I’ve packed a lot of activity into this week. First, I had jury duty, then I had an MRI of my shoulder. Jury duty here is for 2 days, although mine went into a third. And time seems to warp inside an MRI tube, so the 18 minutes inside stretched into an eternity.
Jury duty is an obligation that I do take seriously, even though it can be inconvenient. A jury of our peers is one of the elements of our judicial system that sets us apart from many other countries (or did at the time it was codified). It is one of the checks and balances on the power of the judges and police in our system. So I praise it for what it is…but, man, there has to be a better way of picking a jury.
We spent from 10 AM to 4:15 PM picking a jury—and still hadn’t filled the whole panel. We seemed to have a full panel around 3 PM, but then the lawyers started using their preemptive challenges (they get 10 each), and suddenly the prosecutor had dismissed 2 jurors and the defense had dismissed 4, and we ran out of time. So we had to come back the next morning. They questioned and dismissed me very early, so I have no idea how many more jurors they went through. But we undoubtedly spent more time picking the jury than the case would require to be presented. This was not a complex case.
The worst part of the experience was not the long day, or the bad lighting that gave me a headache, or the mind-numbing boredom of not doing anything but listen to other jurors get questioned over and over. It was that fact that on this 83-degree day, the air conditioning was not turned on. I was sweating like I’d been exercising, as were most of the others. Melted jurors everywhere.
So I escaped the courtroom sauna early Wednesday morning, and the afternoon found me getting an MRI at the medical imaging place. They imaged my shoulder because I injured my arm/shoulder in December and it still hurts. I’ve lost a great deal of range of motion, and it hurts almost constantly—to the point where even my sleep is disrupted because I can’t sleep.
The MRI room was the antithesis of the courtroom. Freezing! I started shivering as soon as I stepped into the room.Thankfully they had a blanket for me. But I was grateful to get out of that tube and out of the cold and back into the warm sunshine.
But the temperature variations didn’t stop there. The first floor of my house is chilly enough to need a sweater, while the upstairs I need a fan turned on. Will I ever find that perfect Goldilocks temperature of just right?
Do you prefer heat or cold? Does the temperature influence your writing at all—style, speed, voice?