So, Monday morning I got up at 0630h and rode to work with mom. I dozed off in her office, then grabbed a very inexpensive breakfast of French Toast in the cafeteria. After that we headed off to traffic court for my 1030h hearing.
On the way out, mom introduced me to “the girls” – all her Physical Therapists seem to be in their twenties, which seems weird but cool. Like college, only everyone’s a few years older, and there’s four peers as opposed to 40,000.
Anyways, we waited in traffic court, the proceedings going uninterestingly. From what I could tell, mine was a somewhat special case. Others seemed to feature mainly repeat offenders for speeding and other infractions. I was in there for a moving violation which resulted in an accident with no injuries, property damage, and no problems insurance wise. All the same, when I was called forward to the bench, the witness, Mr. Goldman, whose car I had hit, was not present, and the prosecutor said that the police officer was sick with the flu and asked for a reschedule. As the judge explained that I would have to come back in March, I interrupted, “Your honor, can I just plead guilty?” She seemed a bit surprised, but complied, issuing me a thirty dollar fine, a light penalty considering other fines were running forty to sixty with “supervision”.
My intent was, of course, to avoid the expense of traveling to and fro for such a trivial matter. Thirty dollars is less expensive than the cost of round-trip between Chicago and school, without even counting opportunity cost of missed classes and work.
After paying my fine I saw Mr. Goldman in the lobby. He had been delayed due to car troubles. Irony. He seemed disappointed or frustrated or otherwise unhappy with my guilty plea. “No, you say ‘Not guilty’ because it was just an accident and they let you off!” My understanding ran contrary to this, but I know Mr. Goldman’s testimony and that of the police officer could only have helped. This is this matter of impatience on my part. Some have suggested this gives me a criminal record or somesuch, but I figured if just going and pleading guilty was so bad the judge might have said something, especially as I hadn’t bothered to consult the legal counsel, which would have taken longer.
Ahh, the intricacies of court.
So, after that, I drove back, with mom in the car, which was very nice of her. I didn’t want to miss all the things I had scheduled, like the NASO meeting, dinner with a friend, and work from 1900h.
At the NASO meeting I volunteered to write thank-you letters for Organizations that had contributed to Pow Wow. Bill said he thought that the lack of thank-you letters was offensive, and that furthermore he hadn’t time to finish the rest.
I’m a Rhetoric major.
Of course, this was after one of the more … outspoken members launched an attack on what she felt to be a terrible lack of Native Americans in Native American Student Organization, being reflected in the President and the Treasurer-elect being non-enrolled persons. This sparked a debate that was way tangential about the meaning of enrollment, qualifications for what is a Native American, and stipulations that NASO might attach to it’s executives. She was particularly offensive in her approach, but she seemed to be the only one who felt such a way. The other enrolled Indians seemed perfectly comfortable with us white oppressor types pitching in to help the group. The president is a white guy, which is kinda cool in it’s colorfulness, while still illustrating the problem of Native Americans at the University: there just aint enough.
One of her objections were to
fake Indians or folks who claimed some Indian ancestry but weren’t enrolled. I may be 1/16th Cherokee, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m a white guy, and that’s all I’ve ever claimed to be. I thought she was just barking up the wrong tree with me. Lots of passion and justifiable resentment, but it just isn’t targeted very constructively, in my opinion.