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For a long time I was a very active blogger with DailyKos.  I had a few personal blogs of my own, too.  I was active in the chat and I was frequently posted.  Even front paged a time or two.  Well, at that time, from about 2005 to 2009, I was mostly a stay home mother, worked a little on the side.  Four young kids...DK was my lifeline.  I was living out in the middle of nowhere New Mexico, and it snowed all the damn time, and I needed grown ups.  I needed politics.  Well, I wanted to give you a bit of an update, and ease my way back into the fray.  The truth is, I have missed you all so much.

My last blog here was entitled "40 Year Old Junior" or something like that.  I had moved into Albuquerque, worked for the Richardson for President campaign, and then for Tom Udall for Senate.  I decided that the time was perfect, and would never be better probably, for me to go back and finally get my BA.  I had long held the dream of formally studying political science, and hoped one day to go to law school.  So  in January of 2009 I began studying at the University of New Mexico.

School just came naturally to me.  I made a point, every semester, to take at least one class just for fun.  I loved film courses, so I took tons of them.  My love for film classes helped me fulfill the requirements for a Spanish Minor.  I could probably do a degree audit and see what it takes to pick up a second degree in cinema, or film as literature, or something...but I digress.

I really loved studying PoliSci.  I read theory, connected with history, reading the classics, the neoclassics, the modern...the ancient.  I loved it all.  I studied about American politics and International Politics.  I fell in love with the Constitution.

My second semester back, in the fall of 2009, I received an email from a woman who ran the scholarships department.  She said she wanted me to compete for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.  She said I had aged out of the Rhodes, the Marshall, and the Mitchell, but that she thought I should apply for the Truman.  So I did.  I applied to the University of New Mexico first.  It was a rigorous application, involving several essays, recommendations, and then a pretty intense interview process.  I was selected as a finalist and had to present my case to the Truman Foundation.  Their process is even more exacting.  I spent my entire winter break drafting policy proposals, writing more essays, and was selected as a finalist.

I had to do a make or break interview in Arizona on March 17th, 2010.  A week before that one of my kids was up throwing up all night long, and had left a trail.  I went to get the mop and bucket out of the laundry room.  It was dark, and I didn't notice that my husband had done a load of wash and left the liquid detergent on the washer, lid askew.  The spin cycle had tossed it onto the floor and I slipped on it, went down, and broke my hand.  Well, I couldn't dress myself, couldn't brush my hair, and then on top of it all I lost my voice due to allergies.  I had to buy a second ticket to Phoenix and have my husband come with me so I could go to the interview wearing clothes and without a brush stuck in my snarled hair.  On the flight out I was doing the crossword puzzle from the in-flight magazine, and I kid you not, the very center answer of the puzzle was my name, Cara.  Not a common name, at that.  So I told Charles, "I have a really good feeling about this!"  

The next morning Charles helped me dress and dry and brush my hair.  I removed the hand brace, because I didn't want to go for sympathy votes and I didn't want them to know what a klutz I am.  I really am.  I did the interview, and I knew at that moment that I had kicked it's ass.  I was so excited, because I knew I was the perfect candidate for the Truman, and if I won I would be able to achieve my dream of going to law school, and could manage it financially.  The scholarship pays up to $30,000 for the graduate program of your choice, for students who show academic excellence, leadership skills, and a commitment to public service.  This was my shot.

Well, I won.  I really did!  I am still amazed, nearly four years later.  In May I will graduate with my law degree.  Law school has been an amazing experience.  I have found a true passion...JUSTICE.  I have worked for nearly two years in the University of New Mexico Innocence and Justice Project as a research assistant.  I am enjoying the first moments of my last spring break.  I want to work to eliminate the war on drugs, legalize marijuana, overturn convictions, break the private prison system, and leave the world a better place for all our kids.  

In the five years since I left you I have found my long-lost son, lost my precious mother, and grown into a strong, knowledgeable, and passionate woman.  I will be a grandmother before I am actually a lawyer, and that happens THIS YEAR.  

I am back, and I am better than ever.

<3

Originally posted to liberaltruthsayer on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse.

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