Posted by: Marie | January 9, 2014

(922) Who I am – Part 2 of 3

Post #922
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, August 16, 2012 – continued from previous post]

Just for fun, here are some excerpts from my CASA application:



Employment history overview: From 1989 to 2002, I worked in the defense and telecommunications industries first as a configuration manager and software developer (1989-1995), then as a systems development project manager (1995-2002). I maintained a top-secret clearance (which required repeated full-lifestyle background checks and polygraphs) for more than a decade. In the final two years (1999-early 2002), I specialized in managing high-risk and high-profile projects, managing as many as 250 people and four projects at one time while maintaining product performance scores in the highest/best ranges possible.


Photo by Martin Chen

In 2002, the market in which I was employed (telecommunications in Colorado) dissolved. My employer went bankrupt and all 400 people on our contract were laid off. I was not able to find work in my field and therefore was unemployed for almost two years. This led me to realize it was necessary for me to reinvent myself professionally.

I tried several different options (as demonstrated by my employment history shown below), including several years of land use consulting. A significant part of my land use consulting involved performing legal research for, and then advocating on behalf of groups of people in county commissioner land use hearings.

More recently, I have found pleasurable success as a piano teacher. I started teaching piano in 2008. I have grown my studio to where I now maintain, on average, a base of 45-48 students. I specialize in teaching students with significant learning, developmental and emotional challenges.


April 2001 to Present
Smith Consulting, Inc.
Owner/Principal Consultant

Duties: 2001-2004: Business process automation consultant; 2004: Electrical subcontractor; 2004-2009: Land-use consultant; 2008-present: Piano teacher (private lessons). This is/was my main or only source of income during 2004-2007 and 2011-present.


September 2008 to May 2011
Mytown School District
School Bus Driver / Aide

Duties: As a driver, operated all types and sizes of school buses (first as a substitute driver, then as a regular route driver). As an aide, maintained order on the bus and addressed any safety/health issues arising during the trip. Resigned (on good terms) when my piano lessons business grew to full-time employment.


August 2007 to August 2008
Farmer John’s Corporation
Office/Admin Assistant

Duties: General clerical duties including handling accounts payable via Quickbooks software with access to more than 30 bank accounts. Was laid-off during a downsizing of the office.



April 2010
Laura Recovery Center
Duties: Led a 14-member search team as part of the search/rescue effort on behalf of Kayleah Wilson


May 2008
Office of Emergency Management / United Way
Duties: Assisted victims of the tornado who had disabilities/special needs: provided emergency medical care, transportation and temporary housing; secured urgently needed medicine and medical equipment, facilitated creative communication (access to phones was very limited) in order to reunite family members and other caretakers, assisted with longer term relocations by moving furniture and other belongings and by securing basic medical, home and personal items for the new locations; secured the help of American Red Cross, National Guard and private citizens as needed to accomplish these tasks


2004 to 2007
Anytown School District
Duties: Developed curriculum for and taught college-level courses (project management for software development, general management skills, public speaking) on a volunteer basis to high school students


May 2003
Center for Citizen Initiatives
Duties: Designed the content for, and taught with the assistance of a translator, an eight-contact-hour class, “Management of Key Business Information,” for Russian delegates at [the local university]


1996 to 1997
Community Safety Watch (a.k.a. Neighborhood Watch) sponsored by [the local police department]
Duties: Founder, director, liaison between the neighbors and the police department


1992 to 1996
Anytown Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Duties: Volunteer firefighter (Level III FF, pumper driver/operator, aerial truck driver/operator, heavy tactical rescue, incident command) and EMT-A. The station was manned only by volunteers during the night and weekends, which resulted in the same incident load experienced by the paid staff during the day. Required 20-25 hours of duty time and training per week.


Spring semester 1988
Casa de Esperanza, Inc and the Neighborhood Learning Center, Washington, DC

For college credit, participated in a cross-cultural inner-city “missions-type” experience doing volunteer work at least 25 hours a week for one semester:

Duties at Casa: Assisted newly arrived Hispanic refugees from Central/South America with utilizing the food and clothes bank and with navigating routine appointments (including translation assistance), general maintenance and stocking of the food and clothes bank

Duties at a junior high school in the same neighborhood as Casa: tutored newly arrived students, teaching them English and translating the content of their math classes into Spanish; privately tutored a brother and sister (elementary age) from the Dominican Republic in their home one evening a week

Duties at NLC: Tutored African-American elementary students, many of whom were suspended from school due to violent behavior


1987 to 1988
Anytown Ambulance Service
Volunteer EMT-A


1986 to 1987
Mytown University
Duties: Provided assistance to churches in the region (Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, etc.) during school breaks: Made repairs to the church building, passed out invitations, provided special music for the church services


October 1986
Mytown University
Duties: Assisted with the clean-up of homes after a major flood in the town (the college sent out teams of students, staff and faculty)



Have you ever been arrested, detained by police, or summoned into court (including traffic violations, arrests, jury duty)?

Yes, see below:

2010, Criminal Court
Called for jury duty in a child sexual assault / possession of child pornography case, but was released from duty after two days of selection process. I was not on the final jury.

2006, Small Claims Court
I filed a small claims court case against a client; the court’s decision was largely in my favor.

2005, Traffic Court
Contested a traffic complaint filed against me by a citizen (because I didn’t do it). The ticket was dismissed for lack of evidence.

2004, Bankruptcy Count
Discharge of my personal bankruptcy.

Approximately 1995, U.S. Marine Corp Base
Called as a key witness in an acquaintance rape case.

Approximately 1993, Family Court
Called as a character witness in a child custody case.

Multiple speeding tickets:

Approximately 1990: I have a vague memory of having to go to court because of earning multiple speeding tickets in a short period of time (or maybe because a particular ticket was for high-speed reckless driving?), but I don’t remember any details about the case. I do know I had a lot of speeding tickets on my record for several years around that time; I almost lost my license.

Approximately 1986: The first traffic ticket I ever earned required my attendance in court (reckless driving). The police officer offered me the option of going to court where he promised he would recommend to the court that my ticket be suspended. He did as he promised; the ticket was suspended and then subsequently dismissed.



Special note: My therapist, Dr. Edward, fully supports my decision to apply to become a CASA. He believes I am far enough along in my healing journey to handle the pressures that will surely come along with the job. Furthermore, he believes the act of creating something beneficial from my own painful experiences will facilitate my ability to bring healing to myself. He is strongly encouraging me to embrace this venture.

I have included in this application a letter authorizing Dr. Edward to fully answer any and all questions you may have relative to your vetting process. I have also given him a copy of that letter. He is willing and ready to assist you in any way he can in this matter.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

Quotes 832


  1. You’ve sure had a variety of experience.

    • I have had quite an unusual life!

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