Today was my first day of ConGen.
And it's obvious to me that my brain and I need to have a little talk with each other.
This is because my brain is not correctly hearing what the ConGen people are saying. Which, you know, could possibly be a problem.
I'll give you a little example.
Since it's the beginning of ConGen, and since ConGen is (I kid you not) a supremely well-oiled machine, they have begun by telling us what they will be telling us over the next many weeks.
You know, like any good presentation of new information: you tell people what you're going to be telling them, then you tell them what you want to tell them, then you remind them of what you told them. It's all about being clear.
So, today was them telling us all about what they're going to be telling us about. A day of introductions, if you will.
The only problem is that my brain can't hear what they're saying.
Case in point: Take the two basic kinds of visas. Immigrant visas (IV) and Nonimmigrant visas (NIV).
[See that? There are only two categories. TWO. This shouldn't be hard. This should be easy! But...]
Now, I have a bit of a medical background. So, when I hear/see the acronym "IV" I automatically think: Plastic tube in your wrist used to give you fluids, like in the hospital. Often keeps you from dying. Rather handy at times.
I also, throughout my life, have attended different forms of Presbyterian and Episcopal churches. Thus, when I hear/see "NIV" I automatically think: Kind of Bible translation. Different from KJV and NASV, etc. Christians like to argue about which one is better. Which is sort of lame.
And I'm not having this problem with just the two visa types - oh, no. The problem is far more widespread. For example...
I'm married to a federal law enforcement officer. When I hear/see "FAM" (some sort of book or manual or something?) I think: Federal Air Marshals. Fly around on planes and stuff. Keep the airways safe, etc. Sucks for them that they're part of TSA.
So in class today, this is what my brain heard:
"Welcome to ConGen! During your time here, you'll be learning about (plastic tubing that goes in your arm that's used to give a patient fluids in the hospital) and (a kind of Bible translation that is used by different churches). You'll also be hearing about (Federal Air Marshals flying around on planes)."
It will be interesting if and when there will come a day when my brain will hear:
"Welcome to ConGen! During your time here, you'll be learning about (one specific type of visa) and (another specific type of visa). You'll also be hearing about (a manual of rules or something)."
But between now and then? Yeah. My brain needs to get itself together. And right quickly, might I add.
Because it's also hearing about lots of stock ticker symbols (!!) and brands of guns (!!!) all the time. Heaven help me - when "FAM" is used together with the acronym that is the same as a particular brand of gun (Federal Air Marshals! Guns! Those two *totally* make sense together! Don't make fun of me!) my brain goes 100% law enforcement and I have to drag it back, kicking and screaming, to the classroom full of acronyms it *thinks* it knows but it actually doesn't really.
But it's really super-nifty-fun to be back in the universe of all things legal/law-ish! For many years, I worked in the legal world. I've really missed it, so this is a treat.
(See also: ConGen doesn't start at 7:40 every single morning M-F like Chinese used to! Good heavens, what's not to like?!)
(And even FURTHER see: ConGen is entirely in English! ALL OF IT!! Every last word on every last page! It's all in English! GLORY HALLELUJAH!!)