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A Tense Situation

David White's picture

On one of our visits to the prison, things got a little tense.  It started out with the discussion moving towards raising children.  One woman was talking about how it can be hard for single mothers to raise kids and be there for everything.  Another chimed in saying that her mother worked two jobs but was still there in the morning to check her and her siblings' homework.  The conversation escalated to the point where the second woman asked the first woman (in what I thought to be an accusatory tone) "and how did your kids turn out?"  

This was a tense situation for me, and frankly I didn't really know what to say.  Thankfully our teacher stepped in and brought the conversation back to the book.  I've never been in a tense situation where I actually thought that somebody could get hurt, not because I thought these woman were viscious criminals, but just because they were raising their voices and it looked like one of them might have wanted to get up and get physical at one point.  It was intense for me, and my heart was sure pounding afterwards.   


jccohen's picture

David White,

I too was struck by the passion and intensity of this exchange.  Although the women were arguing about what they could and should be doing for their children, of course they were both in jail and unable to do these things; maybe for this reason, what seems evident to me especially in retrospect is the pain both women were likely experiencing.  I wonder whether that was part of what you were picking up that felt 'like one of them might have wanted to get up and get physical' - ?