Monday, June 24, 2019

Caught Between Two Countries

I am firmly into 1.5 years of being in the U.S. I, however, am ambivalent about this place being my forever home.  I cannot imagine myself shoveling snow or mowing the lawn into my senior years. But the benefits my husband receives as a veteran with Priority 1 rating keeps me thinking this is the place to stay in the mean time.

One thing that disappointed me the most is the public education system here in the U.S.  I do not know if it has to do with the training of teachers, the limited resources, or just the attitude, but it is wanting in so many ways.  Maybe it is the school district that we are presently in that does not appear to take the state standard seriously, or it is the teacher herself who does not have enough commitment to her profession, but I find that the school system is detrimental to my son.  In his first school here in the U.S. (kindergarten level), he finished in the honor roll.  After taking him from the regular public school to a Montessori one, he has so far degenerated that his reading skill was only at 1.5 grade level after the end of the first grade; and that in spite all the effort that my husband and I have done to teach him ourselves.  If it were not that my son is an only child, I would seriously consider doing home schooling. But I want him to have opportunities to socialize, and I could not get that with homeschooling.

On the other hand, I admit I also want some time-off for myself. If he was home schooled he would be all over me at home and I want to be able to study more. When I was working, whenever the teacher said he needed help, I would pay a tutor to do it.  These days I feel I am ill-equipped to teach my own child, partly because I am too nice to him when I should push him a little bit more.

The truth is, being here in the U.S., is like starting over again without the benefit of all my past legal experience. Unlike in the Philippines, with my experience, I am more likely to find job at a shorter amount of time than I would over here.

I computed my salary in the Philippines vis-à-vis the hourly rate here.  Although my hourly rate there would just be equal to the proposed minimum wage here, the truth is, there is no mandated minimum wage such that I could at least enjoy my previous pay.  The short of it is, it is hard to even get minimum wage if your background is from another country even if it were extensive. 

As a side note, I am, however, preparing for the NY bar.  If I pass the bar, I can potentially have limited practice or employment in my present state.