I’m taking a class.
I haven’t been in school since I graduated from college in 2003 with my Bachelor’s in Technical Writing – which I’ve done nothing with, by the way, because I discovered, early on, that the field of Technical Writing is incredibly dull and dry and I couldn’t envision myself doing it for eight hours a day for the rest of my life.
No offense to anyone who is in the Technical Writing field.
The reason I settled on a Technical Writing degree is because I really wanted to study writing and I knew that getting a Creative Writing degree, though cool, wouldn’t be lucrative unless I happened to get lucky and become another Brandon Sanderson, so I thought a Technical Writing degree would be the more “responsible” thing to do.
Creative writing is my minor, by the way.
Anyway, all of this to say, I haven’t taken a class since the early 2000’s.
So why now?
Because of COVID.
For those that don’t know, I work in the medical field. I’m a medical assistant and work in neurosurgery. I’ve been doing this for the past ten years (!!) and I have quite enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot, I really enjoy what I do and the people I work with and I’m proud to say, I’ve mastered it – I’m quite good at what I do. And I fully intended to spend the rest of my working days doing this job.
But then COVID happened. As you can imagine, my life was turned upside down. I mean, I don’t have to tell you that, you lived it too. I’m sure your life was equally thrown off kilter – it affected everyone.
But it especially impacted those in the medical field.
I feel like my team is just NOW starting to get back to normal after all of the turmoil and I’m grateful for it. I don’t want to go back to those awkward days of tiptoeing around each other and walking on eggshells every time the subject was brought up. I mean, we still do that now, but it’s not as bad as it was in the beginning. And the primary reason it really even became an issue is because I was (am) the only one on my team who chose not to get vaccinated. I won’t rehash all of that nightmare, you’re free to read through my thoughts and experiences here, but suffice it to say, it completely changed my working outlook.
I no longer trust healthcare. Not the people I work with, and definitely not the doctors I work with, they are amazing and I have the utmost respect for them, but healthcare in general. Specifically, government decisions on what is “best” for the people. As soon as my bodily autonomy was taken away from me – I changed.
I would love to challenge and fight “the healthcare czars” but I’m one tiny ant on a massive anthill so what does that leave? Just me, myself and I. I need to protect my future and my body.
Kevin and I have talked long and hard about this and we both feel VERY STRONGLY about this – I will no longer be participating in any sort of annual vaccine. Because I work in a hospital, I’ve had to, in exchange to keep my job, participate in an annual flu vaccination. At first, I was like, “meh. I’m not exactly loving this but whatever, I’ll deal with it.” But then, after COVID and all of the secrecy, the “misinformation”, (which really amounted to people who had legitimate questions but were not “allowed” to ask them), the dishonesty and the crazy agendas that seem to be more and more nefarious the more you dig, I no longer trust the flu vaccinations.
I’ve been reading that the mRNA is an efficient and cost effective way to make vaccines and that future vaccinations will most likely be made with this technology.
The future of mRNA vaccine field is potential, and the clinical data and resources provided by the associated companies and other academic institutions are likely to significantly build on and strengthen basic research into mRNA-based vaccines. Source
As someone who doesn’t even like to take Tylenol unless absolutely necessary and who looks for any natural remedy for whatever ailment I’m suffering from, this is not good news to me.
So now what? The clock is ticking to the next annual flu vaccination in October and I can assure you, I won’t be participating this year, or any future years. Feel free to disagree – you do you, I’ll do me.
But if I don’t take the flu vaccination, and the hospital doesn’t accept my religious exemption, (they accepted my exemption for the COVID injection but not the flu injection), then I’ll be out of a job. I hope that is not the case, I would prefer to continue working my current job but remember, I’m but one tiny ant.
I need a backup plan.
Realistically, I have about nine working years left before I retire. If I have to quit this job, what am I going to do? Yes. The easiest and simplest thing would be for me to find a mindless job with zero stress and wait out my retirement date. But GAH – that sounds so boring. I would prefer to be challenged. Something that would keep me on my toes and would challenge my brain.
I did A LOT of research and thinking these past few months. I haunted Indeed.com job postings and when I saw it, I knew I had to try it. It’s something I’ve talked about trying for years and years and honestly, something I likely would have pursued if I hadn’t fallen into this medical assistant job.
I’ve always talked about wanting to be a paralegal. I LOVE research and to me, it just sounds interesting and right up my alley. But I can’t waltz into an attorney’s office and apply for a paralegal job, I don’t have the knowledge, let alone the experience, to do that. And do I really want to spend a few years taking paralegal classes when I only have about nine working years left? Sure, eventually, the investment of going to school might pay off but for how long? Six, seven years? It might take me that long to pay off my student debt. (Because unlike progressives out there – I don’t take out debt and then expect someone else to pay it off – thank you very much).
But I didn’t give up. I kept on digging and I settled on plan B.
So, I applied for a legal secretary job on Indeed.com. I wasn’t expecting much, it was sort of an experiment, but when I had to take an assessment test as part of the application process and not only had ZERO clue what I was doing but no idea what the multiple answer options even were, I knew I was in way over my head.
That pushed me to dig a little more. I started researching educational programs to learn more about the duties of a legal secretary. I mean, 85% of my current job is administrative duties, I’m no stranger to office etiquette, phone skills and of course, I can write, how hard could this be, right?
But here’s where it gets dicey. There are A LOT of places out there to take legal secretary classes but my question was, how reputable were they? And I certainly didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars just so I would have a plan B for whatever happens in October.
I researched for weeks and finally stumbled across the Center for Legal Studies (CLS). This is not a sponsored post, I’m simply letting you know this is who I settled on. What really sold me about this program was that CLS partners up with sponsor schools in every state. They have two partnered schools in Missouri, both of which are reputable universities. So my certificate would be from a university and seem more plausible than some out-of-the way, obscure company that no one has heard of and who might not even be in existence next year.
Now. How was I going to sell this crazy idea to Kevin? Again, this is my backup plan B – I will likely not actively pursue this option unless the hospital doesn’t grant my religious exemption request in October, so it’s not a sure thing. Just a maybe thing. And though the class wasn’t as much as I anticipated, it’s not chump change, either.
Kevin and I talked and he was surprisingly on board with this idea. He’s been wanting me to quit the hospital for quite some time and ultimately, he persuaded me to enroll.
I’m currently taking the class now. In fact, I have homework and a quiz to complete before 7:00 PM tomorrow night and yet, here I am …
The class is entirely online and it’s seven weeks long. I’m currently in my fourth week. It’s not hard, and it doesn’t really even take that long, but I’m learning a lot. The legal world is a whole new world. You wouldn’t think there would be much involved when it comes to being a legal secretary but there is actually a lot to know.
Quizzes are open book, thank goodness. Their reasoning is because in the real world, you would have loads of resources at your fingertips to look things up and I appreciate their real-world approach.
I’m taking this class seriously, but I don’t have a do or die approach to it. It’s actually nice not to get too stressed about it because honestly, I just want to get a passing grade, I’m not looking to be the best in my class; I just want to know enough that I don’t make a fool of myself if (when) I have to start interviewing.
There are a surprising number of legal assistant/secretary job openings on Indeed.com so I’m not terribly worried about finding something if (when) I have to start looking. I’ve already been looking at dress clothes and trying to put an interview outfit together – just in case.
That is a major drawback to my plan B – clothing. I’m not going to lie, it’s been really nice to wear, in essence, pajamas to work for the past ten years. I’ll have to seriously step up my wardrobe game if I land a job in the legal field.
Here is my syllabus, in case you were curious:
Lesson One: Introduction to the American Legal System & Ethics
Lesson Two: Reception Duties, Correspondence, File Management & Filing Systems
Lesson Three: Calendar & Docketing, Fees, Billing & Accounting Practices
Lesson Four: Word Processing & Legal Document Preparation
Lesson Five: E-discovery, Computers in a Law Office
Lesson Six: Legal Secretary Practicum
Anyway. That’s my current distraction. I know I’ve been pretty quiet on my blog lately but I’ve had a lot on my mind. I’ll update you again after I complete the course and give you my final thoughts on the experience.
I feel LOADS better about potentially losing my job in the Fall now that I have a backup plan. I would rather keep my job – I get paid well and I’m comfortable – but if I have to find something else, at least I’ll be prepared.
Thanks for reading.