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Just sayin'

I noticed today at the end of class that those people who said that we were doing well with silence and respect in our discussion were also the ones who were spoke quite often. I, for one, would have appreciated more gaps, as per Jo's request. 

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Would positive change still happen if lifers weren't in for life?

In this week's reading, I was particularly interested in James Taylor's account in Doing Life. In his interview, Taylor expresses his desire for the Parole bill to be passed, which would allow people (presumably lifers) to be judged on a case-by-case basis for release. Taylor says that the bill would "do much to raise the hope level, the desire for betterment, reaching for the future with some hope." While I agree that such a program would encourage inmates to be on their best behavior, I can't help but think that so many of the interviewees attributed the turnarounds they've made to the fact that they were lifers. If that no longer the case, would these people who understood the need to be positive and active as a way to survive the inevitable fact that they would die in prison, still have the same mindset. So then, might such a bill encourage "good behavior" just to get to the light at the end of the tunnel, rather than encouraging true self-growth and betterment? Because Zehr's book revolves solely around lifers, I'm just honestly not sure if these significant turnarounds have been noted in non-lifers. As one of the interviewees said, it's hard to fake remorse. I feel like a program like this may encourage those who really haven't made strides to attempt to fake progress. I do, despite all that I've argued, believe that some people really do change and deserve to be recognized for that. I just have a hard time understanding the possible repercussions of such action. 

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Who has Reading is my Window?

Hi all! I'm wondering who has Reading is my Window and when I cane come get it from you. [: 


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Your voice is what betrays you

Here is the video I made to act as my webpaper. Enjoy! 

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What do murderers look like, anyway?

I am particularly thankful for Zehr's decision to photograph the men and women in street clothes for their representation in Doing Life. The first thought I had upon cracking open the book was "Wow, these people sure don't look like prisoners." In fact, I actually had to flip back to the introduction to verify that I was indeed looking at people who would spend the rest of their lives behind bars. On one hand, I think that the choice to take these people out of their prison attire was one that influenced my inability to connect them with the institution. More so, however, this book reminded me that, "lifers" or not, these people ARE JUST PEOPLE. People who had jobs, families and aspirations. People I could have stood next to in the grocery store checkout line. Whoa. It is disappointing to me that despite this mini-epiphany, I still feel a burning desire to know why these people did what they did to land themselves in this situation. I see this as my minds attempt to understand what separates them from me. But of course, not having access to this information, separation is impossible. I wonder, know, how I will react to being with the women at the Cannery tomorrow. Will they look any less "normal" to me because they'll be wearing the prison uniform? Will I be able to more easily erect that wall of separation that I seem to subconsciously strive for because of this? I think also that there is something to be said about Zehr's use of black and white photography. I've always thought that a lack of color in photography serves to soften edges, blur the lines.

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Paper 2

Teaching through Experience: Painting a Positive Picture of the Relationship between Prisons and Schools

Before beginning, I would like to note that this is the photo that I posted for our Vision memo, rather than the Voice class assignment. Additionally, while this is not the picture I originally chose (which had to be taken down to due copyright issues) this royalty-free photo is very similar, and evokes the same feeling of hopefulness for me. I developed the deeper understanding that I now have of the relationship between schools and prisons by witnessing how my classmates (and myself, initially) associated the two institutions through images on Serendip. This illuminates why I have chosen the picture I posted at a later time, for a separate Vision assignment, by reflecting my being able to take time to synthesize our collection of visual representations as a whole and understand them as a genre in addition to on an individual basis. This deeper understanding then came to inform the claim that I will make about our widely negative interpretation of the relationship between schools and prisons.

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Today, I sat in on an interview in Admissions and I think I may just have solidified a prospective transfer student's choice of Bryn Mawr by gushing about our 360 and how awesome it is. She told me after that our 360 sounded exactly like what she was looking for. Just thought I'd share. Wheee!

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“Silence has the rusty taste of shame.”

If you all haven't seen this story yet, definitely take a look. I can't even comprehend the amout of bravery it takes to break the silence like she did. 

Here's a link to the reprint of the story since Amherst's site seems to be down. 

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Not your typical prison image...

...but that's what having a Vision is all about, right? 
Image from:

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Burke: Voice Paper 1

Lost in Translation: The Loss of Voice through an Intermediary

 As we continue to move deeper into the course of this 360 program, it has become clear to me that subjects I once thought simple are, in reality, exceeding complex. One of the most notable is the word that remains in the title of our class and the core of our discussion: voice. Exploring these complexities and recalling the many different types of voice we’ve studied, I’ve determined that, like language, there are different dialects in voice. Each person’s or groups voice differs based upon factors such as age class and culture. And, just like language, not everybody can understand each other’s voice. With this in mind, I arrived at a complicated question: does voice lose its power when it can’t be universally understood? The texts and programs that I will be examining in this paper explore the attempt to bridge this understanding gap through the use of “translation”. This translation then serves to make each group’s voice accessible to the others. Problematically however, during this process of translation, the original integrity of the expressed voice can potentially be lost, or altered beyond recognition. 

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