Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My year 2007 in review.

Studied for USPTO Patent Bar Exam. Passed exam on first try. Got admitted in Colorado and in New York as an attorney. Worked various short-term document review jobs. Had my first son born to me. Grew my relationship with my wife and our family. Worked around the clock for almost nothing examining patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Wife quit work to stay with baby; my job stopped giving me work (no paycheck for months). Teshuva through Yom Kippur. Set deadline of November 1st to move out of Colorado and to get a job. Searched for jobs as a patent attorney everywhere. Sent resumes, received rejection letters. Moved out of Colorado by December 1st. Found job though friend. Started online classes to learn electrical engineering. Moved to New York to start new job.

Did not work on self. Abandoned hobbies and life value goals to free up time to work. Ate terribly; gained considerable weight. Paid annual membership to gym twice without going once in between payments. Saw too many movies. While improved in prayer skills, retreated in other areas of discipline. Did not control anger. Did not control sleeping patterns. Lost friends. Fell into depression undetected by others. Still in it. Still undetected. I expect to pull out of it very soon.


WBS said...

Fell into depression undetected by others. Still in it. Still undetected. I expect to pull out of it very soon.

Without some blatant expression of depression, it usually is undetected by others. Its even possible that one of the friends you lost in 2007 was going through something serious that you didn't detect.

I respect your openness on this medium. Thanks for writing.

Zoe Strickman said...

My pleasure. For some reason (probably ego), I get the biggest high knowing that people are reading what I write. When I get feedback with people praising me for what I've written, I get even higher. I know I shouldn't be affected by it, but I am. Just a weakness, I guess.

But thank you for commenting. I *do* believe that it is possible and even likely that a few of my friends are suffering from depression. I even sometimes fear for one of my friend's life, even though she denies it every time I confront her about it. For now, all I can urge is that she doesn't hurt herself and that life is too important to do something stupid. That's another conversation.

Again, thank you for your comment and your compliment. The pleasure is also mine, I mean it.

brian said...


First of all, congrats on landing a job and making the big (and troublesome sounding) move east. With time, all things will work out and I hope for the best. I'm particularly struck by your posts on Nov25 and Dec17--at just the moment when you believe that there is no future for your career, something develops. I know that things are tremendously stressful for you right now, but understand that the possible root cause of these stresses may be clearing up--this new position may provide the stability and financial resources necessary to calm the storm. Things are moving in a positive direction.

On a somewhat different note, I have read your blog for quite some time as I am in a similar position. I too am a recent law school graduate trying to break into the patent field. Currently I'm finishing some technical coursework that will render me eligible for the patent bar exam, and as most of my coursework is in the computer science field, I too have felt the underwhelming response by employers about my technical background. So, question: what is the online EE program that you are looking into? Is it the program through SUNY that you have earlier mentioned?

brian said...

Also off-topic -- how did you go about studying for the USPTO exam? Did you just use the MPEP or did you purchase a program?

Zoe Strickman said...

Brian (in no particular order),

1) I studied using PLI (although it only got me to a 50% pass rate -- the remaining 20% needs to be acquired by taking MANY past exams and sample questions from software.

2) As for the storm comment, you're right, B"H everything is going the way it should. The transition is difficult, but I won't forget for a second how relieved I am that I put action into motion, prayed, and at the last moment before I thought everything was lost, the job came.

3) I was looking into SUNY's BEE program, but speaking to those administering the program, by the time I have my prerequisites in order, it doesn't look like the program will be around, so please keep me in mind when you continue your search because I'm also interested in what you find.

4) Lastly, despite what I've written in the blog, the issue boiled down to not whether I had a degree, but whether I could prosecute patents with the same expertise as one having a degree. To my surprise, the answer as of now is no, but I'm working on taking classes to build that knowledge (hopefully it will lead to a degree). E-mail me with any other questions you have and I'll answer you the best that I can.