As of 8:50 AM this morning, I’m an American.

Here’s the timeline for me:

  • March 30, 2008 – Sent in Application N-400
  • April 3, 2008 – Received application
  • May – Fingerprinting appointment
  • September 19, 2008 – Citizenship interview
  • September 29, 2008 – Oath
  • September 29, 2008 – Registered to vote

Ceremony at Denver USCIS, 12000 East 47th in Denver at 8 AM. Arrived 4 minutes to 8 (oops).

Master of Ceremonies, Director of Denver Field Office, USCIS (young looking man: addresses everyone as guys, says things like “super”, I didn’t realize there was only men on city councils = councilmen, “I get a kick…”)

Sequence:

  • Arrive 7:56 AM
  • Green cards stapled to oath appointment form
  • (44) New citizens ushered into room (metal detector, pockets cleared, had to ditch my pocket knife in a plant). Envelopes on each seat with: pocket constitution guide, some bad pamplet on what to expect, passport application, instructions on fixing your SSN, letter from the Shrub, ceremony pamphlet with oath.
  • Green cards and oath forms taken away. >50% had to revise the form on the back (it asks whether anything had happened to you between interview and oath: leave the country, get divorced, etc.). Mine were all Nos (10 questions), I doubt anyone had a legitimate Yes (did you join the Communist party between your interview and the oath?).
  • Family ushered into room
  • Opening words.
  • Video showing people at stadium taking oath
  • Words from DIrector (kept calling everyone guys, importance of voting even for local elections)
  • Really bad rendition of “Star Spangled Banner”. Hard to sing along to. Almost nobody did.
  • Stand everyone up by country of origin (I think I was the only Canadian). 27 Countries in room, South Africa, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea…
  • Take Oath.
  • Pledge of Allegiance. Under God.
  • Video of Shrub welcoming as as citizens followed by “Proud to be an American” music video (why only the Navy?). More people sang to this than Star-Spangled Banner. Director says: “I’ve seen this video over 100 times, each time I get a kick out of it”.
  • More words, now “leave” (take your time, but get out within 10-15 minutes for the next group).
  • Certificate of naturalization handed to me (complete with serial killer photo of me…. Nice. Didn’t know that was my only chance.)
  • Photos in front of FLAG, Dept of Homeland Security podium, Seal….
  • Leave ~9:20

Drive to Boulder, drop off Cassie. Drive to Boulder County clerk. Register to vote. Weee.