Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My First Court Appearance

to preface: i realize i am blogging with an unusual frequency. this is because i find myself constantly stressed out about something and am trying to wean myself off the habit of calling my mother and up whining at her about it. aren't you lucky!

anyway, for those of you unaware of my current status as Renegade of the Law, i'll recap a little: in march, i attempted to take the a train uptown for an arts festival meeting scheduled on a friday, when there are no shuttles, because:
a) who needs to go uptown during the day? ever?
b) what members of the arts festival don't already live uptown?

at the time, i had been warned away from the a train with increasing intensity. 'it's not safe!' they told me. 'don't go!'

well. as i believe bob hope once put it, you think salman rushdie got into trouble.

i had no fears for my safety, as many bored police officers were lounging about penn station with guns that could easily take out a helicopter. however, this proved to be my undoing. at one point i accidentally took a few steps outside of a gate. i immediately turned around and went back in, thus granting some relieved officer his ticket quotient of the day. he charged me 60 dollars for illegal entry. i promptly cried. he saw this as unnecessary. after all, he was just making his ticket quotient; there was no need to get personal.

i called my mom.

'what should i do?' i said.

she said: 'don't pay it.'

this made me uneasy, if only because i have plenty of experience with unpaid fines, mostly from libraries, and they generally employed SWAT teams. and that was in milwaukee. i am a generally law-abiding citizen. still, i fear my mother more than the law, and i didn't pay the ticket.

i called the transit authority, who told me they would print me out metro card reports, and that i should wait for them. they neglected to tell me that
a) i would never receive these reports, even on repeated requests
b) they would charge me late fees for not paying the original ticket all the merry while.

and so it finally culminated in this, judgement day: My Hearing.

first of all, it involved me going to brooklyn, a place which i had hoped to avoid for as long as possible. second, i had to be there by eight in the morning - again, unfun. i am blessed with a very sweet and extremely chabad roommate who offered to escort me and then get breakfast in crown heights. this was very nice.

after i located the building (right next to conway's!) and went up, i was surprised by how much it resembled the milwaukee dmv. you stand in line for a long time, then you sit for even longer. i found myself, horrifically, engaging in ethnic studies: those people are japanese. THOSE people look more taiwanese. THOSE people look like they're from queens. etc.

eventually i got my hearing, with a very nice, extremely fast-talking lady. clearly this woman has been repeating the same words for entire decades. she talked into a tape-recorder; maybe the transcriptionists listen to them on half-speed.

anyway, at first she just offered me a plea bargain: pay the original sixty, and you can go. otherwise you have to come BACK when you get your metro reports.

i pointed out that by that time we would all probably be living on mars. of course, mars is still slightly closer than wisconsin, which was the magic word.

'you're from WISCONSIN?' she gaped. 'and you're SEVENTEEN? and you FLEW OUT here just for THIS?'

this is the point at which i became a true renegade of the law. i just smiled blankly at her.

she looked at the ticket again, then looked at me.

'that seems rather stupid,' she said.

i told her what happened, she rolled her eyes, looked at the ticket again, and then said: 'oh look, they forgot to fill out the location box. case dismissed.'

it was almost too easy.

of course, we would never want life to be too easy, but i was exhausted all the same. i'm a free woman! i thought on the train back to stern, where i had class in ten minutes. they may have revoked my warrant for arrest!


Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

Perel, drop the class. The overeducated idiot who is your instructor has taken a scunner to you and will never, ever be satisfied with anything you turn in. I would like you to schedule an appointment with the head of the Bible department (or maybe the head of Judaic Studies, is it still Rabbi Kanarfogel?)AFTER you drop the class to discuss this teacher's elitist attitude and frankly abusive language. Her "brillance" is no excuse for denigrating you. If you do stay with this course, take it pass/fail. Better yet,if it really interests you that much, audit it. She won't have to read your work and won't get another chance to air her anti-Bais Yaakov snobberries.

PS. Tzipporah can get you a frog to put in her purse if you want one.

2:07 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

1. Mmmm...snob-berries...

2. i fear my mother more than the law

LOL. I feel the same way about your mother. She could kick BOTH our butts with one hand tied behind her back.

3. I kinda agree with Laya, this woman has a attitude. On the other hand, you're very smart and you're interested in the material. I guess the question is, are you willing to take a hit in your GPA to stick with the class, possibly prove her wrong and impress her at the same time, or find some other way to fill your time.

I know what your mother would do.

Me, I'd probably go with the frog option.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said...

Ick. Bad teacher. You're right, it's only the beginning of the semester and she should not be making full-blown judgements about your capabilities.

And the A train is not dangerous at all. It may be a little sketchy in the middle of the night, but that's about it.

4:27 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

4. You should have told her that you were late quiz because you just got back from your trial.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Chaikers said...

That class is off my list...!

6:24 PM  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

The teacher does sound pretty arrogant... but I think you should stick in the class. It seems like she was trying to make it sound worse than it probably is just to scare you. Don't give up, stick with it, work hard, and it's going to be all right. I've had teachers like that, who, in addition to teaching challenging classes, tried to make their students feel incapable and inferior. Well, there's no class hard work can't overcome, and you sound quite capable! Good luck!

6:47 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I like the post but I think you should delete stuff regarding classes, teachers, and specific names because a student at Dental School at Marquette got thrown out for what he wrote on his blog, and he didn't have any names either and it's not worth a trip to the US Supreme court.

So either edit the post to NY Transit and drop the other stuff. You see how your comments are going... so that's how it goes.

Also, never dare me to do anything. That's how my husband got me to finally see Israel.

And lastly, am I glad this professor lives in NY and I don't know her.

Love, Mommy

7:33 PM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

Hmmm... Why is Mrs B using PT's sign-in? That's odd.

Is it too late to do what I did? I went to a state university with something like 30 thousand undergrads. I majored in engineering. My classes had hundreds of students. My teachers had absolutely no idea who I was, whether or not I attended, how prepared I was compared to other students, and how much time I would need to put into my homework. I kicked ass.

Of course, I never took a class in Navi. Is that like thermodynamics?

10:26 PM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

PS: I made my point poorly. My point is that you are smart enough that you owe it to yourself to succeed phenomenally. Decide whether you want to do so with or without this stick-in-the-mud teacher.

10:31 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

BTW that was not me up above encouraging you to censor the blog. For the record, I think Marquette was absolutely wrong in what they did.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Yesterday's version of this post:

"Pride and Prejudice"

Today's version of this post:

"The Case of the Disappearing 'Diss'"

My resident Punster CPA and Accounting Prof wanted to know why, if the professor was allegedly so concerned, she didn't offer to help you or recommend a different course. Part of my husband's job is being available to assist students. Doesn't YU pay its faculty enough to have similar expectations?

Could you take this course with any other prof? If so, you might want to consider dropping it, to preserve your GPA, and taking it later. Otherwise, be prepared to work your duff off, and just do it. As you were saying, you took the course in the first place because you know enough to think that you don't know enough. Isn't being challenged and learning what you don't already know the whole point of going to college?

5:45 PM  
Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

Being challenged is one thing, being walked on is another. If and when you get that meeting with an administrator, say that you are there to make a suggestion. Suggest that this course be listed in the catalog of having a prerequisite of "2 or more years at Michlala, Drisha, or the equivalent." Then you can tell your story.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Indeed, Aunt Tuesday, no student should have to put up with being treated disrespectfully simply because the entrance requirements for a course were not made clear.

Out of curiosity, I checked the Stern College course catalog online, and I noticed something quite interesting--*none* of the Bible courses have prerequisites! They're simply listed as being for beginner, lower-intermediate, upper-intermediate, or advanced students. Some don't have even that description. Fudge, here's a question for the administration: Are you students supposed to figure out *for yourselves* whether you're sufficiently prepared to take a course or not?

7:04 PM  
Blogger 30cal said...

this isn't even funny. it's just... wierd. can she really do that with tickets? well anyways, thank God.

7:52 AM  

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