To say it's been a while is an understatement. Rather than dump everything on everybody all at once, I'll go slow.
Back in May I submitted an application to the Illinois State Police to try and get in their forensic science trainee program. I figured it was a long shot - I wasn't sure which option that I would be qualified for - and it was the application from hell. My twitter feed can attest to that. But I sent it off to Illinois and hoped for the best.
Then I graduated from college with a BA in chemistry.
About a week, week and a half later (I think) I got mail from Illinois telling me that I had passed the education requirement and could come take my exams. It was like being accepted to college all over again, and I legit jumped up and down. Then figured out arrangements to get myself out to Chicago for a few days.
I took an AmTrak train for the first time.
One 11 hour train ride later I was in the Windy City for the first time, riding the L and trying not to get lost on my way to the hostel. My sense of direction is a little murky when I first get to a place, and I wound up taking a taxi from, well, the west side to somewhere a little more...safer. All the way to The Bean.
I hadn't realized there was a time difference between Chicago and New York. Going back in time is not overly easy on the body, and I called it a night early. Mostly because I wanted to let everything just settle and sink before I had to take what was basically two civil service exams the next morning.
They went really, really well. The way that their tests work is that you get your score when you get done, but you don't exactly know your grade. So I walked out of there knowing how I had done. I took two exams because I'm qualified for two options. Then I had the rest of my time in Chicago to do whatever that I wanted before I got on the train that night. I took a water taxi out to Navy Pier, did the swing ride, and then walked the streets looking for a place to have Chicago deep dish.
Which is the best pizza I've ever had.
A couple weeks after I came home I got my grades in the mail. They were quite clear on the website that they only really offer interviews to those who make A's, which means you're extremely qualified.
I have an A on both exams. I'm extremely qualified and just waiting for them to call me to come back for an interview. It's a step. And now it's just a waiting game. Though I'll take any excuse to wander back to Chicago.