Thursday, March 12, 2009
238: the rural juror
It's late, and this week has already been consumingly long.
As some of you know, Ryan and I have been receiving summons for jury duty off and on throughout the past few months, alternating groans as the name "Yvonne Black" appears on the return label, cursing this woman who officiated our wedding and showed no sign of recognition when I crossed her path in the grocery store years later (big surprise; we met her just half an hour or so before the actual ceremony).
This Monday, when I called in, I expected for it to be canceled, as it always is, as the person charged tends to plea bargain out, and we are left with our half-days half-ruined. Mondays are my non-campus days, so I simply return to the task at hand--be it grading, reading, essay writing.
And since Monday, I sat. And I sat. Great walled rooms, cathedral ceilings, windows looking out at drizzling ice-rain days, my classes eventually canceled, my professors emailed, my anxiety at missing more school (see: Palm Beach; see: AWP; see: snow storm), and there is nothing anyone can do about any of it. All valid, all piling up just before the halfway mark.
Today the jurors were winnowed down from just below forty to fourteen (the two alternates not knowing who they are--a good thing, I think, to keep all of us paying attention). Indeed, I am one of the fourteen, and I can tell you this: it is a criminal case. And that is all.
I did make it to campus tonight, for most of one class and for a Dislocate reading. I'll post some of my favorite pictures from that tomorrow. I was also able to pick up my forty-some student midterms and my forty-some student essays, all of which will be graded over spring break. I know I shouldn't have been, but I was a little shocked when I saw that it couldn't all fit in my mailbox; indeed, they had to bring down a box to stuff it all in. It will be a long week of grading and travel following a long week of heavy subjects and concentration. I will sleep long and hard at some point, though not tonight. Not long, anyway.