In December, I traveled to Georgia to watch my oldest girl Danielle graduate with her bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.
Now, in less that two months, I am graduating from Seattle University School of Law. Just three years ago, a friend made several comments that all I do is sit on my ass in bed. That person may have been partially correct. I felt trapped in my body. With my back in so much pain, anytime I was up and moving more than several hours a day, I was a failure.
I was a failure in raising my kids, not being at all their concerts or ball games, or even cooking dinner every night. Somehow they became adults. It was their own resiliency.
So, I was faced with this heavy burden that once Katie graduated, then I really had no where to be in life. It was the dreaded timeline I had put in my head on February 19, 2007. Now, it was barreling toward me.
So, as Katie was applying to colleges, I decided I would try what I wanted to do in my 20’s – go to law school. I figured I could get in somewhere. But, I also knew that the LSAT was a test that was going to be so foreign to me compared to the GRE. I bought some books and worked on it. Taught myself logic puzzles – sort of. I even tried taking timed test at the dinner table in hard bottom and backed chair. I never made it more than an hour.
On the day of the LSAT, I saw all these kids – 22, 23, and I never had a crisis of purpose but a realization that if a school would grant me admission, I believe my life experiences could bring something to the classroom. So, I started the test. I choked on the first logic puzzle and could not recover. As the hours wore on, my body became so tense and tight, I could barely stand and the half-way mark during our break. I still had several hours to go. As the pain flooded my body, my arm and hand stopped working. As the fatigue took over, my eyes blurred and I could no longer concentrate on the reading comprehension pages without flipping back and forth. I did not finish a single section of the test. I had to guess and fill in the bubbles for the last several question.
But, I had done it. I applied. I waited. I knew with Lewis and Clark Law School called and said they were interested, but they wanted to interview me, I was a long shot. My first choice – shot me down almost immediately (so I won’t even say where I was hoping to go). LC Law said my essay was full of grammar, spelling, and other errors. I realized, that writing this very blog allowed me to be come a lazy writer. I did not write in full sentences. I did not always capitalize words.
Then Seattle University Law called about their Access Admission Program for applicants who show great promise, but whose test scores were not as high. Now remember, admission to most schools is LSAT plus undergrad GPA. Hell my GPA was from 1990. The schools didn’t even look at my two Masters Degree’s GPAs.
In the end I was accepted to three schools: one in Boston, LC Law, and Seattle University. I visited Seattle University. I talked about my need for disability accommodations. In the end, it was a matter of how far outside my comfort zone could I go? I had not lived alone or on my own since 1988. Lisa and I moved in together in 1989 and fast forward to 2015, I was living in the house we had built for our family. I had lived in Olympia/Lacey since 1991. The thought of even renting a place in Seattle was a huge deal. I have my comfort and safe zone.
So, I chose Seattle University. I won’t go through the ups and down of the three years. I can proudly say that on May 12, 2018, I will receive my Juris Doctor. The hardest program to date. I will proudly display it with my BA, MPA, and MSW.
All I seem to focus on now is passing the MPRE and then the Bar exam.