the seattle freeze.


the girl we interviewed today was incredibly enthusiastic. everyone was thrilled with her resume, experience, and passion for social justice. interviewing her really made me question my own interview skills. i pictured myself in "the hot seat" just five weeks ago, slumping down in my chair, or else leaning forward with my bad posture, hardly smiling and feeling hopeless about the state of the world. what made them want to hire me? i've never asked anyone here that question directly. someone said that they liked my answer when i was asked about my "five year plan." the simple truth is, i have no five year plan, but i'm pretty sure i wouldn't have a job right now if i told the truth. instead, i said that i hope in five years, i will be idealistic and engaged in meaningful work. apparently, they liked that. now i'm working.

i asked the potential work-study why she was interested in social justice work. it was the only thing i asked her. she told me that she used to watch the news with her parents every night, and she saw all the horrible things going on in the world: the starvation, the wars, the poverty. she said that on the news, she once saw kids digging through the trash, looking for food. after seeing this, she regularly threw away whole bananas, thinking that these would reach those starving children.

the applicant also mentioned something called "the seattle freeze," and had we heard of it? no, we said. we thought it had to do with the lack of employment in seattle, or the weather, but we were all wrong. the seattle freeze refers to how everyone in seattle is super-friendly, but they all have their own exclusive social groups. meagan's roommate immediately came to mind. i think the seattle freeze is a real thing, but it doesn't bother me. i don't go out too much; i like to watch tv.

as the interview progressed, i gathered that this girl was much more qualified than i was, and she also had much more interesting experiences than i have had. she's also a year younger than i am. at one point, she even looked at me and started saying, "so, if you ever want to go to law school..." one of the lawyers interrupted. "don't start poaching james," she said, laughing. earlier this week, someone asked me if i had ever considered going to law school. i told her no. i wanted to tell her that i didn't even know what lawyers did, really, but i also didn't want to come across as a complete moron. if someone actually told me how we could change the system, how we could obtain knowledge and information without accruing debt, i might listen. i could be convinced.

but honestly, i found the "if you ever want to go to law school" comment a little demeaning. i mean, i get it. i'm just the assistant. i looked forward to being on the other end of the stupid interviewing game, just to know what it would feel like, but i really wasn't there. some people my age have often complained to me, "i'll never feel like an adult." i don't know what it takes to be an adult. it's probably all about attitude and confidence, the way one carries himself. it's these little things that matter, the things that make others talk to you and treat you a certain way.

these are things i don't have, and probably never will have. so, go ahead and talk to me like i'm a complete fool; i won't pretend that i'm anything but.

No comments: