I had my big big interview last week, as I mentioned. Big, big as in for a postgrad fellowship to do work that I really want to do in a place I really want to be: the prime cactus cultivation zone. So now I am just sitting around every day waiting for news. I don't think I'll hear anything until December and I am trying not to get my hopes up.
In the last three years, I've interviewed 13 times. Which is a lot of interviews. They've all been for short term, co-op positions, most of which came with their own funding, which I think made the sell easier. Please let me come do legal work for you for free. The interview for the job I currently have at the immigration firm (the first law job for which I have been paid by the actual hiring entity) was by far the weirdest/worst interview I've ever done. We spent most of it staring awkwardly at each other and when I got in the elevator afterwards, I laughed, because I knew I wasn't going to get the position. A week later I got a call that they were offering me the law clerk spot and I laughed again, because seriously? The interview was so comically bad that I hadn't even been upset, only perplexed by their style, and slightly horrified by my inability to remember any details about anything on my resume.
This interview was different. The big, big interview. The postgrad, real lawyer job interview. First, it was over sype, so all my anxiety that would normally be reserved for finding the right building and office was reserved for how many books I needed to stack under my laptop in order to eliminate the "from below" double chin situation and what wall in my house was an acceptable background.
Eventually, I figured out that if I moved my desk to the middle of the living room, directly in between the couch and the tv, facing the front door like I was my own private receptionist, that our fireplace and bookshelves were behind me and made me look like I was a well-read and also cozy(?) person who is able to sustain plant life. I put a lot of thought into this. I was sure that if I sat against a plain white wall, I would be totally screwed. Like I said, anxiety.
Second of all, this interview was different because it is essentially selling yourself to a donor. Saying, invest in me to make my ideas happen. The other interviews were much more like, let me come do the things that you need to do anyway and in return I will learn such valuable skills as the intricacies of sending certified mail and the answers to questions such as whether or not there exist conditions one might have to flee from in St. Kitts & Nevis (not really) and if one might be able to freely practice their orthodox Judaism in Brazil, if say, they are deported there (turns out Brazil has a very large Jewish population).
It's strange strange, as I've mentioned before, to try and talk eloquently about the work that you want to do when its work that so clearly needs doing by really anyone whose willing to exile themselves to the border. I expected them to ask me why I wanted to do that work, since I'd already had to write two essays on the topic for the initial round of applications. But I didn't expect them to ask But really, why? And I answered truthfully -- that I couldn't do anything else, because once a man who was chatting with us in a Nogales, Sonora shelter asked if he could try and sneak into the U.S. under the back seat of our van. Because a woman told me how she scaled a 15 foot high part of the border wall while she was nine months pregnant.
And I listened. That's the answer, really. I listened and now I can't ever do anything else because I listened and can't unhear those stories. I know people want a grander answer, but I can't seem to come up with anything else: I listened.
The third reason that this interview was different was because I was wearing leggings and slippers because they couldn't see below my chest. I did my hair, put on make up, donned my least favorite/most professional grey suit jacket ( I will never stop thinking its funny that I am a person who has the necessity to own and further, actually wear, multiple suit jackets. Who would have thought!) and sat up straight on while really I was curled up underneath a fuzzy blanket in leggings! Take that professional expectations!
So now, I wait. Probably until December. Probably to face disappointment. But we'll deal with that when it comes.
Today is my last day at work at the law firm, and so right this minute, as you read this I am writing my very last I-601A unlawful presence waiver memo (explaining to immigration officials why our client's U.S. citizen spouse would suffer "extreme hardship" were our client not allowed to stay in the U.S.) and counting down the seconds until I am free!
Today is also me and A's last long distance day (at least for now). So after work I'm driving to NYC for the last time to finally move her home. Her last day is tomorrow, so we're expecting traffic conditions rated "hellish" for our trip back to Boston. Also, a week before she leaves new york, we finally found what may be A's favorite place in the city: a badgers/packers bar. This is apparently a sports type of thing where certain bars are dedicated to a sports team that is not from the city in which the bar is located. I have to say, I honestly think this bar, full of ex-Midwesterners (and right next to the Stonewall Inn, weirdly), was maybe my favorite place we've gone in NYC, too. Which I think just means that I don't like NYC, and I actually like the Midwest. A got her much beloved Old Fashioned made with brandy (I don't know) and we watched the entirety of a Badger's game that had everyone up on their feet and screaming at the refs at the end.
It felt kind of perfect to say goodbye to New York in a bar full of people with Wisconsin accents.