Tuesday, October 5, 2010

4th Graders Disguised as Adults

Unfortunately, our legal system does not excuse teachers from serving Jury Duty.  I decided to respond to the latest threatening summons, hoping that I would be excused by the end of the day without having to serve on an actual jury.  

As I sit here waiting for my turn, I realize that the Jurors Waiting Room is full of 4th graders disguised as adults!  The gentleman doing orientation did an outstanding job of telling everyone what to do and what NOT to do, and he even infused a bit of humor.  Of course, he made it very clear that if anyone approached him in his office at the wrong time, he would kindly tell them to go away!  He specifically told us NOT to use cell phones in this room, but we could talk in the hallways.  

Now, I am listening to a lady and a man both talking loudly on their cell phones.  There's another man snoring non-stop on a bench.  A few people are standing at the man's office door as if he will eventually let them in, and I'm wondering if anyone listens and follows directions anymore!  It's very sad that I have to be away from my students who really want to learn, and I'm forced to sit here and spend the entire day with 4th graders disguised as adults.

I really pray that I am not selected to serve on a jury because I plan to tell them that unless the person being charged is in 4th grade, then they are automatically GUILTY in my mind!!  Folks need to learn to listen and follow directions!

Finally, why were we given an hour and 40 minutes for lunch?  I am not in a familiar area so I definitely would not venture too far and risk missing my return time.  I wouldn't dare eat in the courthouse cafeteria, and risk having my stomach turn inside out in the middle of jury selection.  Thus, the 100 minutes were given so that I would have time to reflect on what my role is in this experience.  As I approach the 7th hour waiting and listening to low rumbling voices in other languages, loud chatter from the man on his cell asking why his car was towed, and the lady breathing heavily through her mouth but happens to be WIDE AWAKE, I realize that my role is to be thankful that I am not the one who needs any of these people (including myself) on a jury to decide my fate!