The Felonious PhD.

White Collar Female PhD. Felon, Prison Camp, Re-Entry, Criminal Justice Reform. Women, Lesbian

Fried Chicken Day….

October 17, 2013

I woke up to a bright light at 5:40am.  The correctional officers turn on the lights to let everyone know it is time to rise and shine.  It reminds me of how they depict military barracks operations on television.

Breakfast, for me, consisted of coffee – instant coffee – no yummy hazlenut or vanilla creamer – but it’s not too bad even without that.  From there, I was assigned to work in the laundry which is fine and very familiar to me.  Laundry is nice, quiet, and relaxing.  I spent the morning there, routinely washing, drying and folding, until it was lunch time at ……10:30 am.  Yes, I wrote that correctly.  We eat lunch at 10:30am.  This is definitely a world unto itself.

Today’s menu was a camp favorite-fried chicken.  The line was exceptionally long for that fried chicken.  It reminded me of my time in the college cafeteria where every meal time was critical, lol.  One never missed a meal in college!

After lunch I had to report back to the OIC, Officer In Charge, to see if there was any work I could do.  My status remains at A&O, which means that I have not gone through Administration and Orientation, so I will not be assigned to a job until that is complete. Until then, I volunteer for whatever there is available to do in the moment…..like a day laborer, waiting in line at the union hall. So, until that process is complete,  I need to keep myself busy.  On days like this, I will write from noon to 2pm then go to the gym until 3pm then back to the unit.

As I live and observe this camp I cannot understand how this process is beneficial to me or many of the other women in here.    I will have to continue on my own quest for personal development and find a way to keep my mind stimulated.  I feel like I am already BORED!!

Loving my peeps from afar…..

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Another Day Gone….

October 16, 2013

I think it is true what people say about the time going by quickly as long as you keep yourself motivated and moving.

I am only on day three here and I honestly have to admit that it is not that bad.  Today was my commissary day, so I am very excited to have the most basic things in life.  Things such as lotion, a real toothbrush and toothpaste, and, whew, some hair gel.  Although the women here are all nice and willing to share any and everything they have, it is wonderful to have my own things.

I am sitting outside of the unit at a covered park bench-style table, writing.  To my left, there are four basketball courts which are empty and seriously calling my name-as soon as I get some workout shoes.  Around the basketball courts is a track where various women can be found walking throughout the day.  In front of me, on the patio, are five spinning cycles, that I have yet to see anyone ride.  Around the corner, music can be heard coming from the hip-hop aerobics class.  It is not too bad….I promise.  Yes I would rather be home with my family and friends, but if the government feels like this is where I need to be to enhance my writing skills and focus on my new beginnings-so be it.

I am anxious to get a regular job.  Tomorrow my goal is to pursue a job in the education department or with a company called Unicor.  Either way, I am told I will have to wait 30 days for orientation, so in the meantime, I will just try to find out who I need to talk to after my orientation is complete.

Staying positive, purposeful, and loving always….

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The Next Day…

October 15, 2013

5:40am

Woke up for breakfast, which consisted of grits, breakfast crumb cake, fruit, and mild.  I am not a breakfast person, so I had a cup of coffee to start me on my way.  It’s very quiet and orderly on the weekdays, I am told.  This is a work camp, so everyone actively participates and works.

Tomorrow, which is Wednesday, is my shopping day!  Whew!  I will be happy, happy, happy!  My hands and body are so dry, and I have NO HAIR PRODUCTS! What the hell? Other than that, I slept through the night once I got used to hearing the symphony of snoring from a few of the women.  I’m so glad I’m used to sharing space!  I’ve had a lifetime of that, it seems!

Now I am going to see if my PAC number works so that I can call home and let everyone know that all is will.  Then at 7:30 a.m. I have to report to the office and see if there is any volunteer work I can participate in until I am able to have a paying job.  I will definitely have to develop a schedule for myself-lots and lots of free and idle time.  I plan to give myself a week to get settled, but that may be too long.  I am going to develop a schedule this evening.  Monday – Thursday, up at 5:30 am to walk the track, shower, coffee and phone call.  Hopefully a job til 2 or so.  Then write for an hour.  More phone calls and dinner, followed by abs, push-ups, or class until 7pm.  Write some more until 9pm, then prepare for bed.  I will see how that works.

I’ll keep you posted……

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My New Home….

October 14, 2013

I am being housed in a large unit with about 40 women.  We sleep on metal bunk beds that look similar to bunks you see on t.v. in the military movies.  Honestly, it reminds me of a huge dorm room you may see in a college setting.

It is a peaceful setting.  Had dinner, and I’m sitting outside.  I am all set up for email and phone, and am just waiting for all of my numbers to be in the system (takes longer, being that I came on a holiday..who knew?!)

Tomorrow I am going to walk on the track so i can keep my body moving.  Along with the library, there is a law library and a workout area with my favorite apparatus – the ball!  Ha!

It really is quiet here.   There are women of all ages – mainly younger ones though.  So far, today has been mellow.  I sense that tomorrow will entail more administrative things to do.

Staying hopeful and loving….

 

9pm

Okay, I am ready for bed now.  This continues to be very surreal to me.  The good thing is it is very doable and I will get through it with flying colors.  Just seems like a long ass time for real.

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Finally Beginning….

October 14, 2013

I self-surrendered to camp.  I was not cognizant of the fact that it was a holiday.  I think it worked out for the best though, because there were only two of us that had to be processed in.  Everyone was very nice and helpful.  Other women, mentors, immediately offered their assistance, advice, and items to get me through til commissary, which for me will happen Wednesday.   OMG!  When I was initially processed into the dorm, I had to change into a t-shirt and an extremely large house dress! LOL!  I cracked up!  My worst nightmare was happening!  But as soon as I entered the dorm, I was greeted by two women who gave me pants and t-shirts.  Whew!  Thank Goodness

All in all, the first 6 hours have been mellow.  I found the library, and during the tour I saw a workout area, basketball courts, and other things to keep me busy and somewhat productive for the next 22-28 months. 

I miss all of my peeps, but I am so very thankful to, eventually, put this whole ordeal behind me. 

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So It Began…..

Yesterday I delivered my dear friend into the hands of the system that has betrayed her.  It was a heart-wrenching experience, to say the least, but she wanted me to let everyone know that she is safe and doing fine.  Since i have the reins of this blog for this one day, I am going to take the liberty to share some of the thoughts that kept me company as I drove away alone from the Victorville prison. 

One of the things that I have heard her say over and over in many situations, to many people is, “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”  As I heard her words in my head, they had a new meaning.  While all of our hearts are broken by the separation from her, as we adjust to the new normal, I feel it is now required of all of use who know her to rise up and become all that she believed we could be. 

What are the things you want to accomplish while she’s away? What are the messages you repeat to yourself that are false beliefs which you can once andfor all change?  What is the truth that you can replace that with?  She sees the best in us all.  Isn’t now a good time to see it in ourselves or do what it takes to become who it is that makes us able to see ourselves better?  What goals can you set and achieve that you’ve been putting off?  What relationships can be fostered, repaired, or let go of?  Who can you love more?  Can you love yourself  more?  Each of us has had meaningful conversations with her that could have easily resulted in action……but have you taken that action? I think now is the time. 

We all know that she will make purposeful use of the next 22-28 months.  We should too.  Be better when she comes out than you were when she went in.  That is my goal, and I hope she inspires you from afar to do the same. 

My new insight into her phrase, “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you,” is that she has herself and that is the best company she could ask for. 

Until she sends me a new message…….

Hugs from her!

 

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The Day is Here………..

Well my weekend has come to an end.  I have to say a big, loving, appreciative thanks to my dear friend, Rebecca for travelling this road to Victorville with me.  I owe her for this one, lol.  It is nothing like taking a family trip to the Coast.  If I had to describe how I am feeling I would have to say I am feeling brave.  A little anxious because it will be something new and familiar but I am prepared mentally, emotionally and physically to do what I have to do.

I will continue to send my blog entries as the days go by.  It may be a couple of days or so before you see any updates but I promise I will get to it as soon as I can.  My word for today is “happiness”.  It may not seem to fit the occasion but for me ir does.   I am happy even while I am going through this process.  One thing I know for sure is the my ability to keep my heart pure and loving will always provide me an opportunity to be happy.  When I speak of happiness I am speaking well beyond that fake laugh or the occasional light chuckle.  I am speaking of the pure happiness one feels in their soul.  Kind of how the hippies used to strive for in the seventies, lol.  But without all of the drugs.

So today is only another beginning for me.  I will remain present in it and stay open to what I can learn from this crazy life experience.   I will miss my peeps, and I know they will miss me.  But I know they are also taking a nice deep breath and have a sense of relief, and can also move forward.

So stay tuned all.  I will keep you all posted.  Love Always.

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Four Days and Counting Down!

I said my goodbyes for now to my son, sisters, nieces and nephews and mother.   Those were some tough goodbyes for now.   I keep reminding myself that my absence will only be a physical one because I will call and email them often. 
 
Now I am in California, halfway to my Victorville destination.  I am going to try to enjoy myself this weekend, without acting like it is my last excursion for a lifetime. 
 
I am still a little numb, driving away from Reno this a.m. was very symbolic for me.  It really is the last time I will live there permanently.  My son was fine he was enjoying his siblings and cousins I am so happy we have all of them.  Makes me feel much better about leaving.   
 
I have visualized myself in a my new environment at the camp.  Where I will be housed with a group of women in a shared space.  I am thinking the environment will be similar to when I was in the college dorms and had to share space also.  I am guessing it will be similar to that setting.  We will see how that works for a 49-year-old, Lol.  Whew!  Stay tuned folks.    
 
 
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Five Days and Counting Down!

Tomorrow will be my last day in Reno.  Spending this afternoon at my sons football game and I am so thankful for that!   It will be my last game for a few Seasons but I am so proud of him and I know he will continue to work hard. Like his mother he has a nice healthy Ego.   After the game I plan to take him to eat pizza.   It is a strange feeling to be leaving him behind.   I am glad he knows how much I love him.  I am anxious to move on and return to him.

Ending the evening with my peeps and about to make some last minute calls.  will be heading to California, my new home for a lil bit.   I will miss all of my peeps, but ready to move on.   Stay hopeful, peaceful and loving my peeps.  Love you all.

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Six Days and Counting Down!!!

Today started very, very, early.  My Son’s school was a part of the Katy Perry’s, Good Morning America’s, lip sync challenge and the were chosen to be in the top five.  That feat gave them an opportunity to  be on the Good Morning Show this morning at 3 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.  It was a very good experience for him.  I am glad we went.

As the clock keeps ticking and ticking I can now sense the urgency of others around me to say their goodbyes.    When I see people I have not seen in a while their immediate response, has been to tell me how good I look.   My initial thoughts are well shoot I thought I always looked good!.  So I am challenging myself to contnue to keep up my beauty as well as my spirit and soul.  That is the truth!  

I had a wonderful lunch with my son, Eddie.  We discussed some of the issues that are ahead of us both and the way we have overcome our past.  I love to remind my kids of their own inner power.  I have some very loving, strong, dedicated, emotional capable young men in my family.  I am proud of them.   I just want them to know that, they have some wonderful partners who love them as well.  And they need to act accordingly while I am away.  

I am ready for my next chapter and the only way for this story to be complete and honest is from me to get through this stage and be present.  

I am commited to seeing it all the way through!

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