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2005-11-16 - 9:27 p.m.

I recently returned home from an evening out at a BOOK CLUB at my local library. I hired a sitter for the first time in it feels like eons...
The last sitter I hired was for a concert that Westley then refused to go to with me as he was uncomfortable leaving the baby (at that time she was a baby- she's now 5) in the care of ANYONE ELSE and he basically was willing to TRY but then FREAKED OUT when the moment came. He just COULD NOT follow through. It didn't matter that the sitter I hired back then WORKED IN A NEONATAL WARD OF THE HOSPITAL!
I realized then that if this man couldn't overcome his fears for that qualified sitter that

a. I'd be going out alone

b. I'd be staying home rather than going out if we were to remain married!

So I have done some of each. I basically have accepted the phobia of Westley and made my own social plans on occassions, and have realized also that it won't be the end of my world if I stay home more than my natural inclination during these few years. This too shall pass. I could ARGUE and HARASS My husband about his issue and beg him to seek counseling... but that seems like it would be a waste of energy to me. So maybe its a cop out to not make a big issue of this- and I never really have, but have just accepted his quirkiness. But maybe its really a mature attitude and not a cop out at all (I like to think that is the case!) The way I look at it-- kids grow and when they are older I can then look forward to time spend with my husband going out places we enjoy TOGETHER. Until then I am comfortable, and fortunately have always been comfortable going out to places alone! And as a family we have all enjoyed doing family friendly things together. Secretely there are things I PREFER to do alone! For instance, I love venturing out with my camera to take photos. However, to be really leisurely and enjoyable that is something I just HAVE TO DO ALONE. Maybe that has something to do with the fact I become hyper focused behind the lens and am unreachable. Maybe its because I can't even fathom how to function a camera and talk at the same time! (REALLY when I did photography work at one studio in Buffalo the teacher there loved my work and would assist me by following me and TELLING ME THE F STOP and technical settings I should set my camera at as I just couldn't ever quite figure that all out with those manual cameras... it utterly confused me and I always had it backwards. She loved my results though with her technical help... So now that I don't have my personal coach alongside... I have to just be left alone to even hope to function my camera as its a challenge to recall and figure it all out! Note I say "figure it out"-- it really is like that EVERY TIME I PICK UP THE MANUAL CAMERA.... I feel like I am exploring it for the first time and am figuring it out. Its like there is NO RECALL of any of the technical knowledge at all... I retain NOT A THING and then have to experiment each time a bit before I figure it out and then can go shoot.

Now of course my husband who bought a lovely SONY digital marvels that I even bother with my old manual-- especially since it is in some ways still daunting to me-- as the digital camera just takes away all of that WORK and DISTRACTION from the art of taking photos. But therein lies the trouble. What I LOVE MOST OF ALL about photography is the work in the darkroom. I LOVE the manipulation of print and LOVE the outcome of taking shots with different exposures and playing around with developing times etc... NOW of course you can do ALL THAT with digital equiptment... but as it is so darn hard for me to have acquired any skill at all... I guess I am stubborn in wanting to at least pretend to have retained the little I have (or the little I figure out anew each time! ) and it STILL seems more managable to me to take those truly artistic shots with the manual rather than try to figure out the digital camera which to me is not really any simpler! So I hang onto that old K-1000 and shoot a roll of black and white occassionally with it with dreams of someday having my own OLD FASHIONED dark room to play in once I have no offspring around to poision by chemical exposure.

Meanwhile... KODAK has been dying a rapid death....If we ever do get the darkroom project completed in VA, it will be likely after the production of all chemicals needed are obselete I should seriously start thinking about what else I want to do with that space!

What made me off on this tanget is beyond me right now. I was going to write about my frustration that AFTER YEARS of not really having taken time to do those things I LOVE by myself... as at some point I just STOPPED the habit of going it alone much... I guess when finances became tighter and when I wasn't earning my own income, AFTER YEARS without TIME OUT FOR ENTERTAINMENT alone... I was SO EXCITED to attend the book club, and was thinking about the discussion, and happily came on line to look up the author and read her web site some of the ladies at the book discussion group referred to. Would you believe I can't recall the author's DAMN NAME NOR THE DAMN BOOK I READ!!

I finished reading the book a few weeks ago... I left the book club now less than two hours ago... AGHHH!!

Now admittedly it wasn't a GREAT BOOK-- but I DID IMMENSELY ENJOY It..It was funny. It was a book I saw humor in and at the same time could RELATE to in a strange way. The author herself has learning disabilitys- specifically something she talked of tonight called DYSGRAPIA (I think that's it- not sure how it is really spelled) BAsically she CAN NOT PHYSICALLY WRITE and things come out jumbled in some fashion.
The book featured a son who is ADHD and has a number of other learning diabilities. This son is in fact based on one actual son of the author.
The daughter in the novel reminded me of my own beloved Katerina... scared and distant at times to me in her defense to avoid pain. The daughter even wanted to take on the knickname of CAT ... and my own darling was thrilled when a friend called her it at school. (AS AN ASIDE HERE I am so disappointed that I didn't pick up the adorable HALLOWEEN CAT T SHIRT that I was eying at work for her!! It was white with a rhinestone cat face on the front and was REALLY cute and when I saw it I thought of Katerina! I thought I'd catch it on CLEARANCE and didn't... damn.... its sold out now!)

The character of the daughter in the novel kept changing her name and it just struck me as so poigniant how she was scared of who she was and was trying to figure that out.

Oh- tonight the group had a CONFERENCE CALL with the author. I had thought that would be fun, but to be honest was a bit disappointed at the dynamic set up as there was one woman who was the appointed interviewer who asked ALL the written questions compiled by the group. Therefore it seemed more like attending an interview of the author than a dynamic DISCUSSION with her. I also noted that the author kept asking questions of the group-- like "HAs anyone experienced that?" and that this group of ladies was REALLY FORMAL and stiff and ridgidly held to the format they had set up and therefore no one ANSWERED as they were not the DESIGNATED speaker... it was bizarre the deference to the spokesperson. I got the sense this group has had the same blood in it for a long time and really could use a shake up--- but I restrained myself. (Maybe the medication I am on actually DOES WORK as I didn't find myself FORGETTING that format that was established and just jumping in asking questions or answering the ones the author asked... and I wondered if that was indeed REALLY a good thing! Sometimes the world NEEDS nonconformists!)


Maybe I should go to this group again-- but intentionally SKIP my medication that day to see if I can facilitate some needed change of the stagnant air of it.

OH- It came to me! Thank God! BREAKDOWN LANE and her name is Mitchard... I THink... I think Jocelyn. NO Jackalyn or that would be Jacalyn Mitchard. That's darn close if not it... NOW on to web surfing to find her site.

Thing I DO LIKE About this author and her work:

She is a MOTHER OF SEVEN CHILDREN. She was taking care of her two week old newborn as she spoke to us! HEr hubby quit his job years ago to be a full time DADDY at home when he wanted more kids and the writer said she didn't want anyone caring for the kids other than herself or him! HE agreed to stay home until the youngest is in school full time! Isn't that awesome! Wow she sounded like Westley in talking about that! It made me think either she is a bit paranoid too... or maybe he isn't really that crazy in today's world. I did in fact agree to stay home FOR SIX YEARS when he asked me to support his start up. I committed to that as he estimated it would take that long before they would be stable (HA HA!! IT ENDED WELL BEFORE THE SIX YEAR MARK! THAT IS THE COMPANY ENDED.... )

I am now counting the days til that six year mark... NO not really. In fact I feel like he breached some of his terms so I feel like we have no agreement and that I can work if I choose. And as I have mentioned THAT AGREEMENT WAS SPECIFICALLY MADE IN SUPPORT OF HIS START UP which folded, thus the agreement then was effectively ended as well! He in fact has said consistently he would never hinder me from going to work. He never wants to be accused of holding me back so is clear on his PREFERENCES and what he believes I AGREED TO while recognizing that uttimately I CAN DO WHAT I CHOOSE regarding working or not.

Anyway, I saw a job posting for a part time legal assistant and I applied. It would be two days a week at a federal court. It would be a job I KNOW I could do very well (as they would HAVE all those forms RIGHT THERE and would HAVE a system already in place FOR EVERYTHING. I have no problem LEARNING A SYSTEM and following it...I just have a problem MAKING UP AN ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEM or TRYING TO RECALL AND TELL SOMEONE OF A SYSTEM ... or TRYING TO RECALL AND TELL A DAMN THING FROM MY NON EXISTANT MEMORY. But the BEST PART of this job would be that it would entail DOING ALL THE PROCUDURAL STUFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN that I can't EVER RECALL for the bar exam. It would be PREPARING THOSE FORMS and handling the filing those motions... etc OVER AND OVER AGAIN. It would in essence be the ROTE PRACTICE I DESPERATELY NEED if I ever HOPE TO PASS THE BAR. I was something like 15 points shy last time I took it. (Although to be honest I can't remember EXACTLY) As legal assistant for a federal court I would get the Best possible training in federal procedure there is. And I have the understanding and knowledge of law that I could do that job so very well!There really is such a difference between being able to functionally DO SOMETHING and then being able to TELL OR WRITE ABOUT IT. I have such trouble with recalling JARGON, but could so easily be able to work well within the system where all that jargon is on the top of available forms, files etc and I KNOW WHAT IT ALL MEANS when I read it in the moment!

I hope to at the very least get an interview!
I was pleased at least to have accomplished my goal of getting my cover letter and resume out in the mail in time last week.

Despite the fact that YES I do think it WOULD Be best for the kids for me to continue to be home full time, this is an opportunity I just can't let get by. Westley doesn't want me to do it-- He thinks that if I do get a job offer that after taxes I won't take anything home. He thinks he'll be subsidizing my working when we have child care costs. I don't really care. I think it is WORTH it even if I don't make a dime for me to have such a position which to me would literally be the best way for me to ever study. I clearly don't learn well by reading (I fall asleep) and I clearly don't learn well through visual aids (I have definate deficiancys in my spacial reasoning!). I learn best by DOING something. When I won the JESSUP MOOT COURT Tournament at UB LAW it blew everyone away... in particular because they KNEW I hadn't actually made a mock case and practiced it like all the other law students. I never got around to it. But in the end I knew the stuff cold and was natural when I spoke extemporaneously. Since I wasn't prepared and couldn't do my speech everytime people got together to practice, I ended up CRITIQING all the other students and watching them practice and gave them feedback. IT WAS IN A WAY MORE ACTIVE as I analyzed their work and heard them all present the material OVER AND OVER again in different ways. And ironically I learned though the active participation of CRITIQUE. It was an experience I won't ever forget because it was that active process of participation and TALKING TO THE OTHERS about what they could improve, and how they could achieve THEIR BEST PREFORMANCE which helped me learn the material and subsequently preform best of all. THAT WOULD BE THE VERY ROLE A LEGAL ASSISTANT IN THE COURT PLAYS-- the point person offering guidance to the public as well as assistance to the lawyers in getting procedural things done. It would be the active role of DOING THAT and HELPING OTHERS PROCEDURALLY which is so very different from studying and trying to memorize text.
And as in that Moot court competition, I found that the task of MEMORIZATION naturally occurred for me through being engaged in the process and activity WITHOUT CONSIOUSLY TRYING TO MEMORIZE. I realize that in fact is THE ONLY WAY I have ever really effectively memorized something-- when I wasn't intending to, but was fully engaged in an activity ENJOYING it. For some reason all Intentional study has been ineffective for me.

I wonder if the act of TALKING is what makes the difference in my memorization. If so, again, as a legal assistant at a court where I would likely have to TELL OTHERS about procedure over and over again... the talking it though repeatedly would work in it all, sinking knowledge of procedure into my memory.

So I hope to get a call for an interview! I wrote a letter which I hope is compelling as to why I am qualified and the right candidate for this job. I left out the part about how I failed the BAR EXAM and think this job could be my ticket to passing it!

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