on Thursday – my mind is put at ease a little. Apart from the fact that I have an interview! I have never done a proper interview. All the jobs I’ve had were very informal interviews, and the placement with my MP last year had an informal interview too. So this is brand new. Plus, there are also some other bits attached to it, including a short writing exercise, an ICT test and a reading from a children’s book to four other candidates. That will be a bit odd. I’m researching feverishly this weekend to work out which book I should pick. Crossing my fingers to get hold of a copy of “The Snail and the Whale” at the moment, though “Aliens Love Underpants” would also be a good one.

It’s all come at a very fortunate time. Yesterday, before my mind was totally distracted by this issue, I managed to finish off my essays. Well, they’re 95% complete, all three of them. They just need the final once-over, printing and submitting. That’s easy enough, nothing to worry about. So I have the next few days free to sort everything out. I have to work on some stock answers to the standard interview questions… and I have to try to relax. The nerves are going to take over at some point; I really can’t afford to let them on the day, some people manage to channel their nervousness to their advantage, but I can’t. I have to be calm.

I’m delighted to have been offered an interview. I was beginning to feel that my application was poor. Not everyone gets an interview… so to have come this far is a good sign that they think I have potential. So I’m really pleased about that. Plus, in a strange way, it is probably good to get this all over and out of the way now. If I’d got a date months into the future I would have been worrying about it for ages and ages as it loomed large on the horizon. Now it’s just going to happen and soon. I would put my chances of getting offered a place, right at this moment, at 50/50. I hope I can improve those odds at the interview.

Meanwhile… in terrible news, the weather has turned against me this weekend, after the forecast all week saying it was going to be OK. Unfortunately, I’m going to be refereeing in the freezing cold wind and rain again. Bollocks. But it will, at least, take my mind off this situation. Instead, it will be wondering if my fingers are going to fall off…

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