David Joiner, May 22, 2012

Dear Journal,

I’ve finally gotten something for myself that I’ve been wanting for a long time. I have been trying to get in school—here at Stiles Unit—for a long time. Here on 5/9/12, a young female officer had come to my cell—at about 12:30pm—to deliver a message to me, letting me know that I was being summoned by the information desk, to report to the unit’s school house. I was a bit confused for a while, because I had been trying to get into school for a little over eight years. There had been so much negativity involved in my journey to obtain entrance into the house of education.

After receiving notice from the lady officer, I got dressed and quickly headed out of my cell to make my way to the searcher’s desk. When I arrived at the desk and stood before another female officer, she asked me what I needed, and I told her that my name was Joiner, and that I had been told by one of her officers that I needed to report to the searcher’s desk to get a pass to head out to school. The woman behind the desk smiled and said, “Oh yes, they want to see you at the school house.” I gave her my ID card, and she wrote me a pass. I was on my way.

Journal, I wish I could say that everything turned out really good when I walked into Ms. Barton’s class for the first time. But let me go ahead and say this first. When I arrived at the department of education, I had to stop at a desk where there was this officer who was taking names from incoming offenders. He wanted my name and living quarters, to find what classroom I was destined to join. He found that I was going to room four.

As soon as I walked into the classroom, I saw that I wasn’t going to like my surroundings. There were all kinds of people in this classroom. None of these offenders had any respect for the teacher. They were using indecent and vulgar language, playing around, and talking very loudly. I felt sorry for the teacher. I wanted very badly to scream out and ask those offenders just what was their problem. But, as it was, I was consciously and subconsciously defeated. All I could do was stare at the plants that were hanging from the walls of the classroom.

Today’s day is 5/18/12, and we were about to take our final EA testing, which consisted of reading. I gave all I had, while participating in such an activity. Reading is one of my hardest subjects other than math. I have a problem with comprehension and remembering what I read. I don’t know what causes this problem in me. Maybe it has to do with the medication I’m taking. I don’t know.

Anyway, when we, the students, had completed our final exams, the teacher who was in charge of our class came around and picked up our exam booklets and all the pencils and eyeglasses. She told us to remain seated and to hold down the noise. After she had finished what she was doing, she gave us instructions on how to depart from the classroom to take a break in the restroom.

I don’t know this woman who was holding our class down for testing, but she was quite all right. She got her respect, and everything went really well. Well now, after this woman was finally finished getting her stuff together and was about to leave the classroom, she noticed that she was about to take our teacher’s pencil and glasses box with her. She placed the box on the teacher’s desk—making sure that everything was there—but the mistake that she made was that she left the box in a classroom full of criminals.

As soon as this woman departed the class room, a Mexican jumped from his seat and peeped out of the classroom door to be sure that the teacher was gone. Another guy got from his seat, who was a black dude, and he was the one who stole four pencils from the box, while the Mexican kept watch. The black dude gave the Mexican one pencil for the job he did. The dudes got back in their seats and acted as if nothing ever happened.

Our teacher had been assigned to work in another classroom for the EA testing. When she had come back to her original workplace, she quickly noticed that her pencil box had been left on her desk by the other teacher. Our teacher examined the contents of the pencil box and quickly learned that four pencils were missing. She brought this to the attention of the class. The black guy and the Mexican who had stolen the pencils were the first ones to deny that they had anything to do with such an act. The other teacher had come back to our classroom for some reason or another, and our teacher confronted her concerning such a matter. The other teacher was surprised. She had no idea how something like that had occurred. She did know that everything was in place when she left the classroom.

Journal, you just couldn’t imagine what I felt like after witnessing what those two offenders had done. I couldn’t imagine what our teacher was thinking about our class and her students. This was a real mess, man! I wanted to beat the living shit out of those two offenders! I also wanted badly to point out those two guys out for the teacher, but I could not do that. I would be labeled as a snitch. I just sat quietly in my seat and had serious thoughts about such a situation.

Well Journal, I’ve been in Ms. Barton’s class for one week now, and I just don’t know what to think about my classmates. Oh yes, Journal, a couple days ago, my teacher, Ms. Barton, asked me about my age and I told her that I will be turning fifty years old on June 21st. She told me that she’d be turning fifty-two on the 9th of June. She was born in 1960 and I was born in 1962. I looked at my calendar and learned that her birthday will fall on a Saturday. When Friday, June 8th comes around, I plan to say happy birthday to Ms. Barton silently, so that I don’t draw any attention from the class.

Journal Closed