Thursday, April 10, 2008


Tomorrow I'm to be interviewed and tested by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), hoping to emerge eligible for US citizenship. I notice that transiting Jupiter, planet of luck, will be exactly conjunct my natal Mercury (mental abilities & communication) in my re-located 11th house of hopes and wishes - a nice omen. My own careful input will be needed before luck can materialise though - so there'll be no counting of chickens!

If I pass muster at the interview, answer at least 6 of their 10 civics and history questions correctly, prove that I can read and write English (ahem!) and have kept my nose clean whilst living in the United States, I'll be shunted forward in a few weeks/months to an Oath Ceremony where, along with other new citizens I shall put my hand on my heart, swear allegiance to the USA, and become a citizen. Citizenship means, among other things, that I'll be eligible to vote (very important), and hold a US passport.

Here's an odd thing: before the recent furore about Senator Obama's pastor, Rev.Jeremiah Wright and his anti-American rantings from the pulpit, I felt somewhat ambivalent about the wording of the Oath of Allegiance, and the tradition of overt patriotism in the USA. Rev. Jeremiah Wright did me a favour. Although I see many flaws in the way the current administration runs the country, and conducts itself overseas, and realise that the country's past history is far from blameless, peddling hatred and sowing its seeds in young minds has to be the wrong way to address problems. Meaningful change can only occur when people work together, in love for each other and for their country.

When the time comes I shall pledge the required Oath with pride, no more qualms. Thanks, Rev. Wright! As the old proverb goes: "it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good"!

Before this can happen I must pass my tests tomorrow. I'm still practicing repeating the names of the 13 original states using my astro-mnemonic (see here). I hope I don't pop in a planet instead of a state...."Maryland, Massachusetts, Venus, Rhode Island, Neptune, North Carolina......Erm.... Sorry, can I try that again?!"

I'll be back on Saturday, all being well. In the meantime -

Paul Simon's "American Tune"
("We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hours
and sing an American tune")


anyjazz said...

You have waited a long time for the events approaching. I bet some applicants give up long before this stage. I know it has been frustrating at some points.

I watch your pride generate as we traveled around on our casual visits to small towns and huge National Parks in the US. We couldn’t find some favorite British conveniences but we found new vistas and new traditions. For the rev. wright episode (no caps intentional) to suddenly start that pride bubbling is certainly a prime example of “some good in everything.”

Adjusting to the lifestyle in a foreign country is not easy for anyone even when a similar language is spoken. You certainly have made the transition well. I am glad to have been there to watch.

R J Adams said...

I know how much this means to you and I wish you all the best. I have no doubt you'll pass with flying colors (the Stars and Stripes?) While I don't hold your hope that Jupiter and Mercury will assist too much, I'll keep my fingers crossed that all goes well. Not that I believe any more in crossed digits than transiting planets, and you'll do well without both, I'm sure of that. And make AnyJazz proud!

kaleymorris said...

We are all rooting for you at the Kaleymorris household. I am very proud of you -- and a little sheepish. Your dedication to becoming a citizen and learning about our country, your keen interest in our political process while I do my best to ignore it -- I sometimes think you are a better - certainly more tuned-in - citizen than me. I have a great deal of respect for you and your perseverance. You have made me not take my own citizenship so much for granted.
I, for one, can hardly wait to welcome your new status.

The Next President of The United States said...

When you say, 'kept my nose clean whilst living in the United States', I assume that means you've kicked the cocaine habit?!?!?! Hope so, because the last thing we need in the Great Nation is another used-to-be-Brit with a substance abuse habit!!!

Just teasing ... I think.

Welcome to the group. You'll find it pretty interested.

Wisewebwoman said...

I think the USA is very lucky to have you, T. A thoughtful, conscious, intelligent citizen.
May you find much joy in each other!

Twilight said...

anyjazz, RJ, TNPOTUS, kaleymorris and WWW:

Thank you all so much for your very kind comments and wishes - they mean a lot to me. I won't reply to each, but refer you to Saturday's post. I'm not a happy bunny today!

Thanks again - and hugs to all.