I want to apologize for the delay in my installments. I caught another cold immediately after I rid myself of the last, and this one put me out of commission for 2 weeks. Ohio doesn’t serve any oranges, or orange juice in their chow halls, except for their Reception Institutions, because they call themselves trying to combat the hooch (prison alcohol) proplem, so we don’t receive any Vitamin C in here, unless you purchase Vitamin C tablets from the commisary. They don’t even sell raw garlic, or ginger ale soda pops on Richland’s prison commisary. Shit, one onion cost $1.00! Unbelievable! I guess they’re on their Justin Timberlake shit, but instead of bringing “Sexy Back”, they’re trying to bring “Scurvies Back” into the population. These people hate when you make them do their jobs. If someone is caught making “pruno” (prison alcohol), the C.O. is suppose to write him a contraband ticket and the Kangaroo Court is suppose to punish him accordingly. But instead of “doing” their job, they just decided to take out all the oranges and orange juice altogether. Now you’re left with a prison full of sick prisoners. Well, moving on, let me finish my feelings on The Great Professor Rice.
Professor Rice is a WONDERFUL Human Being; She wrote a letter of recommendation, to the New York State Parole Board, on my behalf that touched me to the core. She did reveal to me that I stepped up my writing skills, but I had no idea she was paying THAT close of attention to me to know that I was helping other students. During one class, She complemented me on a paper I had just wrote and told me I should seek higher learning upon my release. So, as a jest, I asked her to write the Parole Board and tell them to let me go so she could sponser me, and the whole class erupted in laughter. It was just a joke; I had no idea she was actually going to write a letter for me, and I had no idea she viewed me in the manner that she spoke of in the missive she wrote to them. Remember, I was walking on egg shells and treading lightly in her class, because of our past history, and I didn’t want NO beef with her. I very rarely raised my hand in the class, and I was actually caught off guard when she use to ask my opinion on certain topics. Here is what she wrote, verbatim, in her letter to the Patrol Board regarding me (I kept a copy):
“Dear Parole Commissioners: I have known Jeffrey Tobias for three years. We met when he enrolled in my pre-college composition course for Hudson Link in 2014. He impressed me at that time with his diligence and intelligence. His writing improved considerably during the semester in which I first taught him. I was also impressed by his willingness to help less advanced students to excel, offering advice with both patience and kindness.
I saw him frequently during the time I spent in the classroom building during the next few years, and I was pleased to have Jeffrey in my Short Story course for Mercy College this Spring. It is a pleasure to meet students again in the classroom, and Jeffrey’s progress exceeded my expectations. His mastery of the material and sophisticated writing style prompted me to suggest that he pursue graduate studies when he returns to society. He has a fine mind that he clearly has spent time to improve.
I hope that this information will be useful to you as you deliberate on Jeffrey’s petition for parole.
Prof. Anne Rice”
For all the writing savants out there, I know I wasn’t suppose to add the quotation marks, and I was suppose to indent the right and left margins, to signify a quote past four lines/40 words, but I needed the space :-). When I received her letter, I was speachless; tears welled up in my eyes. Besides her being very knowledgeable and intelligent, now do you see why I love her?! You have so-called friends and family members that don’t/won’t even write a letter on your behalf, but yet you talk to them every day and they beat you in the head with the “I love and miss you, and I can’t wait for you to get out of there” speech. We (prisoners) were good enough for you to call on when you needed someone to defend you, but not good enough to help get out of the situation that you “hypothetically” placed us in. With friends and family like that you don’t need any enemies. I swear you can’t make this shit up. Now that I’ve finished heaping prays on my Professors, I can continue the conversation that I left off in Part III, but I’ll start fresh on Part XI, so until next time, I can be reached via JPay; go to the app store, on your Mobil Device, and search for JPay. Once located, look up Jeffrey Tobias A704109 at Richland Correctional Institution and register, or just go old school analog and write me at Jeffrey Tobias A704109, P.O.Box 8107, Mansfield, Ohio 44901. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.