The court clerks who handled shepherding all of us (about 150 total) through the day, did it with calm, clarity, and patience. Considering the latecomers, the folks who don’t listen to what’s going on, and those who simply don’t understand, that was pretty remarkable. At midafternoon, the clerk who dismissed about thirty of us thanked us for our service and assured us that our time was not wasted.
It’s easy to laugh because we’ve heard a lot of this since we were kids at school, or we’ve seen it on television. What made this different was, in part, the setting. We were in a room that could be used as a large courtroom, though it was being used as a jury selection room. The other thing that brought a certain gravitas to the proceedings was that the people in charge took it seriously, and yet seemed to enjoy what they were doing.
As I look back on the day, my primary emotion/sensation was curiosity. I was genuinely interested in how the day was going to play out and was open to whatever happened. In the end, you could say it was uneventful, and that would be true. At the same time, it was a glimpse into another world, the road not taken (I went to law school but never practiced). And it was a day pulled out of my own world, yanked out of my comfortable space and thrust into a room with 150 strangers. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Carol (Doc) Dougherty
An avid reader, writer, and student, with a penchant for horse racing, Shakespeare, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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