Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Where am I going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

So. What's a nice librarian like me doing applying to paralegal school?

Does the phrase “Hail Mary pass” mean anything to you?

Don't get me wrong. I love paralegals. I married one. [waving to spouse, who will be referred to as “Spousie” in this blog] But I've been a librarian for a long time. A really loooooong time. From the time I graduated Library School until the present, I have never been an unemployed librarian. Ever. And I want to keep being a librarian until my bun falls off, my shusher gives out, and they pry the Dewey Decimal Classification from my cold, dead fingers. Problem is, I don't think I'm going to have a choice.

Libraries - all libraries - are getting their budgets slashed, their hours reduced, and their personnel laid off. Public libraries are bearing the brunt of these cuts. After all, if your house is on fire, who do you want to still have a city job: a librarian, or a firefighter? What's a librarian going to do about a bank robber? Read him a story? And those are the more reasonable arguments. There are also the wing-nuts who think My Taxpayer Dollars shouldn't be buying Those People DVDs or providing Them with free Internet access. Whole blogs-full of words have been written (and more ably than I could) to refute those views, so I'll just quote Eleanor Crumblehulme, who said, “Cutting libraries in a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague.”

Back to the topic at hand.

With the whooshing sound of the budget ax ringing in my ears, I decided I'd better come up with a Plan B if I want to keep a roof over Spousie and me, and the cats' dishes full of kibble. A faint, not-very-fond memory arose from the hindquarters of my brain: law school.

After I stopped laughing and dragged myself up off the floor and back into my chair, I gave it semi-serious thought. I admit that I'm a proud dropout of Western California State School of Law at Swami's Point (a.k.a. WCSSL-SP). I struggled mightily to maintain just north of a 2.0 average in the first year courses I managed to complete. And I swore I would never, ever put myself through that particular hell again. But wait – what about Paralegal school? I already have some foundation (albeit crumbly around the edges) in law. I'm married to a paralegal, for Pete's sake. I could take very reasonably- priced classes at a community college. Hey. I may be on to something here!

The next thing I knew, I was browsing class schedules, checking textbook prices, and wondering if my various Alma Maters still had my transcripts kicking around somewhere.

Now, if I can just convince my employer, Large Public Library (hereinafter referred to as “LPL”), to keep me around until I get a paralegal certificate with my name on it in my hot little hands...

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