Friday, October 9, 2009

Five Things I Learned In Prison ...

It's time once more for

This evening I was the guest lecturer at a class on public speaking - in prison. It was part of a college curriculum for selected inmates under a program developed and funded by a now deceased local benefactor who believed strongly in the power of education to change the course of the convicts future life. I started with a 45 minute explanation of the current water situation with a Q&A session as an example of a typical speech. Then I talked about how I had gone from being absolutely scared of public speaking in my teens to the current state of being able to talk to any group any time without qualm. All in all a lively class with bright and inquisitive students. And like any class room experience, the teacher often learns a lot as well. Thus I bring you

Five Things I Learned In Prison Tonight

  • The rabbits are going wild. I must have seen 20 rabbits running across the exercise yard on the way to the education annex. In the snow and rain and freezing temperatures no less.
  • Never forget to tell the invisible guard you are clear of the door he has remotely unlocked for you. He might threaten to leave you there permanently.
  • Students are really avid for these classes. When the cell block gets the call for the education program, the student-inmates literally run to make sure they miss no part of the class.
  • Walking back across the exercise yard after dark during the last exercise period makes one feel very alone - even though a stream of higher security inmates and their guards are scattered around the area.
  • The questions and concerns of the inmates differ little from the community as a whole, especially on the water issue.


  1. Further proof that we are all pretty much the same.

  2. When I read your title on my dashboard I was thinking...hmmm. He's been in prison and he's the mayor? Why does this sound so just-about-right?

    Glad you were just teaching a class! Sounds like they were better behaved then my 10th graders yesterday.

  3. It's nice to know the inmates were excited to go to class. Most students aren't.

    I noticed you mentioned's snowing there? You have the oddest weather.

  4. I'm sure they were excited to go to class for a change of pace!! I know a man that does trade training at prisons and he loves it. Glad you went to speak to them! least they are still getting some in prison!! lol

  5. Thanks for a little glimpse inside a prison. Unfortunately, I know a couple foolish kids in prison. I know they benefited from people coming to teach them things. Thanks!

  6. It's good to hear that the inmates are excited to learn. They are a "captive" audience :) I couldn't resist. It's wonderful that you went to share a positive moment with them. I know they probably appreciated it.


You know you want to ... so just do it!!!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin