Jury Service

I was called up for jury service for this week. Here’s what happens:

I got my jury summons in the mail two weeks before Christmas. I had to send in my response within 10 days of receiving the summons. The response could be:

a. Yes, I will attend jury service
b. I would like to defer my jury service (with reasons to why)
c. I would like to be let off jury service (with reasons to why)

I said I would attend.

Two weeks after I sent in my response I received my confirmation letter that my response had been recorded.

On the Tuesday 30th January I rocked on up to court (Monday 29th January was a public holiday) and was directed to the Jury Assembly Area. This was a big room with loads of chairs and a few couches. There was a kitchenette, loads of tvs and also some ‘quiet’ rooms. I managed to snag a couch and settled in on my kindle (leyendo ‘Harry Potter y la pierda filosofal’). After about 15 minutes we were addressed by one member of court staff and were asked to watch two videos about the being a juror and the court process. Not long after these videos finished the court staff began to read off a list of random names, to which one would raise their hand upon hearing their name and receive a numbered tag. About 20 names would be read out, and this happened three times. I was called upon during the second round of names. If your name had been read out this meant you were a part of the a potential jury group.

After maybe 15 minutes of downtime, my numbered group (representative of the courtroom number) were asked to come to the front and follow a member of court staff to the courtroom. We were brought into the gallery of the room and asked to remain until the final jury had been chosen. We were read a list of names that included the judge, lawyers, defendant and witnesses for the case, and anyone who recognised these names were to alert the staff immediately. The lawyers and defendant both came into the courtroom, lastly followed by the judge for whom we had to stand. The judge re-iterated what the earlier videos had said with regards to jury selection and trial process. If for some reason we felt as though we could not sit on the jury, we needed to speak with him before sitting in the jury box.

The process for picking the final jury was also at random. Names were quite literally pulled out of a box. If your name was called you needed to immediately go and sit in the jury box, however the lawyers have a right to call ‘challenge’ to any juror without explanation. This happened three times and in this case the individual had to return to the gallery where we were sitting. We finally had the twelve jurors (I was not picked). The jurors were they asked to retire to the jury room to choose a foreperson. This is a person who represents the jury and generally speaks on behalf of the jurors during the trial. The foreperson was picked very quickly and they returned with the foreperson taking the seat closest to the judge. The last aspect of this trial we were a part of was then to witnesses the swearing in of the jury, whereby each of the jurors were to either make and oath or affirmation that they would judge the trial in a fair and unbiased manner. However when we got to juror 3 (Let’s call her Mrs. A) she did not seem to understand it was time for her to say ‘I do’. The judge asked Mrs. A to come forward and shared a few private words to ascertain her language skills, before alerting the courtroom (probably more for the staff and lawyers benefit, not us) that she unfortunately would find it very difficult to understand the trial and was therefore being relieved of jury service. The lawyers both had no objections and Mrs A. returned to the gallery to sit with us. Just after this one of the other jurors signalled to the judge if he might have a word (let’s call him Mr. B) to which the judge agreed. They spoke quietly for a minute and Mr. B returned to the jury box. The judge then announced once more that if any juror felt as though there were any issue they were worried about, both then and throughout the trial, that they may raise their hand for permission to approach him at any point. As the jury was one short, another name was randomly drawn from the box (not me) and this juror went and sat in the jury box. The oaths and affirmations were started from the beginning (as Mrs. A had only been juror number 3) and all seemed to run smoothly until we reached Mr. C. At his turn to say ‘I do’, Mr. C also seemed slightly confused as to what to do and was asked to approach the judge. After a few quiet words the judge announced that Mr. C had no language barriers to worry about and that he may return to the jury box. I think the process can be flustering and so foreign that some people don’t quite realise when it is their turn to speak. Mr. C returned to his place and then confirmed his impartiality to the trial. The rest of the jury followed suit.

As the jury process was now complete, we were asked to return to the Jury Assembly Area to wait upon more news. Back to the kindle it was. We were given updates every now and then; the reasons we were being kept in was that there were a few ‘stand-by’ trials that were being waited upon as to whether they would go ahead. At 12pm we received news that these trials would not be starting today and we were free to leave, however we would need to return the next morning to repeat the process.

Wednesday morning I rocked on up to court, slightly more confident than I had been the previous morning. I scored a couch seat (again!), got out the kindle and waited for some news. Once everyone was settled a round of names called and numbered tags handed out. I didn’t get one. This potential jury group was sent upstairs and after some time we were told that this trial was waiting for something legality related to be sorted, and so we needed to hang around incase a back-up pool was to be picked. There were also two ‘stand-by’ trials that may go ahead. In the end we were given news that the awaiting trial had been deferred due to whatever the problem was upstairs, and the two ‘stand-by’ trials would not be going ahead, so we were free and with no more trials scheduled for the week, free of jury service!

Wednesday afternoon I got a call: ” Hi Jonjyn, this is the court staff. I’m so sorry by the deferred trial has been re-set for tomorrow and so we require you to be at court tomorrow”. So close!

Thursday morning I repeated the process once more. Yes, I got a couch seat! I passed the time with the kindle (again!) and after only an hour of waiting we were told that the trial had again been deferred and that we could leave (definitely this time) and that was the end of our jury service.

I was grateful I was given the opportunity to go into the courtroom and experience the jury selection process. It did make the morning go quite quickly, without the commitment of having to sit on a trial for a number of days. The Wednesday was ‘the worst’ because I did just have to sit and read for a few hours. But if that’s considered ‘the worst’ it really wasn’t that bad. Thursday was just as fine because it was literally an hour of reading before being released forever (well, two years minimum).

It’s an interesting process and I would recommend it if you get the chance, even if you don’t end up sitting on the jury.

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I lost my streak :(

I did it. I lost my streak. For real. No chance to win it back. I’ll cut straight to the chase:

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To add to that, I haven’t been great at getting a good amount of XP when I do go on Duo, and I haven’t been very onto it with Rosetta Stone lately. They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit…

I have managed to make some process on my Spanish tree in Duolingo – I have completed 45/61 skills. However, considering my lack of enthusiasm over the last few weeks I know I will really need to push myself to finish the skills tree by April. How many days is that, let me check.

Oh only 62 days left. That’s great.

I other news I have started reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Spanish!

Perdón! Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal!

I’ve read about three pages am getting through thanks to both my rudimentary comprehension skills, and the fact I’ve read this book a fair few times and know what is happening anyway.

So that’s where I’m at. Barely treading water with Duolingo, going under with Rosetta Stone, and almost drowning with my new book.

Things are looking up!

The Best Lyrics: reputation, Taylor Swift

…Ready For It

“But if he’s a ghost, then I can be a phantom
Holding him for ransom”

“Touch me and you’ll never be alone”

“He can be my jailer, Burton to this Taylor
Every love I’ve known in comparison is a failure”

End Game feat. Future and Ed Sheeran

“Oh you and me would be a big conversation”

“I don’t wanna miss you, like the other girls do”

“I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put ’em”

“Your hand prints on my soul
It’s like your eyes are liquor, it’s like your body is gold”

I Did Something Bad

“I can feel the flames on my skin
Crimson red paint on my lips”

“You gotta leave before you get left”

“If he drops my name then I owe him nothing”

Don’t Blame Me

“Don’t blame me, love made me crazy
If it doesn’t you ain’t doing it right
Lord save me, my drug is my baby
I’ll be using for the rest of my life”

“For you I would cross the line
I would waste my time
I would lose my mind”

“If you walk away
I’d beg you on my knees to stay”

Delicate

“My reputation’s never been worse, so
You must like me for me…”

“Phone lights up my nightstand in the black
Come here, you can meet me in the back”

“Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it cool that you’re in my head?
Cause I know that it’s delicate”

“Long nights with your hands up in my hair
Echoes of your footsteps on the stairs
Stay here honey I don’t wanna share”

Look What You Made Me Do

“I don’t like your perfect crime”

“You said the gun was mine”

“Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time”

“The world moves on another day, another drama, drama
But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma”

So It Goes…

“Cut me into pieces
Gold cage, hostage to my feelings”

“Cause we break down a litte
But when you get me alone it’s so simple”

“Get caught up in a moment
Lipstick on your face”

“You know I’m not a bad girl, but I
Do bad things with you
So it goes…”

“I make all your grey days clear”

“Wear you like a necklace
I’m so chill but you make me jealous”

“You did a number on me
But honestly baby who’s counting?
I did a number on you
But honestly baby who’s counting?

“1, 2, 3…”

Gorgeous

“You’re so cool, it makes me hate you so much”

“You’ve ruined my life by not being mine”

“You should take it as a compliment
That I’m talking to everyone here but you”

“Ocean blue eyes, looking in mine
I feel like I might sink and drown and die”

“There’s nothing I hate more than what I can’t have”

King of My Heart

“Now you try on calling me baby like trying on clothes”

“And all at once”

“You’re all I want, I’ll never let you go”

“Your love is a secret I’m hoping, dreaming, dying to keep”

“Is this the end of all the endings?
My broken bones are mending”

“Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff”

Dancing With Our Hands Tied

“Could’ve spent forever with your hands in my pockets”

“People started talking, putting us through our paces”

“I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted”

“I’d kiss you as the lights went out”

Dress

“Our secret moments in a crowded room”

“Say my name and everything just stops”

“Everyone thinks that they know us
But they know nothing about…”

“My one and only, my lifeline”

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

“You stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand”

“Here’s to my baby
He ain’t reading what they call me lately”

Call It What You Want

“I brought a knife to a gunfight”

“All the liars are calling me one
Nobody’s heard from me for months
I’m doing better than I ever was”

“Call it what you want to”

“He built a fire just to keep me warm”

“All the drama queens taking swings
All the jokers dressing up as kings”

“Starry eyes sparking up my darkest night”

“Cause he really knows me”

New Years Day

“Don’t read the last page…but I stay”

“I want your midnights”

“Hold onto the memories they will hold onto you
And I will hold onto you”

 

 

 

I am getting REALLY great at Spanish!

You betcha he maintained mi Duolingo streak por cuarenta días!! Estoy AMAZING!!! Solo perdí mi streak probablemente tres o cuatro veces!!! Pero yo lo gané back! I am really seeing my hard work reflect in my now exponentially improving español! Wow!!!!

I am being sarcastic of course.

Esto he sido muy duro.

You betcha soy aún double checking every single word que escrito en español to make sure ‘yo sé que estoy doing’.

Honestly, he sido muy discouraged porque ahora he estado aprendiendo español todos los días por 40 días! Why aren’t I fluent yet?! Yo sé que aprendiendo una lingua takes mucho tiempo y mucha paciencia. Pero estoy impatient! Yo queiro ser el mejor ahora!

Am I using the correct for of ‘to be’ the entire time above?! I dunno!! Eso espero! Yeah I looked that up!

What’s the difference between ‘he creo’ y ‘tengo que creo’? I dunno!!!

Ugh.

He usado Rosetta Stone por a while now y I do think que lo es diferent de Duolingo en  un good way. Soy un perfectionist y porque esto siempre creo que necesito completar all simple lessons before I can move on to the more challenging lessons. I’m sure this is one of the reasons que I am struggling to feel as though I am aprendiendo y improving. I know what will help me to improve is taking proper classes and being able to speak in Spanish to someone else, I just can’t quite afford to yet so I have to persevere with the apps for now.

There is no real structure to this blog post hoy. It’s just a small check in and rant that I still suck. I will write one where I talk about the pros and cons of RS and Duo, and which one I like better.

Here’s proof I’ve maintained my streak since I first wrote about it!

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Hasta la proxima vez!

I nearly failed at my streak already >insert eye-roll emoji here<

Hola, here es un español update.

Fui given un Rosetta Stone (piedra!) subscription por Navidad. Actualmente yo asked foreste present de mis padres. Es un 6-meses subscription por ‘Latin American’ español. I specifically asked for esta version porque I began aprendiendo Español en esta lingua del inicio (ok, ok I looked up el inicio on Google).

Being New Years Day, claro que sí yo tengo made unas resoluciones por el año. Un de estas resoluciones being yo voy a practicar Español todos los días. Yo sé! Tengo loca!! Jaja, well I guess nosotros vamos a ver how I go, pero claro que sí I will be keeping myself accountable por the blog.

In fact, here is proof I have been practising on Duolingo everyday!

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I will say, normalmente I do some of el courso just before yo duermo. Since last night was New Years Eve, no fui a la cama until after 12am….and I ruined my duolingo streak! Almost! Con suerte cuando yo realicé y checked duolingo, yo fui allowed to ‘Earn back your streak’. I was given 15-20 questions y I could only get tres respuestas wrong! Como yo decía, con suerte! porque I passed the test y was able to get back my streak. Phew!

One other goal I set for 2018 fue terminar el courso de Duolingo por abril. I would say estoy 2/3 of the way through so este shouldn’t be difícil, however since I have committed to español todos los días, along with other goals I have set for myself, yo pienso que este will work best for me.

Time to get better at Spanish Jonjyn!

I’m learning Spanish

I am learning Spanish.

I find it very difficult.

I am trying hard.

I feel like I fail a lot.

Very recently I have gotten serious about learning Spanish. I started learning eight years ago in school. I completed two HS level exams before dropping the class in my final year. I tried to keep up with it through Duolingo, but it’s been six years and I still haven’t completed the course. This makes it quite plain as to where I’ve been failing. I’m not motivated, and I feel like it’s useless to try because I have no real-world application.

In spite of this, fifteen days ago I decided to get serious.

By serious I mean, I am going to keep up with Duolingo everyday. Even if I’m not progressing in lessons because I’m just too lazy, I’m going to be maintaining what I have already learned by keeping all finished lessons gold.

By serious I mean, I am getting a Rosetta Stone subscription for Christmas. I don’t want to get myself too comfortable with Duo because in all honesty I am used to the formula it works through in each lesson.

By serious I mean, I am going to start attending Spanish classes. First I need a bit more money to do so, but I think this will really help my improve in my speaking and listening skills that apps just aren’t too flash at.

By serious I mean, I am going to convince someone who speaks Spanish to be my friend. This way I will have the best kind of real world application and hopefully will help my brain get super comfortable with the language.

I will push myself to try write some posts, or parts of them in Spanish. I’m really shy about it and I think this is another great way to help me do better.

Here’s some proof that I’ve been maintaining my Duo streak (I will keep this up every now and then to make myself accountable):

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¡Hasta la proxima vez! – Yes I Google translated that to be sure I wrote it correctly /sigh/