As much as I wanted to blog regularly, life got pretty busy during the past few months and I neglected this aspect of it. Fortunately, something amazing happened during my silence/absence, something that I feel inclined to write about and share with anyone willing to listen/read.
I have been taking a 3 hour literature course every Monday evening with 10 other prisoners, a college professor, and 10 regular college students who come in to participate in the class. The professor is very demanding, but not in an unpleasant way. In fact, she challenges each of us to dig deeper intellectually, and for that I am grateful.
The inside students consisted of 9 long-term offenders and 1 short-timer. Although we were all familiar with eachother to some degree or another, that familiarity ended at facial recognition for most of us. After being in a class where each of us had to express and occasionally defend our thoughts on various concepts covered in the assigned weekly readings, we learned a lot about one another and a little more about ourselves.
The outside students consisted of 3 young men and 7 young women, all of whom were impressively intelligent and amazingly compassionate. Together, the 21 of us embarked on a unique journey that will warm my heart for the remainder of my life. Truth be told, saying “Goodbye” to the outside students was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, and believed me when I tell you I’ve had to do some difficult stuff during my time here on this earth 🙂 .
Yanno is a young guy from the Phillipines who won “Best Dressed” for our class, hands-down. He came across as being gay, but in a conservative respectful way, not the exaggerated over-the-top intrusive way that is all too common inside the prison system. He was quiet, but comfortable enough to open up when called upon, and his calm presence was refreshing.
Jackson is a typical white guy appearance-wise, but after speaking with him I discovered an authenticity that’s rare in this day and age. He is kind and thoughtful in a way that actually validates his manhood. I enjoyed our brief interactions and I can visualize him going on to accomplish great things.
Sam is similar to Jackson, but a lot more down-to-earth. Actually, Sam was the most laid back person in the room, but when placed on the spot, he was able to exhibit a “take charge” attitude that continuously garnered my respect and admiration. His “no nonsense” approach to difficult situations damn near guarantees that he’ll overcome whatever obstacles spring up between him and the accomplishment of his goals.
To find out about the young women in the class, read Part Two of this blog…
Categories: Vincent Evans