To say that my stomach was all tied up in a knot would be an understatement. I was nervous, but I was prepared. Very prepared. I had memorized ALL one hundred questions, not one was left unanswered. I listened to the audio study guide repeatedly on the long 7-hour trip there. Even the husband learned a new thing or two about Susan B. Anthony. Now questions was, were they prepared?
They had made many mistakes before. Even last week they made a mistake. We found out they had scheduled our appointment on Columbus Day, a federal holiday. We rescheduled. However, if we hadn’t called, what would have happened?
We got there early and went to our usual waiting spot, Panera Bread. I had my usual bacon and spinach soufflé and all kinds of jitters. I kept holding myself together, afraid, very afraid of fainting again.
There was no one else in the waiting room. Just the two of us, nervously pacing the room, wondering if they had made a mistake again. After all, this place is usually packed with peoples from all over the world. Not this time. It was just us, my knotted stomach and the receptionist. Fifteen minutes late, out comes a gray-haired man, all smiles and friendly. This could be really good or really bad, I apprehensively thought. He was very unlike most of our usual USCIS officers. We did some small talk, signed some papers and finally go to the portion I’d been studying so hard for. Out of the one hundred questions they give you to study, they only ask you ten and you only need to know six.
I’m quite sure they are not allowed to show bias but our friendly little old man didn’t seem to care. At every question he asked, he made little snide remarks that showed us very clear what were his political leanings. Kinda helped calm my nerves down. You know when back in college you had studied the whole book but the professor only asked about the first chapter? That’s how it felt as I finished answering my questions. I could’ve answered questions about U.S. politics and history all the day long, if I had to. I was way over-prepared. The final part of the test that sealed the stamp of approval? The written part that had me answer the question: “When is Columbus Day?”. Oh, the irony of it all.
While they prepared the official-looking documents,we waited some more, then we were taken into the oath room. Before my very “large” audience of one very supportive husband, I said my oath. In a matter of minutes it was all over with. I kinda missed out on the huge crowds of the usual naturalization ceremonies. I didn’t even get to say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the Star-spangled banner. They did give me a super nifty “Welcome to America” packet that includes a miniature American flag and a letter signed by the President. Woot woot.
And just like that, I became an American citizen. Now friends, if you excuse me, I’m off to live life, enjoy some liberty and purse me some happiness.
Curious about what questions I was asked? Read on and see if you would have passed:
- Name one branch or part of the government.
- We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?
- If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
- What does the President’s Cabinet do?
- How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
- What did the Declaration of Independence do?