Posted by: krusty505 | June 16, 2011

Terms of Endearment

Today was our last day of school, and it was not without its drama!

First the bad news:

Yesterday, one of our teachers had a sub. This particular sub is going to be a full-time teacher in the women’s program next year, so she has been to the jail on a number of occasions, but not over on the men’s side all that often. She also got called last minute, so she wasn’t totally prepared to be there. To wit, she had on some perfume (actually quite a lot of perfume, very good smelling perfume), and her attire was a touch too tight. Of course, the guys, especially the young ones, were going nuts over her, no pun intended, and they were clamoring to get in her class all day. This all climaxed, pun intended, with a total junk-show in 4th period . I’m telling you, the inmates take the expression “give and inch, take a mile” to a whole new level; they will manipulate the second they get a chance.

I noticed a bunch of guys were missing from my 4th period class, and half way through the period, one of the guys who was supposed to be in the sub’s class came to me and wanted some place quiet to work. I asked him what was up, and he said, “It’s too fucking noisy in there. You got guys who ain’t even supposed to be in there rappin’ and acting like they all that in front of that lady. The music’s all damn loud an shit. It’s like they ain’t never seen a woman before.” I immediately went into ‘bring down the hammer’ mode, figured out exactly who was supposed to be in there, got the principal, and had him regulate on the culprits.

Today, one of the offenders, “Mi’jo,” came into my room, and I immediately told him he was on my shit list. Typically, he asked, “Why!?”

“You know why.”

“What’d I do? Why!?”

“You know why.” Long pause.

“You mean yesterday?”

“Let me talk to you in the hall,” which is where we went.

“You know, you’ve changed since you came here.” (This is his first time in jail; he’s only 19, and he really is a smart and nice kid, but he is turning into a real weasel.) “A lot of these guys in here, they don’t stand much of a chance. They’re burnt. Their brains are fried, but not you. You are still sharp and smart, but you need to get your priorities straight. I’m afraid that this shitty-ass jail life is starting to rub off on you. You think it’s cool to be in here, but you could have a nice normal life if you stay out. If I’m here in 10 years, and you’re still rolling in and out of this place, but now you don’t have any teeth like half these guys, and you’re so burnt that you can’t think your way out of a wet paper bag, I’m going to be really disappointed. You know who your friends are in here?”

“You’re my friend.”

“No. I’m not your friend. I’m your teacher. No one is your friend in here! Think about that.”

For the next 30 minutes, Mi’jo didn’t say a single word in class, and he is one of the most gregarious guys in the pod. It probably had little lasting effect on him. Unfortunately, there is a hell of a lot more negative influence in the pod than my 2 minute lecture can rectify, but I gave it my best shot.

Now, for the good news:

We gave them a pizza party in the afternoon. I can’t express to you how amazing it is that we got 23 pizzas delivered to the jail, past security and into the pod. On top of that, the Captain bought them all sodas. I mean, it was amazing. (We actually did get a pizza party approved once before when the school was new, but it didn’t work out so well. We, stupidly, had the guys line up by seniority in the pod, and 2 guys who had only been in the pod for like 15 minutes got into a fist fight about who had been there the longest. There were fists flying and guys trying to grab as much pizza as possible then run back to their cells before the inevitable lock down. Boxes of pizza flying around the pod, CO’s running through the Sally port to break up the fight, mace shooting into everybody’s eyes. In short, it was a shit-show.)

Today went much better until after the pizza party was over, and we were ready to conduct a ceremony honoring the guys who had earned credit. Apparently, the principal had brought a roll of packing tape into the pod in order to tape up their credit status on one of the windows, and the tape, but more importantly, the blade attached to the tape went missing. Before the credit ceremony, the principal says, “Well, someone always has to ruin it for everybody. My tape went missing… Now, if I miraculously get it back before I leave, I’ll forget about it, but if I don’t, there will be no games and other fun stuff over the break, and I’ll have to tell the Captain.” (We left the Captain with several boxes of board games for the guys to play over the break)

One of the leaders in the pod, Gato, steps forward and says, “Who stole the tape!?!?!? Give it back you fucking piece of shit!”

Another random voice, “Give back the fucking tape!”

“Where’s the fucking tape!?”

Pitbull, “Man, this is fucked up! Why did you fuckers steal the tape?! Fuck you.”

Then the best term of endearment yet, Pooh Bear (who I shit you not is Robert Downey Jr in “Tropic Thunder”) steps forward from his cell and shouts at the top of his voice, “Yo! These mutha-fuckas bought you pizza! Give back the fucking tape. Shit!” I have never been so flattered to be called a mother-fucker in all my life.

Turns out the tape was taken by a guy who had just been through orientation and had not even been to classes yet, so actually it was a real testament to the culture in the pod. Coarse language aside, it really does run pretty smoothly.



  1. Gotta love these guys (and gals!), they often say the right thing, just when it needs to be said. I am sure the words you had with Mi’jo stuck with him for longer than you think.

    As for that sub, what was she thinking? I certainly hope she learned her lesson about smelling nice and wearing well-fitting clothing to work!

    • I sure as hell hope she learned. Her lesson;)

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