Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wish me luck (or at least as many smarts as #24)

On Tuesday morning I have my naturalization interview. I meet my lawyer at the Federal Bulding at 8:15, and then he figures we'll wait for about an hour to be called; the interview itself will take about 20 minutes. "They don't want to waste time," he says. "They'll want you in and out as quickly as possible." So much for the great weight and importance of the proceedings.

I met with him earlier this week to go back over the list of questions they'll ask (the basics such as name and current address, plus the more involved: membership of Nazi party; titles of nobility; habitual drunkardness. As I told my lawyer, I'm not a habitual drunkard. I'm a social drunkard).

He did say something about being "clear and straightforward" with my answers, which I suspect is his polite way of telling me not to be a smartass.

"For the last part of the interview," he said, "they ask you the civics questions."

I figured I was so totally prepared for that; I've been listening to the 100 questions on my iPod every day, and I know them backwards.

Q: What color are the stars on our flag?
A: The stars on the flag are white.

Q: What are the three branches of our government?
A: Executive, legislative, and judicial.

Q: Who is the governor of your state?
A: The answer to this question depends on where you live.

But my lawyer started throwing out other questions. Who is your congressman? Can you describe three Amendments in the Bill of Rights? What were the causes of the Civil War?

For the last one, I started on a detailed explanation of the southern states' determination to hold on to their agricultural economy in the face of what they saw as interference from the industrialized northern states. But the look on my lawyer's face made me think I was on the wrong track. "Um ... slavery?" I ventured.

"You should probably say 'slavery and states' rights,'" he said. "When previous clients have said 'slavery,' the examiners have allowed it only grudgingly."

"Anyway," I argued, "those questions aren't in the official list."

"Doesn't matter; I've heard them asked on occasion. But don't worry, you'll do fine. You only need to get seven questions right out of ten."

And as The Boy points out, if
Manny Ramirez can pass the test, anyone can.

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1 Comments:

Blogger -mt said...

Best of luck. You already have more smarts than the average US citizen.

3:03 PM  

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