The story of how I WAS NOT going to follow in my parents footsteps by pursuing a career in education, and instead go to law school to eventually become a judge, Part 1
Both of my parents had long careers in the field of education. Both started as elementary school teachers. My dad eventually went on to be an elementary school principal, and my mom was a community educator, health advocate, and taught adult education classes. As early as second grade, I remember people asking me if I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, just like my parents. And I remember, that my answer was no, I was going to be a judge so that I could put “the bad people” in jail. I’m sure that throughout my childhood I considered other career paths. In seventh grade, we got to choose an occupational area to explore and I chose careers working with animals. One field trip was to an animal hospital where we got to observe a male dog being neutered. That pretty much put the kabash on that idea.
But by the time I was in high school, I was fairly confident that a legal career was in my future. Even if it wasn’t, I WAS NOT going to pursue a career in an education related field. When I went off to college, I chose ‘American Studies’ as my major. The combination of history, literature, and sociology seemed like good preparation for law school and I really liked my classes.
Then, my sophomore year, I got a part time job at my University’s law school library. That’s when my plan began to unravel. The job was a virtual snoozefest. My very important job was to replace the paper and toner in the photocopiers, alphabetize and refile microfiche, and reshelve very heavy law books. I also very efficiently referred students upstairs to the information desk when they mistook me for someone who knew anything. But the job itself did not disuade me from my path. It was the law students.
I worked Friday nights from 7pm to midnight, and every Friday night I saw the same students poring over the same law books. NONE of them looked happy to be there. A couple of the men, to my misfortune, did take a liking to me. Without fail, one or the other would make his way over to my work area, lean on the counter, and try to convince me I should go out with them. Being that these were lawyers in training, you would think that they would be somewhat persuasive- Not so much.
One of them told me that I looked like “good wife material” and that I had “good hips for carrying babies.” Just what every 19 year old woman wants to hear. But he was a total catch compared to the other guy who excitedly filled me in on his “secret” plans to purchase a rocket ship so he could colonize the moon- and did I want to join him?. I’m sorry, I think I have to wash my hair that day.
Then, there were the law students who would get mad at me when I couldn’t answer their legal research questions. “Is there anything you do know?” they would ask me. You mean it’s not enough that I look like good wife material?? Try asking that person upstairs at the information desk- you know, the REFERENCE LIBRARIAN.
It was enough to make me not want to spend any more time in a law library or with law students, even as their peer. Thus ended my legal career aspirations. Ironically enough, I did end up marrying a lawyer- one without a secret plan to colonize the moon. And what does one do with a degree in American Studies once they have decided to not go to law school? For that answer you will just have to wait for Part 2 of this blog entry: The story of how I ended up following in my parents footsteps and pursuing a career in education despite my foolproof plan to go to law school and eventually become a judge.