I left my steno machine at the courthouse on Friday, knowing that if a job came up tomorrow, I would "have to" turn it down. Sneaky, huh? The past week has been an incredible experience, but very challenging. As the only realtime writer in this area, I'm so thankful for this opportunity to get my name out there, but I nearly passed out on Monday morning when the court administrator said "all rise" as Judge Birnbaum entered the room. My hands were so sweaty I could hardly keep them on their respective keys. It took a good half-hour, I suppose, before my heart rate returned to a healthy speed and I fell into a good rhythm as the parties gave their opening statements.
It has been satisfying to have the attorneys refer to their computer screen over and over again to see what the witness just said, knowing that my fingers were flying at 225-plus words per minute and my software was translating that into English and sending it through a wireless connection to their computer in just seconds; and to see the judge relying on his screen before he makes his ruling when an objection is made; and to be able to intervene and offer assistance when one of the parties is experiencing technical troubles; and to be able to provide (with lots of help from my scopist, a/k/a my sister Polly) same-day transcripts of the trial proceedings, which the parties often use in court the next day. But my bed has never felt so soft and my eyes have never shut so quickly after crawling between the sheets at night.
After five long days in the courtroom, a three-day weekend was just what the doctor ordered. Yesterday afternoon Winn and I got into cleaning-frenzy mode and cleared the week's worth of grime from our neglected and tousled house, and then had a relaxing dinner with some friends (we'll definitely have to do that again, Tim and Cindy!). I managed to stay awake during this morning's sermon and then came home and turned in my homework assignments and a paper by today's deadline.
What am I planning for tomorrow, you ask? Sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. And then perhaps I will drink an entire pot of coffee over the course of the day, never leaving my flannel pants and sweatshirt and slippers. I might venture outside to get the mail, or the eggs. But I will hurry back in, because I will have left a good book on the coffee table or an intriguing article online or a fun project at my sewing table. And then I'll be ready to head back to Courtroom No. 7 on Tuesday.
Thank you, MLK.