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February 28th 2010    Tim Candler

     On Wednesday I go to get my fingerprints taken.  Not because I am suspected of heinous acts, but because before becoming a Citizen of the United States authorities need to be certain that I am of good character. 

     The Grey Cat's Mistress, during pauses in her day,  has suggested I be prepared for the question, "after all these years, why do you want to be a Citizen of the United States?"    She feels that sometime during interview this question will likely be posed. 

    Unfortunately the answer I have so far offered fails all tests of legitimacy.   It is not enough to say "because I am fed up with renewing my green card."    This apparently would be perceived as lacking the necessary passion associated with oath taking.  

    Yet given the constraints of time under the circumstance of interview, it is safe to assume that I would not be permitted to ramble on  through the morning while others with shorter answers wait in the corridor.  So  I could give the answer, "Socrates was right."   But what a pompous and highfaluting response, and the interviewer would in my view be absolutely correct to send me directly to detention for being a smarty-pants.

     My problem, I realize, can be placed firmly at the door step of a boarding school education.  I still relate authority to a school master and his vile underling the school prefect.  Upon entering the interview room my object should not be to cause apoplexy and this is probably the point the Grey Cat's Mistress is endeavoring to reiterate when she suggests we practice the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Meanwhile I have three days to improve the condition of my remaining finger tips.       

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