May 30, Friday

I think it was on Monday that my brother, I, and our mother went to watch Indiana Jones.  It was nice being out together.  The movie was fun.  It was on a different level from the others in the series… but at least the premise is as credible as any of the others.  Yes, there are people in the world who find it significant that ancient glyphic pyramid-building cultures had cross-contact; and there are people without a terracentric haughtiness prohibiting them from the contemplation that this universe is more of a vast garden than an empty desert.  But the plot still was a little predictable.
 
Court was yesterday.  I was in the courtroom of Jeanne Robison, a brilliant and articulate judge I think I could easily fall in love with, despite our differences.  We were told that this appearance was secondary to our arraigments wherein we had pled "not guilty", which privilege I guess I wasn’t afforded, since this was my first day in court…  I was maybe the third or fourth to meet the prosecutor outside.  I’d decided that if he was reasonable, I would co-operate, but if not, I would have to try the strength of my case.  He was a young man, and his demeanor became very soft outside, explaining sympathetically that construction zones were being targeted with strict penalties; in this case, a 432-dollar fine.  He said that there had been a note made (it must’ve been by that hearing officer I’ve talked with) that I had been concerned about not being able to pay, and that I had wondered about serving off the fine amount.  He asked if I would be willing to pay 232 and do 20 hours of service at ten dollars per hour.
 
…Well, I consider that my work is free anyway ’cause I was previously such a time-waster; and if the ticket had been 232 from the start, I would have paid it immediately with no thought of argument.  I could no longer consider such an amount burdensome, and I quickly accepted the prosecutor’s offer.
 
I signed some papers at the defendant desk inside while another one or two spoke with the judge, and then I was called up to the lectern where I took responsibility for the charge.  The judge was noticeably direct with her questions; I felt that she was treating me very courteously.  She sentenced me according to the prosecutor’s allowance, and explained that the court had a list of places I might want to consider doing service with.  She gave me 150 days to complete the work and pay the money (much longer than the 60 or 90 days given to the others I heard), granting that I could pay at any time within that period (rather than directing that monthly payments be made, as with others) and asking if that would be long enough.  I went forward to the clerk, signed another paper, and got that list…
 
It was a very pleasant experience.  I wondered if it had anything to do with me wearing my "public service" crossing guard uniform.
 
Looking at that list, I saw a couple of medical options: some AIDS treatment center (which required a minimum of 40 hours of service), and the Veterans’ Affairs Hospital up by the University.  I chose the hospital.  On my way there, I started thinking that maybe I could exceed 20 hours and count the excess on my future medical school application…  A lady at "Volunteer Services" at the hospital had me fill out a form and said they would call me, or I could call them.
 
Well, for BYU… I think I’m going to just have to drive down there on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so I’ll be able to get back by 11.  I couldn’t find any way to rearrange my schedule.  It may be expensive.
 
I also talked with my employer yesterday, Paula at the Traffic Division office.  She asked if I wanted any other assignment.  I finally decided that my present location was optimal for my next semester of study.  I told her I couldn’t work the first couple weeks of August.
 
There are four more days of that job.
 
-Steve
 
[Edit:
 
I found out at work tonight that the boss’ kids would be coming back on June tenth, about.  I guess the ninth will be my last day at Hunan.
 
I went to clean tonight…
 
Let’s see…  I spent part of the day at school.  I finished my Federal student financial aid application online.  I saw that my application to BYU has now been completed.  I asked about class repeats; the staffer Tamara told me that both this school and BYU counted the final class’ grade.  I calculated some costs…  It should cost about 4500 to finish out this year’s studies, along with associated costs.
 
I stopped by my mom’s office before going to Hunan, and her comments made me think again about whether I even needed to take my conflicting 11:00 class at LDSBC.  I think the gas expense will be between two and three hundred, doubling the cost of the class.
 
At the end of my delivery work, I started thinking that I really had a beautiful life…  I’ve had so many chances to help people.  In fact, I have everything I could ever hope for — a faithful knowledge of God’s goodness that transcends life and death.  And after that, everything else is just perspective, and preparation.  It’s God’s Spirit that gives joy — not that fleeting surge of emotion that even the wicked call their "happiness", but the joy of looking back on a lifetime full of growth and rightdoing.  Alone, we fail; but that Spirit gives us strength to work, and then rewards us for the work.  And that Spirit is grieved only by impurity and ingratitude.  True happiness is within the reach of all…
 
…Even me… who thought I had lost everything.  If my losses have gained me a right heart, then I’ve already gained the whole world.
 
The Gospel of Jesus is true, by all that I know.  May we all seek it, the foolishness of man’s wisdom, and thus surpass man’s wisdom.
 
The Church of Jesus Christ is true.  Jesus has many friends and many fans, but one Church: www.lds.org
 
-Steve]
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