Image by Light Knight via Flickr
One of the best things that came out of moving to Washington D.C. is the number of wonderful friends I have made out here. Some of them, along with some awesome law school mates, are holding a fundraiser for me this Friday at RAS, that also promises to be a benefit for the DREAM Act and Safe Schools.
It’s a crazy time: the government wants to separate me from my family, my job was terminated out of the blue, the law school housing is kicking me out quite soon and I’ve to move back to California and look for a full-time job.
So this is a great farewell as well as a good way of raising awareness. Special performances by DJ Zack Rosen and DJ Sicarii, fellow law school section-mate. Come join us because it promises to be a night of fun.
I should be out partying with other law school friends right now. Instead, I’m holed up in my studio wondering about how to pay for law school next year.
(Unlike U.S. citizens and legal residents, I cannot get loans for school. Grants and scholarships only go some way to covering $65,000 per year).
On my last day of law school exams, I received notice of contract termination from Change.org in fantastic fashion. It wasn’t a wrongful termination so I won’t put up a protest. Actually I have a lot to say about the way in which I was fired the morning of my last 1L final and a few choice words for a lot of people, but this isn’t the right place or time for it. I need to move forward in life and put the work permit to good use and get it renewed before November. The bad thing about a freelance contract is that I don’t get to sue for wrongful termination or collect unemployment. Comparably, if you have a full-time job contract and they terminated it to give you a “better position,” you can actually sue. My favorite subject in law school has been Contracts thus far and I’m glad I learned it well to deal with unscrupulous employers in the near future.
I’ve had pretty terrible experiences with employers in the past. My first blogging quasi-contract was with Brave New Films. They had someone acting with authority promise to pay a stipend of $250 per month that never really came through. I blogged for about 5 months and they never had even the courtesy to admit that they could not compensate my work. Instead, they were unjustly enriched and I probably have monetary restitution claims against them. It’s too bad suing them for that minuscule amount would cost me more money. But I hold all their claims of being pro-immigrant or pro-labor or even progressive as completely baseless and insincere. It’s simply inexcusable. And it’s almost like the same cycle that keeps repeating itself.
I received a random call from Legal Language telling me that I was receiving second place in some kind of contest. I could not recall what it was and then I remembered this really bad immigration law blog post I had submitted on a website some time ago.
From their website:
- Second place: Prerna Lal, a student at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC. Her article, “USCIS Reinterpretation of CSPA: A Deference to Screwed Priorities,” discusses the flaws in US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ interpretation of the Child Status Protection Act and how it prolongs the separation of US immigrant families.
I can already hear my mother laughing about this over the phone.
Thank you Legal Language for considering the piece worthy for publication!
I’m getting a $100 for this.
Now I just need to remember what I wrote.
Shockingly, this isn’t a post about post-colonialism unless you read beyond the text and unearth a sub-text.
I’ve been in Washington D.C. for several days now thoroughly detesting the humid weather in this swampy city while checking out housing.
It was a daunting task — I’ve no official credit history even though I’ve never defaulted on a payment. I’ve no record of employment even though I am an entrepreneur with a limited liability company to my name. Getting an apartment on my name would have been next to impossible even though I could pay an advance of 6-months in rent. The other option was room-shares and I had nailed down several I needed to check out. Luckily (or unluckily), the housing counselor assigned me to on-campus housing, which had been unavailable prior to coming to D.C.
I jumped at the chance to live on campus although now I think about it, law school will feel all too much like high school or being a “freshman” in college.I’m not sure I necessarily want that “experience” but it’s fun to slip into another role and place where practically no one recognizes you. It’s a chance to re-invent myself and figure out what I really want outside the pressures of family drama and “movement-building.”
There’s no need to act like a martyr, step on the sacrificial pyre, and give myself stress about anything that does not directly concern my life.
Nearing the first week of DC living, I can say:
- The French bistros and urban hipster places feel equally comfortable though we certainly need way more ethnic food.
- I don’t particular know how I feel about the Foggy Bottom area where I’m residing but I do love the quaint Eastern Market, U-street, the gay-borhoods and Columbia Heights.
- DC is still a particularly soul-less city for me with way too many kool-aid drinkers. I’m a critical thinker and deconstructionist. It’s like the worst fit for me, intellectually and politically. We know I’d rather be at UCLA if I could get the benefits of their David Epstein public interest program, but lets not start on that now.
- The monsoon type rains are fantastic in the summer (and deserve a completely separate blog post)
Today I went shopping at the GW bookstore and bought myself some gear. I’m a GW Colonial working on my second graduate degree this Fall. It’s like living an alternative reality. But I plan to enjoy it while it lasts.