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John Heath Vaughan, MD
Son David's and Daughter-in-Law Susanne's Christmas Letter, 1999
Dave & Susanne's Holiday Gasette New Year's Edition 1999
Susanne Passes Banking Exams!
Susanne found out just before Christmas that she passed the written exams for her professional banking license (Bankkauffrau)!
Susanne has been taking classes one night per week for the past two years to complete the required course of study for the Bankkauffrau. During the last six months, she has added a strict regimen of additional study, nights and weekends, in preparation for the four-part exam.
The last exam in the series, is the oral exam. Susanne will take this on 14 January. Having passed the written exams, her spirits are high, and she expects to survive the oral as well. Wish her luck in closing out this chapter, and moving on to bigger and better things!
I had been planning on taking the Professional Engineer exam in April '99. This would allow me to study during the, six least busy months of the year at work (Oct - Apr).
Then, one day on the way to work, I heard that little voice from inside..."Take the PE exam in October 98!" Following the direction of this little voice would mean studying all Summer And Fall, the busiest seasons at work.
I was, however, in an unusually good position to study for the PE. * I had a relatively light load at work, yet sufficient project funds to support myself through the year. Still, how many projects would I pick up as the year progressed? How would I be able to make the extra push at work during the end-of-the-fiscal-year crunch, and make the final push 'in studying for the exam?
I didn't know the answers to these questions, but I've always listened to the little voice from within. Some how, I managed to balance an increasing work load, and studying for the PE. I studied for eight months. Nearly all of the material was new to. me because I didn't study engineering in college. So, even with eight months preparation, it would be entirely possible to fail. The exam did seem to go fairly well though. I'll get the results in January or February. Say a little prayer to the Gods of Engineering for me!
Land of Opportunity!
Susanne and I feel that we have come to a critical juncture in life. If we intend to move back to the States, we need to do it in the coming year. At this point we can best afford the "starting over, process that is sure to accompany a move to the U.S. We feel however, that our long term prospects are best for both of us in America. We are looking to move either to the Washington D.C. area, or California in order to be close to family.
I am in the process of organizing a trip to the U.S. to meet with people in various organizations, in both the government and private sectors. The purpose of these meetings is to gather career information.
I never really considered the government to be a career. I've always thought of it as a stop along the way to private industry. So, I'll be looking at prospects in private environmental and engineering firms. On the other hand, I've been with the government for quite some time, now, and all in all, it's been rather good to me. So, I'll also be visiting Corps of Engineers districts, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
I am even contemplating switching careers altogether. Right now, I'm taking a hard look at financial consulting. It's an area that has- interested me fort he past five years, The time may have arrived to make a switch. At this point, I'm open to many different possibilities. It's really quite exciting! I feel that doors leading in many different directions are open. This only happens so often in an entire lifetime!
We were fortunate enough to spend the holidays with family and friends, Thanksgiving in London with my cousin Janie and her ' family, and Christmas with Susannes's parents. New Year's Eve, we were out on the town with a bunch of lively friends.
Hoping the holidays have been good to you, and wishing you and yours, the very best in the New Year.