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Reflections on Reading & Discussion

The Flame

jane doe's picture

Thank you. 


Ice cream.










Fire. Orange. Yellow-tinted. Hot. 




Breath from them. 


Breath from me.


Breath from A, Breath from D, Breath from Au.


Can we keep it going?


I want to burn this shit to the ground.

Some dark and light...

S...'s picture

I've been pretty despondent about academia and Bryn Mawr lately. I'm so disappointed in the handling of race at this college. In thinking about the social literacy I hope to gain from my college experience, and the kind of community I wanted to join, I settled on Bryn Mawr as my university of choice. I came here because I thought it would be a place that was a bit better at dealing with systemic oppression than most colleges. It's an institution, and those are always problematic. However, I hoped bryn mawr would be a place that does better.

Reflection 4/16

Ang's picture

Oops! Forgot to post yesterday, sorry. I even had something really exciting and interesting I had planned to write about...

This weekend I went to the Eastern State Penitentiary because my best friend was visiting and is really interested in anything that has a history or reputation of being haunted. Until this weekend, the only time I'd been at Eastern State was for their annual Halloween Haunted House.

Notes from Thursday Panel

jane doe's picture

On Thursday a social worker from the women's facility came to talk to us and answer questions. For those that couldn't make the class, I will share some of my notes. These are unedited, but I will try to provide some clarification for those who aren't me. Keep in mind this isn't nearly all of what we discussed though. 

Social Work with the main focus of 

  • referrals - connecting the inside out 
  • connection with children 

literacy is one of the number one issues- shame, depression, anger, isolation, manipulation 

only 12 seats in "basic" instruction 

hamster wheel (cycle)

The Prison to Prison Pipeline Skit

jane doe's picture

Last week, I decided to create a mock lesson plan scene surrounding the Elaine Bartlett story. I picked a scene from the book on her life that I thought was really salient and did it in the style of the workshops that I have been doing in a middle school. The students already have a prior understanding of what structural violence is and how the school structure leads to the funneling of Black youth into the prison system, but have not discussed how the prison structure acts as a magnet to suck those who try to leave back into it.  This scene is meant to be somewhere in the middle of a larger skit. 


Scene X

week 8

amanda.simone's picture

The readings this past week are making me think about how activism is valued in problematic ways. Gonnerman paints a story for us about how Elaine Bartlett was empowered by the activist work she did to fight the Rockefeller laws. Although other things in her life were not going as she hoped, she had her activism as a source of stability and strength, and began to see herself as an activist. We also read about formerly incarcerated students and activists at Berkeley. One thing I really liked about these texts was that they showed people who were affected by incarceration working against the system and helping others, unlike many of the "white savior" and "white lady bountiful" type figures we previously encountered.

reflections on reflections

amanda.simone's picture

Today in class someone brought up goal setting, asking, Who sets the goals? Who should set the goals?

One goal I set for myself today is to come to each class for the remainder of the semester with a main question, concern, praise, or note about each reading. I think this will give me more purpose during reading and in discussion. Hopefully, I wont have to search for something to say and to be so anxious about the pauses in conversation. And if what we end up talking about in class is not really connected to what I focused on that's okay. But I think reading with a slightly more of a purpose in mind might help me to bridge the gap between my thoughts while reading outside of class and our dialogue inside the classroom.

Reflection 3/2

Ang's picture

I'm not really sure what to write about tonight. It feels like anything I can talk about I've already addressed or shared with the group today during class. I'm glad we had that midsemester discussion/check in, and I don't think I've ever experienced a teacher or professor doing what we did today. While we talked a lot about what aspects of the class could be changed or improved upon, I hope it didn't come across as unhappiness with the course. Personally, at least, I've really enjoyed this course so far, with the understanding that it isn't perfect and can still be improved, but it's been a very different learning experience than anything I've ever been in before and I'm appreciative of that. 

A Plea for what?

jane doe's picture

Renata accepts a plea. Venice accepts a plea.

Something rattles within me at those words. This is supposed to be good. Look at their smiling faces. Watch as she puts on clothes starkly different from her prison uniform. Take it in. Why aren’t you happy?

She accepted the plea. Her case was not dismissed. There was no justice for her.

That word plea picks at me. 

I recall the workshop this week.

Scene 4: The Prison - Being tried as an adult (Lawyer)


outlaw orthography

amanda.simone's picture

In the chapter we read this week, Meiners, referencing Audre Lorde and Alison Jaggar's work on outlaw emotions, wrote:

I also heed Lorde's warning that any display of anger will always be used against those that are marginalized. As Lorde writes, evocatively, in her essay, Uses of Anger: Everything can be used I except what is wasteful / (you will need/to remember this when you are accused of destruction). (Lorde, 1984, 127)