The LSAT, Moving, and Applying to Law School


Before taking the LSAT, I wrote a post about how stressed I was. And I was really stressed. I wrote about the weight of each and every test question, and how my overall score would be impacted by the questions on which I guessed. I whined and worried. I tried to joke about it, but I really was losing my mind.

In real life (not the interwebs), people would ask me how I was feeling and if I was ready, and I would tell them I was stressed, and they would basically try to persuade me that I shouldn’t be stressed, which made me more stressed. Also, I think there’s something to be said for each person having a process of preparation, and mine happens to involve stress… so it’s possible that my stress helped prepare me and helped improve my score, so eff all of the people who kept trying to talk me out of stressing.

Result of my stress: I actually ended up scoring higher on the LSAT than I had ever scored on any of my practice tests. Basically, my score was good enough that I should have no trouble getting in to any law school that is not Ivy League. Also, it means that I should receive some scholarship money.

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You’d think I’d feel pretty awesome, but I’m actually stressed again.

I am now having all of my info sent to a credential assembly service, which is stressful to me. I am also taking more steps towards selling my house. I am also trying to figure out where I actually want to apply, which impacts when I should sell my house…

All of this is frustrating and, well, stressful to me…

Not having the internet at home or a printer at Starbucks, I end up having about 42 extra steps for each piece of paper I need someone to send to the credential assembly service, because I’ll go to Sbucks to use the internet, only to realize that I have to print something, which requires that I also go to the library. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it bothers me. It bothers me that I have to ask a ton of people to send a ton of things somewhere for me, and then I have to wait for them to do it. It bother me that I’m not sure how to make decisions about where to apply. Pretty much every step of this process bothers me.

For undergrad, I only applied to U of A, because I knew that’s where I would go. I knew I’d be accepted. I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else, and I didn’t feel the need to have backups.

Now that I’m all growed up, I feel I should follow the advice of the experts, who think I should apply to something like 25 schools. Now, realistically, I’m definitely not doing that. I might apply to 8 schools, but it seems like a big, stupid waste of time and stress, because I really don’t intend to move. Applying to Boston College might satisfy some part of me that thinks it would be an adventure to move to Boston, but if I received a full-ride from both Boston College and U of A (which isn’t going to happen, but I’m just saying…), then I would stay in Arizona. Still, I feel obligated to think about all of the places I’m applying, just in case it might be a good idea to move, even though I really don’t want to move.

So, for your perusal, here’s the list of places I may apply… or I may only apply to the U of A again. We’ll see.

U of A

ASU

University North Carolina Charlotte

Wake Forest

Duke

Boston College

Baylor

University of Oregon (or perhaps it’s Oregon State? I can never remember … the one in Eugene)

 

I expect I’ll be accepted to all of those except Duke. How do I even consider so many different possibilities? How do I even think about moving to another state, where I would live without Steve and Lori, my church, Victim Services, and basic knowledge of the city? How do I even think about living in the snow? There’s nothing worse than snow. I’m completely open to going somewhere for a few years, if it’s definitely temporary, but everything I’ve read says I should go to law school in the place where I intend to practice law. Moving to Boston for three years would be cool, but for the rest of my life possibly? I don’t know about that. There’s too much pressure on this one decision.

I know… 1st world problems, eh?

 

How Am I so Effing Slow?


I am looking into the possibility of going to law school in 2017 or 2018.

What I have discovered is that I may not have much trouble getting in… but the trouble will come with the paying for it. Although I am prepared to sell my house, quit my job, and take out loans, I’m really not going to feel comfortable going for it unless I can get about half of it paid for by scholarships.

How does one get a scholarship to attend law school, you ask? Well, the best chance of getting one large scholarship is scoring really high on the LSAT. Of course I will look into other avenues for scholarships, but I actually am a very good taker of tests, so I thought I’d start with the LSAT. Since the LSAT is required of me just to get in and I’d probably want to take it by December, if not September, I thought I should get on that. Also, taking the LSAT is a nice, noncommittal step I can take to gauge whether this is a terrible idea or not.

I took a diagnostic test yesterday. And I did not do terribly. I scored average for all takers of the LSAT, so I certainly would need to do better if I want to both get into law school and receive moneys.

There are some very specific things I struggled with, though.

  1. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to test people for 180 minutes? That’s a horribly long time to sit still and think, and I don’t have the stamina I used to have. I will need to take a lot of practice tests to get myself used to sitting for that long.
  2. I need to think significantly faster. There were 102 questions on the test, and I didn’t even get to 12 of them. I also got something like 8 questions wrong towards the ends of the sections, because I felt rushed. That alone is the difference between full ride and no financial help at all.
  3. I bombed one particular section. Basically, they give you a list of 6-8 items and tell you those items must be sorted into 2-3 columns with 6 or so rules about how you can do it. Ex: Adam, Brian, Charles, Derek, Ed, Fred, and Greg all go to the bar and purchase beers. The bar’s best sellers are Shocktop, Blue Moon, and Red Stripe, so the guys each try one of those. Each guy only drinks one beer. Brian and Ed choose the same beer. Adam and Greg choose different beers. Derek chooses Red Stripe. Two of the guys drink Blue Moon… and then they ask you 6 ish questions about which item falls into which column. I took what can only be described as a glacial pace at this. It wasn’t the I couldn’t answer the questions; it was that it took me twice as long as they gave me to answer each of these, so I ended up guessing quite a lot. I think my biggest problem was that I hadn’t seen a question like that in more than a decade, so I had to build a framework for each scenario and how to answer it, rather than just knowing what I needed to do to figure it out.
  4. Even on the reading comprehension section, I was pretty slow and didn’t finish, because they gave you like six ish really dense paragraphs to read… when I say really dense, I mean that it was the equivalent of reading Shakespeare. The sentence structures were out of control. The diction was out of control. The content was often specific to a field in which I had zero experience. And then, they would ask six questions, each of which took up about half a page, because they were wordy and ridiculous, as well. There were twenty four questions in this section, to be answered in 35 minutes. I didn’t finish.

So… what I’ve discovered is that I am smart enough to do this… but if I don’t hurry the hell up, I disqualify myself from scholarships just by not answering enough questions.

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With the decision of whether to go to law school or not, I’ve tried talking to people about it in advance, because I’ve been described as impulsive, and because I want to be better about including others in the major life decisions I make… and what I’ve discovered is that there were very good reasons I did things without consulting others in the past – not the least of which being that so many people have been completely unreasonable in their responses.

So, here’s the deal:

Why am I thinking about doing this?

That’s a great question. I think this might be a perfect fit for me, or as close to a perfect fit as can actually exist. I think I might be good at practicing law, and I think I might find fulfillment in it.

Also, I hate wondering if I’ve wasted my life, and I think I might wonder if I don’t give this an honest effort.

Also, it hit me like a whisper from the Holy Spirit that I should do this. I’m not saying God definitely told me I should do this. He didn’t… but I think He may have pointed me in this direction, and I try to listen well when I think God is whispering to me.

Isn’t law school competitive and difficult?

That’s an insulting question. Are you implying that I’m not capable of succeeding in law school, or that I’m daunted by challenges? Are you implying that I shouldn’t attempt it because it difficult? Do you genuinely believe I don’t know that law school is competitive and difficult and you’re telling me something new?

Please don’t ask me a question like this.

Do I know what it’s like to try to get rid of student loan debt?

This might be a good question to ask me once I have my LSAT scores, have applied and been accepted, and have been denied scholarships. My slowness to decide on the right choice may be detrimental to me when test-taking, but I think it’s probably wise to take time on each step of this real-life decision, rather than racing ahead 5 years to the day when I’ll have to pay off student loan debt. I’d prefer to figure out whether I’m capable to getting this completely paid for before I give up because it’s so expensive… it may actually cost me nothing to do this. We won’t know until I apply.

Also, I don’t believe money should necessarily deter me, even if I don’t get any financial help with this. The value of seeking and eventually finding my niche isn’t really measurable, and if it were measurable, I suspect it would be worth more than $80,000.

Where are you going to live?

I don’t know. I haven’t even applied yet. There are three schools I’m currently considering applying to… so I don’t even know which city I’ll be in IF I get into any or all of the schools to which I’m planning to apply. Slow the hell down.

What if it doesn’t work out? What if I get there and it’s too hard or I don’t even get accepted?

…then it doesn’t work out. It’s okay to try things and fail. I’m not going to be crushed because I tried something hard and it didn’t work out. I won’t be crushed if I don’t get accepted. I may even just reapply again a year later. Who cares? Trying and failing costs me exactly $208 and a knock to my pride at this point. It’s succeeding that’s costly. A better question would be, “What if it works out?”

 

 

The Definition of Home


I started reading a book called Saturday Night Widows. It’s not a book I intended to read or had ever even heard of, but I happened upon it when a volunteer was using my office, so I had nowhere to go for awhile, and I really couldn’t work on anything because everything was in my office. Thus, I was skulking in Sally’s office, bothering her. The book was on her desk.

I picked it up and started perusing the blurbs, eventually realizing it was a book I needed to read. So I’ve been reading it.

“Holding on there through so many momentous changes, I often wondered about the definition of home. Is it the place where you live, or is it the place where the people you love reside? And if the people you love are gone, where is home then?”

Becky Aikman is the author and that quote is about losing her husband to Cancer.

I’ve been blessed to have been adopted by more than one family at the crucial moments when I needed help understanding what home truly is.

As a kid, my understanding of home was sort of impersonal. I came from a hoarder’s house, so items were to be protected, catalogued, and hidden away for the future behind stacks of newspapers and beneath protective layers of dust. Food came out of bags and boxes. There tended to be a lot of television, solitude, and homework at home, while the substance of life existed elsewhere. Work/school/athletics were the primary focus of the day, and home fell into that the same way rest stops contribute to road trips.

I’m not writing that to complain. It’s just… I needed someone to show me that home wasn’t like that for everyone.

In adopting me, the Johnsons showed me that home came be a place of connection and community. It’s possible to invite others in, even when it’s messy. They showed me that food can slow down the relentless forward motion of a day, and wine can completely pause the world on its axis. There is a discipleship I received Mr. Miyagi-style by eating weekly dinners in the Johnson house.

The Hilsts, in adopting me, showed me that holidays can be simultaneously prepared for, yet relaxing. They showed me how tradition can feed the heart, and how Black Friday may not actually be beneath me. In my childhood, my family had a strong aversion to events. We liked for things to be casual and informal, but I found a joy in the eventishness of Hilst holidays, and I never once felt formal. They also taught me how to watch television with others, rather than next to others.

Home is, and probably always will be, a struggle for me. I always worry about decisions I make regarding the other people who inhabit my house, because I never feel like I’m a strong enough force to build the sense of home I want in the face of opposition. I fear the various ways others have robbed me of my sense of home in the past – both family and roommates.

I own the mortgage on a 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house, and as much as I’d like to see myself as that person who has people coming and going the way Martin Luther and Katerina Von Bora did, I find myself wanting to curl into myself a little bit. With my parents in North Carolina, the Johnsons in Phoenix, and the Hilsts in California, I feel a little lost. I feel like home is so incredibly fragile.

Sadly, I’m not writing this out of a mopey feeling at the loss of the Hilsts. I’m not wallowing or melancholy.

A year has passed, and with that year, I’m beginning to accept that home is no longer with the Hilts. It cuts me to write that because I really wanted to believe things would change only in superficial, unimportant ways when they moved. I believe that, of course, I was their home and they were mine. In the wisdom of Pink: “If someone said three years from now, you’d be long-gone, I’d stand up and punch them out, ‘cus they’re all wrong…” I write that sort of absurdly, because I can’t believe I’m like that – thinking in sappy song lyrics, but I do. I don’t think them begrudgingly at all; I don’t feel there’s a wrong in the quiet and distance the Hilsts are keeping. It just feels unaligned or off that I’m not close with the people who’ve been home to me.

As always, season turns to season, and I’m beginning to feel it might now be the worst thing in the world to be vulnerable with a few people with whom I’ve never been vulnerable before. It might not be the worst thing to tell geeky stories of ComiCon to people who’ve never heard them before, or to try to convince a whole new people to attend ComiCon with me. Maybe it’ll be okay to go through those beginning stages of friendship with new people, trying to explain why 200-mile relay races are awesome, books are wondrous, predestination is beautiful. It’s a stage of friendship I haven’t had to do since like 2005, but it is a fun stage of friendship when you embrace it.

 

I hate vulnerability, but it’s probably time to give it another chance. After all, it worked out pretty well for me last time; I found myself adopted into two great families.

 

Kindred Friends


I just had coffee with a free-lance editor, and it was amazing.

About three or four weeks ago, Jocelyn, a newish friend at church, told me she has a friend who edits and is involved in the publishing industry. She thought her friend and I should meet and talk about editing my manuscript and/or helping to connect me with small publishers/graphic designers who could do my cover art if I self-publish/publicists…

I said that would be great, but I wasn’t overwhelmingly excited. I basically looked at it as an opportunity that would likely be a non-event in the big scheme of things.

I’d begun to feel pretty relaxed about my manuscript. I was working on a re-write of it that I was adamant would be the last one. Whatever came of this re-write, I intended to move on and write something else. I intended to query a handful of agents, then just go ahead and self-publish the thing if no one wanted to walk through the process with me.

After several years of work on this manuscript, after querying agents, after researching the industry, after working on my platform… I just don’t get overly hopeful about any of it. I’m unimpressed with opportunities, because they nearly always seem to flop in the end.

Enter Jocelyn. She’s sort of a distant friend. She and I have talked/texted several times about getting together, but nothing has really come of it. I honestly half-expected her to forget about trying to connect me with her editor friend. However, she dutifully gave me Kelcey’s info and gave Kelcey my info.

At that juncture in time, I thought I’d wait a week or two until I was a little more settled at my new job before contacting Kelcey. However, Kelcey ended up contacting me, which was nice. I often feel like my efforts to build friendships go unreciprocated. Sometimes that’s fine. Sometimes, I can take an alarming amount of rejection without being phased. Right now, however, I just haven’t felt like working harder at things than anyone else is working. So, honestly, if Kelcey hadn’t taken the reins, this may have never happened. Thank God she did, because we decided to get coffee.

We planned it super far in advance, and I didn’t think much about it. It was just a slot on my calendar that was filled. Then, we finally met at Raging Sage, which is an excellent local coffee shop. Kelcey got there first and got us a table outside.

When I first saw her, I actually thought we wouldn’t be a great fit, because she’s thin and has super-short hair. I know that’s a stupid thing to think and is beyond logic, but it’s what I thought. My first impression of Kelcey could probably be summed up with the word “dainty.” I have never conceived of myself as dainty, so I had an instant belief that she and I couldn’t possibly have anything in common.

However, Kelcey began talking and my prejudice quickly changed. She has a strong interest in mental health. She feels like God has been dismantling her lately. She wrote a journal entry in her tween years about how she wanted to grow up to be an editor. She recently lost some close friends to a move to another city and some sort of emotional mess that she didn’t describe in detail. She mentioned going into an angry-at-You, God- phase, during which, she stopped attending church and had a bit of a break-down.

And I could relate to all of it. Also, I loved the sense of vulnerability Kelcey brought to the table on the very first time we met.

About thirty minutes in, I thought, “Okay, this might be okay.” I thought we might be able to get along working on my manuscript, which is saying a lot, because I feel incredibly possessive and protective of Madi and Wes. The thought of including a stranger in their growth and… for lack of a better word: sanctification, is horrifying. I don’t have any problem sharing Madi, Wes and their story with readers, but letting anyone have input in their lives is a whole other thing.

I think that may explain the snap judgment of believing that Kelcey’s thinness and hair signified a mismatch. I may have wanted her to be the wrong person, because I desperately fear entrusting my characters to her… or anyone.

Once I had given an explanation of my writing to Kelcey, she seemed really interested. She said great things about my ideas, and she was pretty up-front about saying she believes God has brought me into her life.

We decided that she should write up a contract for us and send it to me so that I could consider the partnership.

Then, we just continued talking… and she quoted The Office.

She talked about the time she spent working as a lumberjack in Oregon, and she didn’t seem quite so dainty anymore.

She mentioned her tattoo that’s written in Elvish and says that not all those who wander are lost… and is enormous.

Then she said she likes to Cosplay.

Then she talked about her blog.

Then she told me her husband loves comics.

That’s when I decided that she and I need to be besties, and we talked about possibly attending Phoenix ComiCon together.

She also mentioned feeling alienated lately and really wanting to find friends.

And that’s when it hit me: I miss Ashly so much.

I think maybe it’s the word “bestie” that got to me. It’s a word I started using to and about Ashly because of the show Big Bang Theory. There’s this hilarious character who sort of pushes the bestie label on someone who definitely isn’t a bestie. And it cracks me up. She has this HUGE portrait made of the two of them, then tries to hang it in a super public place. She says really inappropriate things about the “bestie” and it reaches a creep factor of 12. And it’s hilarious. She is the character on the show who I most relate to, which maybe sounds like I’m insulting myself, but, really, she’s a great character.

When I had the thought of, “Kelcey and I should be besties,” is just…

Lauren once said that Ashly and I speak our own language. She and I will get going about a book or a movie sometimes, and nothing anyone else says even seems valid. Ashly is the literary, nerdy wise sister I always craved. She’s humble and caring. She always tries to go beyond even what’s fair to make people feel loved and at peace. She’s attended ComiCon with me, read my manuscript, prayed, and she has been a kindred spirit.

And then, I unintentionally called Kelcey a kindred spirit when she and I were talking. Which sucks, because I don’t even know if she knows why that’s such an important term. Ashly knows. She could explain that it’s how Ann-with-an-e referred to her own bestie, Diana. It’s a term of endearment planted deeply in the love of story that Ashly and I share.

I know this sounds stupid, but Ashly reads Harry Potter the same way I read it. There is something magical about that common love for story and fantasy that extends far beyond J K Rowling’s books. Finding Ashly was finding a person who perceives the world as I perceive it.

Ashly and I have our differences, but even so, I always felt like she and I understood each other in an uncommon way. I felt like we appreciated each other in an uncommon way. And I’ve deeply felt the loss of her in my life for the past few months.

After getting coffee with Kelcey, she and I walked over to a comic shop together – a comic shop I’ve only ever been in alone or with Ashly.

I feel a defensiveness of Ashly against myself. I feel adamant that Ashly could never be replaced, and spending time with Kelcey seems a little like an attempt to fill the Ashly void in my life.

Of course, it isn’t like that. Ashly was blessed with a new friendship almost immediately after moving to CA, and I didn’t resent or lament that; I was so happy for her. Still, it’s an ache to have to move forward. The friendship isn’t over, but it’s changing, and I wish it could remain the same.

Still, it’s nice to know that there are people out there who perceive the world in the same way I perceive it. Kelcey may truly be a kindred spirit, and maybe there’s hope that the three of us can attend ComiCon together.

Who Knew I’m Such a Terrible Interviewee???


While working for Aflac, I’m continuing to look for something a bit more permanent and better suited to my talents and desires.

I’ve had a ton of interviews, but very few job offers and no job offers that seem like good places for me to settle in. And it’s totally not them; it’s me.

I hate interviewing, because I’ve spent my entire life trying not to be arrogant. With softball, school, writing, etc… I was always trying to pretend that I didn’t believe I was awesome. Now, all of those attempts at fake humility are coming back around to bite me.

I am an incredibly organized, literate person. And yet, I can’t seem to communicate that in interviews because I feel the need to tell people that, well, yes, I’m organized, but…

Why can’t I just tell them that I’m organized? I put the damn silverware into the dishwasher in such a way that my roommate and her parents commented on it. I separate the forks, spoons, knives, and specialty items into their own sections.

It’s actually funny because I think what I’m struggling to overcome is something I studied in a linguistics class in college: hedges. These are words and phrases that don’t carry any meaning, but get inserted into sentences to soften them. Women use more hedges than men use, because they want to maintain a softer persona and the workplace is one of the most unfortunate places for hedges to come out because they make an otherwise competent person seem less competent.

I can’t seem to get myself to stop using hedges in interviews. Rather than saying I’m well-organized and providing examples of my organization, I say that, “Yes, organization is sort of one of my strengths.” Saying it that way makes it sound like it actually isn’t one of my strengths. I know that, and yet, I’m still sort of using hedges in the middle of trying to convince employers that I know what I’m doing.

Career Change and the Education


I haven’t posted in awhile because I’ve been busy learning about insurance.

Upon passing my Life and Health Insurance Licensing Exam, I will start working for Aflac. I take the exam some time next week. I can take it 3 more times if I fail, and I’m not that worried about failing.

Some things about this:

1. I’m so sad that I believe I’ll be making significantly more money than I made in the classroom. As my teacher friends go back to work, I feel a bitter-sweetness because I know I made the right decision. As they tell me about their weeks, I feel a reinforcement that getting out needed to be done, which is terrible. They mention their first meetings and how they discussed marketing their school and came up with department mottoes… and I think I might vomit. Since when is it a teacher’s job to write a department motto? Since when is education something to sell? Since when did education lose its status as a privilege and a social mandate? Since when…????? While my decision is reinforced because I can’t stand the ways education is warping, I miss it. I haven’t even been away from it yet, but I miss it. I miss the kids. I miss the colleagues. I miss the shared commitment to and direct impact on the future. I miss it.

2. The class I’m taking to prepare for my test is a 10-day online thing, and it sucks.

I’m a decent student, but the class is built so that I read for something like 4 hours a day (on a screen), and I watch videos for something like 10 minutes. The reading is dry and cold. The vocabulary is pulled completely out of context. Sure, insurance was always going to be technical and legal, but a good teacher can find ways to present that information so that it’s relevant and accessible. Also, I would have rather purchased a hard-copy book than this insufferable book built of pixels and links. It doesn’t even offer me the capability of taking notes in the margins, so I keep taking notes by hand on paper, which is easier done if I have a hard-copy book. Also, I’m realizing that one of the primary ways I accessed info from school as a kid was by building a map of the book in my brain. Even if I couldn’t immediately recall info, I always knew which part of the chapter the info was in, as well as which part of the page to look at to find the info. The class also doesn’t allow me to build my own flash cards; I have to use the ones they created, so I’m writing out my own hard-copy flash cards. So, without the technological benefits of getting to type out my notes or cards, I still feel the nausea of staring at a screen all day. Luckily, I can print the chapters for a fee, so I’m doing that, but sheesh…

The videos begin with someone speaking in a soothing and cheesy voice about how so-and-so and his spouse died in a car accident after he purchased a a $100,000 life insurance policy on himself and listed the spouse as the sole beneficiary… if spouse dies, where does the money go????? Aside from the fact that the video isn’t explaining anything that wasn’t already explained in the reading, and isn’t explaining it in a more comprehensible or even a different way than the text explained it, I find the voices to be sort of surreal in that they are clearly uncaring about the hypothetical people who are dying or being dismembered. Yes, those people are fake, but they represent real people, and I want the voices to show some empathy. All I can think is, this would be sooooo much better if I had a teacher with whom to interact. A teacher would have a human tone and visible empathy… I hope. In all fairness, there’s some sort of webinar thing I can sign into to watch a real teacher, but I’d really like to be in the same room with a human being who knows me and will talk to me. I’d like to be able to raise my hand and ask questions.

The world is changing, and I don’t like it.

3. My pay will be entirely commissions, which is terrifying, but also awesome. This means that I’ll have flexibility in my schedule, and my pay will likely have a direct correlation (or close to it) to the number of hours I invest.

And now, dear friends, although there is much more I could write, I must return to the studying… I’ve got about 2 more hours of reading to do today to stay on schedule, and I’d like to re-read some of the more complex and detailed ish that’s been tripping me up on quizzes.

*And, sidenote: Aflac has been amazing thus far. I’m not complaining about Aflac. I’m complaining about… the future and our culture’s obsession with online everything, and I’m complaining about education. And if you wake up tomorrow, and find that somehow all of the technology in the world is broken and you have to chase down a Javelina for your dinner, you can scream out to the heavens in anger, knowing that I am responsible. And even if I die of dehydration because I live in the desert, it will have been worth it to restore humanity to humans.

Jobless and Searching


It’s officially my second day after my resignation went into effect… well, I still get paid through July, so it’s not exactly the stressful part of unemployment just yet.

The last day at work was nice and infuriating and sentimental and false. People I hardly knew made it seem like they were oh-so-very sad I was leaving. Additionally, my last day was also the last day of something like a fourth or fifth of our staff, because our site is bleeding teachers. Additionally, the teachers who are leaving are almost all also leaving education. Also, none of us have any idea what we intend to do. Basically, everyone cried at our staff meeting except for me and a few others. There were hugs and gifts.

After the meeting, there was a lunch, with further sentimentality.

After the lunch, there was happy hour that featured everyone bearing their deepest, darkest secrets, including who has slept with whom, and who has wanted to sleep together, but hadn’t the courage to do it… I almost fled, via trip to the bathroom with no return. Then I decided it wouldn’t mean all that much to me to endure an hour or so more and make a proper exit, but it would mean a lot to other people. So I went back and tolerated juvenile truth games with invasive and leading questions that lacked class. However, there were a few bright spots, specifically one with one of my fellow English teachers who I’ve hardly spoken with in the seven years I’ve known her. But I did teach her stepson, and she said nice things about me.

I spent a lot of time that day and last week thinking about the last time I was jobless… that was when the district had a Reduction in Force, then made me interview for my own position just to get it back. I got it back, but it was a similar experience for me in that I felt some Divine leading, sending me to Mongolia w/o any money in my account or any guarantee of a job when I needed it… and yet, I went. This feels a lot like that. God took care of me before, so I’m gonna bet He’s got this one as well.

One of the thoughts I clung to desperately then was that $ is not an obstacle for the Almighty. He isn’t worried about paying ____________ bill.

After the last day festivities, I went home, did Bible study, then got up the next morning for testing with GEICO.

I’m not gonna lie – my snobbery was in full-gear when it came to the thought of working such a menial, corporate, etc… sort of job. I’m a teacher. Come on, I’m all about the relationships, right?

Well, when I arrived at the site, which is on the opposite end of Tucson from me, I fully intended for them to see how awesome I am, offer me the job, and then I was going to turn them down to work at Starbucks. I have an interview at Sbucks tomorrow, and it seems more like I want to be doing with my life.

Except that the staff at GEICO actually seem to like their jobs.

And there’s a fitness center.

And, the kicker: they seemed really into providing their employees with everything they need to do their jobs well. Do you have any idea what it’s like trying to get what you need in the classroom? In fact, do you have any idea what it’s like to get the things the district is required to give your classroom? It’s shockingly difficult to be a teacher. They (no, I don’t know who “they” are exactly… faceless people who make decisions that affect nearly every person in the nation…) “They” actually spend more time taking things away from the classroom nowadays than in giving us things. And when they do give us things, they take other things away… new text books? Well, of course every child doesn’t need one… we’ll put them online. And we’ll expect parents to provide computers and the internet so kids can read at home. Also, we’ll take away the old text books, so that you can’t use those. Also, we’ll do this 3 days before the school year begins and expect teachers to plan an entire curriculum from a book they haven’t even seen, while setting up their classrooms, meeting students, attending mandatory meetings, etc…

But GEICO? I think they believe their staff does better work when they have what they need. I think they even believe it’s the company’s responsibility to provide what the staff needs.

Blew my mind how easy things felt.

Then, after I’d filled out paperwork and was waiting for the test to begin, I noticed there was this little book with the history of GEICO in it, so I started reading. And it was this great story (poorly-written, mind you) about the founder and how he went from making a decision that everyone thought was terrible to a successful company… Also, it’s called the Government Employee Insurance Company. Did you know that? The founder has his foundation in USAA.

And I took the test, and I owned it.

It was typing, which I’m spectacularly good at, and it was multi-tasking… and who better to multi-task than a teacher?

So I passed, and I actually started thinking I should work at GEICO. It’d be a pay increase and it would be stable. And I might like it.

I have an interview with them on Tuesday, now, so the timing is coming together well. I’ll get to interview with Sbucks and find out what they have to offer, then I can make an informed decision about GEICO… then it’s off on a 3-week road trip on a budget… camping, hostels, etc… Who knew quitting your job could be so relaxing?