Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Civic Responsibility

Is it weird that serving jury duty was the most glorious day I've experienced in a while? Being a complete cake walk probably had a lot to do with it...and having a vacation from work...and being finished at 3:30 in the afternoon on a beautiful day. I'm sad it's over!

I don't know how Brooklyn ever conducts a trial. From what I can tell, the juror selection process mainly consists of shuffling large groups of cranky people from one waiting room (like the one above) to the next. I was corralled between four of these rooms which never amounted to anything. Thank goodness for free wifi. I had some great bonding time with my iPhone and made a huge dent in my book. I made a new friend and we spent our two hour lunch break getting yummy sandwiches in Brooklyn Heights and strolling along the Promenade. It was seriously like a day off from work. 

After lunch, my group was escorted into a court room. There was actually a judge and lawyers and a defendant in there! (I have a Legally Blonde reference to insert here but will spare you) They explained the trial and how the whole jury selection process would work. All of a sudden, I got really excited about the prospect of being on the jury. While everyone around me was grumbling about being there and missing work etc, I really wanted to be involved. Maybe it is my gossipy nature, but I couldn't bear the thought of leaving without hearing the evidence and knowing the outcome. Plus, everyone around me was so uninterested, I wanted to be the best jury person that court room had ever seen! Renew their faith in the democratic system! 

The judge and lawyers had a meeting in another room while we waited anxiously (or was that just me?) in the courtroom. After about fifteen minutes they returned and broke the news to us that our services would no longer be needed. This elicited some cheers from my jury peers but I was crushed. Not only were we not going to serve on this trial but we were excused for the rest of the day...and for the next eight years! Sadly, I won't be able to fulfill my jury potential anytime soon AND I won't be taking full advantage of the three paid days I could have had off of work. Alas, I realize everything can't go my way.

On the bright side, it was a lovely day and I had a huge chunk of the afternoon which would normally be spent at work. I took a nice stroll home and decided to go for a long run outside--my first since NYC was transformed into a bitter tundra back in 2010. I ran by my favorite street in Cobble Hill. I would give my right arm to live in these houses.

I checked out progress at Brooklyn Bridge Park and the nice late afternoon light on the buildings of lower Manhattan.

I was on such a running high and didn't want to waste an ounce of daylight that I also decided to do a lap around the park near my house. I might have gone a smidgen overboard. I don't think I will be able to walk tomorrow but it was very worth it. I am excited about the impending months of outdoor fun.

In the theme of overdoing things, I came home and devoured the rest of my Pioneer Woman book. I must have read 3/4 of it today alone. It was so good. I laughed out loud at parts ("lol" to you kids) and cried at others (more than I'd like to admit). It's such an easy read, I would highly recommend it. Maybe work it in over a few days though. One lucky reader might even find a copy waiting in her mailbox real soon...


  1. Hmm, gossip and best juror ever, I think those two sentences need to have a conversation together, but I guess they can wait another few years (at least in NY).

  2. I was on a jury a couple of years ago, and thought it was kind of fun, but then kind of sad at the same time... because the guy at our trial was guilty, but I still felt sorry for him in a way (it was for selling drugs...not murder or anything like that). However, the 3 days waiting in a room until I was actually picked for a jury was TORTURE. I had no smart phone, and I brought a book, but they were blasting Fox News so loud I had much trouble concentrating on the book -- but maybe the Fox is just an Alabama thing. They also wouldn't let us leave for lunch, so they catered Chick-Fil-A -- which most people enjoy, except those of us who are anti-chicken AND I spilled lemonade all over myself when the bottom came out of cup (but no surprise there, we know how clumsy I am). Ok, anyway, this comment wasn't supposed to be this long. Glad you got to enjoy your afternoon, at least!


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