Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'll Fly Away

I just finished reading this book and would like to share it with others. It is a really interseting insight to what prison life is like and about the people who might even call it home. The women of this book share their stories of past and present. One of the writers, Barbra Parsons, came to discuss her journey through life with our class. Barbra has actually won a writers award, PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award. Her thoughts on prison where very interesting compared to some of the others that I had heard of.
When I was in high school, on a school field trip we toured Garner Correctional Institute in Newton. I had already formed in my head that prison was just a scary place with loud and out of control people. We toured the area where superivised visits take place, some of the cells, and one section we couldn't go in because there was an outburst by one of the inmates. This is a level four prison, which means that there is tight security. As you walk through one setion the door will lock behind you and then you have to wait to be buzzed into the next section of doors. It is a very lengthy process, but neccessary. They do focus a lot on the mental health programs for patients. At the very end of the tour we went into a meeting room and were told to sit with our hands on our knees, sit up straight, and dont look anyone in the eye. They then brought in several inmates who were going to discuss life inside these walls. One of the inmates was sitting next to me and I couldnt help but to shake a bit. It was strange to be sitting next to someone who was serving a 65 year sentence. One thing that I thought was odd was their motto, "If I knew then what I know now." I think thats kind of silly. I just dont think that it makes too much sense. It's almost as if they didnt know that if they robbed somewhere they wouldn't go to prison. I mean, hello?? If you do the crime you will do the time. Thats just my opinion. This prison changed my views on a lot of different things and I most certainly dont every want to go back there.
Another one of my great adventures was to the Federal Correctional Istitute in Danbury. This prison houses only females and it is without a doubt 100% different from Garner. As we were touring the general population's walkways they all went about as if we didnt exist. In the other prison the people were running to there cell windows to see what was going on. Most of the time we were here no one payed us much attention. There are also a lot of great programs at this prison to keep the women busy. I think its good for them, even though they only make .12 an hour! I guess they are lucky to make anything at all. Another interesting thing we did was eat lunch there. We didnt eat with the general population because that would be too much of a safety concern, but we did eat in the staff dining area, where inmates do cook the food. I was really hesitant at first to even try the food. I was afraid that they would spit in it or something. At the same time I didnt want to be disrespectful. It turned out to be really good! You can get so much food for the amazing price of $2.00. My entire class was fixated on that fact.
Overall I think that these trips were very insightful and if anyone every gets a chance to visit one I would recommend it. It is just a different world inside.
Oh yes, and here is a link to borders for the book:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ft. Drum

One of the many bases around the country, but the one that is closest to my heart. It is truely a world in of itself located in upstate New York. It is by far one of the coldest places to be and the amount of snow is insane. Driving around the base is almost as if your apart of a secrect world. In order to even get in the base you have to sign in with your driver's license, car registration, and of course you get the 21 question deal of where your going and who your going to see. The first time I went I had to sit in the gate office for two hours after spending over five hours driving there because I needed to be signed in by soldier and of course my soldier was mia. It was really annoying, but I guess thats how it has to be. Anyways my friend had this really cool picture of Iraq that he took so I just wanted to add it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New York, what state.

How many of you automatically think of the city when someone mentions New York? I bet its a lot of you, but what many of you dont know think about is the rest of the state. Dont get me wrong NYC is amazing, but there are so many other fun places to go to. One of my favorite places has to be Copake. It is truely a town in the middle of nowwhere. When driving on the main road you will find a small rusty old sign pointing to this little old town. Amazingly they do have a gas station, which to me is schocking and as you drive towards the center of town there is a small garage with tons of classic cars. Now coming from a family who builds classic cars it never seizes to amaze me how we have to stop and look every time we drive through. You would think that it would get old, but it doesnt. When you get to the center of town all you have to do is stand in the center of the road and decided where you would like to go. On one corner there's the pharmacy, the next corner has the gas station, then the pizza parlor, and on the final corner is the local diner. It is one of the most quiet towns to be in. It has a certain relaxation because it is so far from the city or the drabs of homelife. It is just different.
Check out their Homepage:
Hey all.....
This blogspot was created to give people a chance to explore the world. If you have been to any interesting places dont hesitate to let us know. Traveling is something that everyone wants to be able to do. I mean how many of you just wish you could get into your car and drive leaving all the worries behind and only look forward. Its a thought that has crossed many peoples minds, but how many of you have actually done it?