Today was the day! I took my mom to 101 W Ida Wells Drive, ad we passed through security which is more strict than in the airports. And I forgot about that and had to throw my scissors into the garbage (same as when I came for my citizenship test fifteen years ago!)
The security guard on the second floor was so helpful and reassuring – I can’t even describe it! Still, we waited for about twenty minutes past my mom’s interview time until we were finally called in.
Mom was very nervous and could not understand many of the questions when they were spoken (even though I was allowed to repeat them to her), but the officer was exceptionally patient and waited. At some point, when my mom said she would better understand it in writing, she printed the questions, and my mom could read them and reply.
It looks like most senior people apply for a medical exemption. I thought my mom would be upset if I asked her doctor for a note that she was unfit to take the test, but apparently, it’s not a big deal for most people.
Mom had to take a real test with randomly selected questions, and she had to answer correctly six questions out of ten, and she did nine, so I am very proud of her! It turned out she studied all the questions, not only the ones I’ve circled. I didn’t know the questions would be selected by a computer, not by a human!
Then she did reading and writing tests, which was easy for her, and then the officer asked her whether she was willing to take an oath of allegiance, and she forgot what the word oath meant. So the officer showed her a tablet with the oath, and she started to read it very slowly, and then for the second time. I was freaking out because that’s what I was freaking out about even earlier – it’s a pretty strong language, but she nodded approvingly to each of the statements since they all would end with “if required by the law.”
So, after all, she passed the test and signed everything, but the story is not over yet! Even though we tried twice, her fingerprints didn’t turn out legible, so now we need to obtain police clearance from all the places she lived (fortunately, only two!) But it looks like it has to be a real paper, and we need to go in person to get it, so I do not expect her to take the oath before August.
Still- it’s amazing!