My Name is … JUROR # 10 Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post…

What I thought about this experience:

I enjoyed it. It was definitely an experience.

Sidebars are used to approach the judge in a semi-private fashion where only the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the judge, and court reporter are the audience.

The council makes up the defense party and the prosecuting party.

Raise your hand if you need to use the bathroom, its ok.

Possible objections: hearsay, vague, relevance, leading, argumentative, offer of proof..

Rulings: sustained, overruled, stricken.


A few funnies in the court room:

There were three instances where I remember laughing wanting to laugh.

#1. The defense witness was being cross-examined by his defense attorney…the witness turns to the judge turns back to the attorney…leans into the mic… bathroom break. I’ll be right back.

#2.  Another defense witness… (honestly, i wanted to laugh the whole time he was up there. This guy was a complete joke.) Anyway, the District Attorney was asking very simple questions and the defense witness could not give a straight-forward answer. For example, Question:  is said defendant a lieutenant? Answer: No, he’s actually an Animal Control Officer 2, just like me but he acts like a lieutenant. They didn’t give him the exact title because there isn’t enough funds to pay him on a lieutenant salary. Melanie: I want to LAUGH out LOUD!

#3 Closing arguments . . . the District Attorney was able to give his closing arguments first. Then the Defense Attorney provided his. The District Attorney then gave his final push to the jury. Among that final push…he brought out a picture of a red herring. He called many of the Defense Attorney’s “reasons/excuses” red herrings. Somehow, I saw that coming…and was thoroughly amused that I was right. I was also entertained that he even provided a picture…of a red herring. I think I chuckled…aloud. Maybe even smiled at the District Attorney…oh how I would miss him.

If any of you want to know what my case is about let me know. I can divulge although I have some type of fear that the DA might google about this specific case he was on so I don’t want to provide any names and specifics. I may have a password protected post about it instead. 🙂

My Experience with Student Loans

I paid off another student loan! One more to go. Let me share a few things I’ve learned, maybe it will help you.

Read your statement. I got my loans through Sallie Mae. It has all the information about your loan, interest rates, monthly payments, automatic withdrawal, etc. Read it! Find out how many loans you have, what are the interest rates on each, when are the due dates, etc.

Research. Find out if you can consolidate your loans-I had 3 different loans and all three had different amounts and different interest rates. There are requirements for lowering interest rates or consolidating your loans. Find out if you qualify!

Do the math. Sallie Mae conveniently worked out a payment plan to my demise. If I had paid less than $100 every month for the next 10 years, my three loans would have been paid off. Of course, they didn’t mention how much in interest I would be paying. If I tripled the amount every month for each loan I would have paid off the loan in 3 years with more of my payments being applied to the principal rather than the interest.

Pay extra. It doesn’t hurt to go on spending fasts every now and then to apply the money “saved” to your loan. You’ll feel better about yourself.

Pay attention. If you’re planning to pay extra I strongly advise you to pay 2-3 days right after you paid your monthly payment. In that way, the extra payment will be applied directly to your principal. Pay attention. Check your loans several times a month to monitor when the interest kicks in and starts accruing.

What’s your interest rate. I had three different loans. I had three different interest rates. Two were fixed rates and one was a variable rate. Read about the variable rate. What causes it to fluctuate, how to steer away from fluctuating rates, etc. Always pay off the highest interest rate first.

Use your savings. I don’t make that much money. My yield on my savings account does not exceed  my interest rate on my student loans. If you’re able to pay off a good bit of your loan with your savings DO IT! Chances are you don’t have a savings account yielding 5-6% to cover for the interest accruing on your student loan.

Make extra payments. It doesn’t hurt to make extra payments. That kicks back your due date for your monthly payments. It doesn’t mean if you made two payments in November you don’t need to pay in December. Pay in December! Only use up that extra month if you’re in an unforseen financial bind.

I enrolled in automatic withdrawal for each loan. I specifically made extra payments to the loan with the highest interest rate. I went on spending fasts-no eating out, no clothes, no buying anything-all that extra money went to the loan with the highest interest rate.

If you have any further questions-ask away. I hope I can help and hopefully these tips will work for you!

Just signed my life away for a month…

At least I hope I can commit to no life for a month. We’ll see how that goes.

What did I do? I just registered to take the REG part of my CPA exam. July 27th at 1:00pm. It’s like divine appointment cannot miss.

I’m halfway through the course. Lord willing, next week I’ll be finishing REG 4.

My goals:

  • Mon-Wed nights
  • 2 hours of lecture
  • read through chapter went over that day
  • gather flashcards pertaining to subject
  • do 10 questions each night from 4 modules= 40 questions
  • Saturday
  • If need be, repeat lectures ( approx 4 hr sections)
  • Do each regulation’s simulation (1 hr)
  • Look over items I’m struggling with
  • Finish one whole module (pages vary from 2-10)
  • Do simulations/software questions
  • Throughout the week, carry flashcards EVERYWHERE I GO.

Want to help me out?

  1. Ask me at the end of each week how many hours I’ve been studying.
  2. If you see me around ask me for my flashcards and quiz me
  3. Let’s go to Panera, Library, or B & N for studying.
    • I mean it when I say studying

I have influence…

Thursday Night Class

I teach a 4-5’s class for a month-rotating with two other teachers. These kids provide many laughs and definitely contribute to teaching me patience.

Sometimes, I wonder what difference I make if I teach this class. Oh yes, some other over-burdened church member has one less thing to do and the parents don’t have to worry about their child not behaving in the “big church”.

Sometimes I wonder if what I do really makes a difference in these kids lives. It’s definitely beneficial for me to use what abilities I have to man a small classroom of monkeys children, putting into practice what I learned in Child Psychology & Intro. to Ed.

I’m 21 years old and I can remember church memories from 15 years ago-coming to church, singing the songs, laughing with other kids, liking my teachers. I distinctly remember a young girl befriending me. I  remember some of my Sunday School teachers’ names.

They all had influence-big or small. Influence is influence.

As I teach my class, I try to see souls and not kids (out of control or not). Why? Because I have influence-big or small, I have influence.