Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Prodigal Daughter

And it came to pass that Keri had some wonderful news. Since writing is fun, she composed ripped off a parable in order to share it.

There was a generous mother who had a daughter who was ready to leave the nest for greener pastures. Her friends and family begged her to stay, reminding her of the opportunities that would come to her by staying in such a noble house. However, the daughter had heard of other houses and wanted to see how they did things there. She asked for her mother's blessing in departing, and it was readily given.

The daughter wandered and stumbled into the first house that she saw. There were people there, and all of them were miserable. The master of the house tried to convince the people that they should be grateful to be there, because no other house would have them. The daughter stayed for a short while and then desired to find a friendlier house. However, she was not welcome anywhere else. Eventually, the house suffered ignominy, and many of the people, including the daughter, were asked to leave.

The daughter begged to be allowed back into the house. The master gave her a list of tasks to perform and said that if she did them well, she would be allowed to return. The daughter did the tasks, but the master did not keep his word. Additionally, the master spread the word to the other houses that the daughter shouldn't be allowed anywhere else, either.

The daughter wandered for the next year, before finding a hut. She was welcomed warmly into the hut and stayed there for many months. The people were kind there, and treated her like family. Finally, the hut became too small, and the daughter hit the road again. She decided that she wanted to return to her mother's house, but she wasn't sure if she could go back. It had been several years since she had left.
She sent a letter to her mother begging to return. She received word from her mother's assistant that her mother was traveling abroad at the moment and would respond in a few months. The daughter anxiously waited. Her friends all told her that her mother would be delighted to have her return. She wanted to believe them, but she remembered the words of the master of the miserable house. "Nobody else will have you."

She got a letter from a cousin in a faraway country inviting her to come to stay for a while. She wrote to the cousin and said she would come soon. Then she got a telegram from her mother inviting her with open arms to return home.

This concludes the parable of the prodigal daughter. At this point, Keri's readers said, "That's a nice story, if a bit long. What does it mean, anyway?"

Keri said:

The mother in the story is my alma mater, Latin for "generous mother". I'm the daughter. The dwellings (houses, huts, etc.) are institutions of higher learning.

I graduated from Santa Clara University with my BS five years ago. I knew that I wanted to go to law school, and many people urged me to consider going to SCU. I thought about it, but I wanted to diversify my resume a bit. I had heard (and I don't know how true it is in practice) that it's frowned upon to get one's undergraduate degree and graduate degree from the same institution. I began the law school search, but suspended it in order to serve a mission.

When my mission concluded, it was Christmas time. I wanted to jump right back into school, so I applied to and was accepted at the only ABA accredited school I was aware of at the time that allowed first year students to start in the spring. (I have since become aware of several others.) I enrolled and quickly realized that I had made a big mistake. The school had an inferiority complex, brought on by its low bar passage rate. The administrators told us we were lucky to get in anywhere, and that we shouldn't complain.

After the first semester, I applied to transfer to another school, but I was rejected. At the end of my first year, the school was placed on probation by the ABA, and was threatened with losing its accreditation if the bar passage rate didn't improve. At the end of my third semester, the school freaked out and purged most of my class because our scores would be the determining factor. I got kicked out along with several others, even though I had been given an academic excellence award the week before.

I reapplied and was denied readmission. As a result of all of this, I had to wait two years before re-enrolling in law school. Some of what I've been up to I posted on here. After a year, I enrolled in a paralegal program at the local junior college. The people were great, and I graduated magna cum laude in December. My waiting period expired last week, and in preparation for that, I sent out several law school applications, the status of which I detailed here.
I got waitlisted at Santa Clara, and... *drumroll* I just found out yesterday that I have been admitted! The prodigal daughter is returning home!!!

Words can't express how excited I am over this development. (Although that doesn't stop me from blogging about it.) I was fortunate to get accepted to St. Mary's, a fourth-tier school similar in ranking to the one I was kicked out of. It's truly a miracle to be accepted to a first tier law school.


Megan said...

Congratulations! It sounds like you've been through a nightmare, and deserved to hear some good news. Great blog!

(I found you're blog through LDS Women Blogs, I hope you don't mind.)

Shanana said...

I also saw you on the LDS women blog page, and randomly clicked on your site... Glad I did.

I was a wife and mother of two boys before I returned to school to pursue a dental career. It's been a long road, but I am completing the last step in my education now (a pediatric specialty). I think having that time to ponder how much that higher education is desired makes all the difference in achieving your ultimate goal. Kudos to you for your perseverance! And good luck at Santa Clara (we just moved from the Bay Area a week ago).


Zulueta said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful and inspiring story. Been a long and hard journey you've been through but still you succeeded. Kudos to you...