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Field-based Prison Reflection

The Unknown's picture

            “Ask me about my experience here,” Georgina responding to our weekly icebreaker questions. I was surprised at how often womyn spoke about such complex and personal issues. I felt so uncomfortable. Why was I there? I should not have the “white-savior complex” yet I have means and almost all of these womyn’s rights have been stripped away. I couldn't help but wonder about the stressful and dangerous atmosphere of prison. What violence was inflicted upone these womyn?

            How could we just talk when Caroline just told me a story about when she was “in-between” homes. How is it fair that all of her rights and sense of security is stripped away even if she “committed a crime?”

There but for Fortune: Reflection on Prison Experience

Shirah Kraus's picture

A vivid experience:

On the last Thursday, the guards were especially thorough as we made our way through metal detectors and pat downs. They paused at one student and asked if she was wearing a bra.

"No," she answered uncomfortably.

"Can you put one on?"

"I don't have one."

"We have rules here. You all have been here before, right? …. Even though they [the inmates] are females, they are still predators."


final prison reflection

rb.richx's picture

there are several moments in the prison engrained into my mind. these memories, while having come from just this semester, don’t feel fresh; the stagnancy that overwhelmed me upon walking into the lobby – and to the classroom and back – each thursday made sure that every moment felt like a vague memory even as i experienced it.

some of the moments were better than others. my initial reaction to the prompt of this paper – “begin with a 1-p. description of one important (vivid, definitive, symbolic?) experience that really stood out to you during our time there” – was to focus on a moment that was one of the more positive ones. the time spent with the incarcerated folks was not bad for me in and of itself, i don’t think, and so i thought i would represent that.

A Final Prison Summary

Butterfly Wings's picture

There is an electricity in the room- a vibrant hum carrying through the giggles and big smiles of the whole room. After each group reads their revisionary thoughts to the rest, there is raucous applause. Everything from big changes to small ones is exciting. All, though, geared towards saving Antigone’s life, sometimes at the cost of Ismene’s if necessary. She is the criminal, but hers is the loss honor most protests. My group is the only one to act out the altered scenes; our changes are an enormous amalgamation of four people’s revisions, and still no one dies.

Prison reflection

saturday's picture

I was struck in my final conference by a kind of “revelation” I had about my experience planning for prison with regard to how I learn. I’ve encountered many pedagogies and pedagogical strategies that clash with me, for various reasons, which has caused a lot of frustration in my academic life. This seems to translate into my lesson planning, as I try to give activities the balance of structure and flexibility that I personally find helpful to me, in the hopes that it will be accessible to as many learners as possible (while realizing that any choice will exclude someone). I find that I thrive within certain types of structures, that too much uncertainty and choice is frightening and inhibiting.

Final Prison Reflection

smalina's picture

Unpacking the Educator/Therapist Dichotomy 

In thinking about my time in the prison this semester—whether through reflections like these or when asked about the experience by friends—I constantly return to this memory. I wrote this post on November 14th, in response to what happened in book group that Friday:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  

Book group yesterday felt discombobulating, frustrating, and important. I found myself torn between my frustration that we weren't completing the lesson plan as effectively as we had hoped, and my strong desire to give the emotions in the room the space they deserved.