Today, you all have been given one of America’s greatest gifts; the gift of citizenship. -Speaker at the Ceremony
Today, my coworkers and I attended a Naturalization Ceremony for new citizens. It was located in Court Room 20 on the sixth floor of the U.S. District Court. Though my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. all went through this process, I had never attended a ceremony of this sort. I had no idea what to expect upon entering the courtroom. I walked in with my coworkers and there seemed to be some sort of seating system, and we ended up taking seats up front and to the side of the same audience.
The best way I would describe this ceremony would be similar to a graduation. It had all the main components- there were a couple keynote speakers, everyone was dressed well, all 120 of the new citizens’ names were called, and there was a warm and fuzzy feeling in the air. You could see the smiles and sense the relief the new citizens felt in their accomplishment. I was honored to have been able to attend this event where the national anthem played, Pledge of Allegiance taken, and further diversity initiated among citizens in the US.
Speaking of diversity, I was surprised to have seen so many Ethiopian natives in the crowd of new citizens. They were people from France, UK, India, PRC, Eritrea, Cameroon, etc., but above all I heard the origin country of Ethiopia. This only caught my attention because during my semester at TWC, I had originally signed up to tutor ESL at ECC (the Ethiopian Community Center.) It makes me happy to see a group of people coming together to encourage learning English, and what I now can assume would lead to applying for citizenship. It sparked my interest in learning more about why or if certain nationalities have a higher likelihood of applying for citizenship and why. The answer may be as simple as the numbers of certain nationalities in the area; ie. from speaking to my supervisor, I learned we have a high Ethiopian population in the area. Overall, the ceremony was short, but formal and well-conducted. It was lovely to see the smiles on the faces of our new citizens.
On another note, I was flipping through a booklet I found in the office titled “Congress at your Fingertips,” and found out that when a rep’s name says R/D-at large, it means that the congressman is in charge of the whole state. This occurs in states with such small populations that they have only 1 seat in the House (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.)
This summer is flying by! I can’t believe I only have 1 more month left at CIS- I have learned so much and strengthened my previously developed skills.