Daily Journal 9.26.2013
Art History, Military Blunders of World War II, and NOOMA videos. What more could you ask for on a Thursday afternoon? At least we didn’t bore the class any further by having a music appreciation session. This is kind of a catch-all day here at PEP. We got caught up on some stuff and sang Happy Birthday to one of our brothers. This may not have been the most exciting day in the classroom, but it beats sitting in a hot cell somewhere, accomplishing nothing.
Daily Journal 9.27.2013
Band of Brothers
I read something this morning that hit home. The author mused that it is part of the human condition for us to think of ourselves as deeply complicated individuals while we tend to see everyone else as easier to read and motivated by simpler ideas.
Of course this is not true. We all have our own passions, our own strengths, and as the author so aptly put it, our own brand of crazy. What motivates one person may not be at all important to another and what one of us deems to be trivial may be the driving force in someone else’s life.
In trying to get a member of Class 20 to understand my point of view yesterday I was reminded that I must also try to see where he is coming from. Our backgrounds and experiences are different, but we impact each other’s lives now. This individual had a tremendous effect on me when he said, “Be patient, I’m still learning.”
Aren’t we all still learning? Don’t we have a responsibility to each other to learn as much as we can and to use that knowledge to better our relationships? I think we do and I am grateful to my Class 20 brother for teaching me.
Daily Journal 10.01.2013
Wow! We just got a whole bunch of stuff back from Business Plan Advisors. Someone opened the floodgates and a slew of business plan sections came pouring through.
The class only has one more section of their business plans to turn in and that will be due next week. Moving right along, as the saying goes. We’re hitting a tipping point where we have more work done than left to do as far as business plan sections go. Of course, as the sections come back with advice and guidance, more work is needed. That’s okay. The guys will be fine tuning their business plans on through November. This is most definitely a work in progress, and it most definitely progressing.
Daily Journal 10.02.2013
If we plan to run successful businesses when we are released we will have to be able to sell our products or services. As you all know, there are plenty of people in prison who can sell things; they may even be here for that very thing, but we want our participants to be able to sell an honest product in an honest way.
Toward that endeavor we are passing out another book for Class 20 to study; Integrity Selling for the 21st Century. We will be giving the class scenarios in which they will try to get contact information from people in day-to-day situations. Today they received sign-in sheets to record how many of these scenarios they complete.
Daily Journal 10.03.2013
Yesterday we passed out sign-in sheets for completing scenarios in which contact information was to be acquired. Today was a test of integrity. Mike posed the question, “Who here either signed a sheet or had their sheet signed without completing a scenario?” There were a few brave souls who admitted to the offense and they were given homework for their indiscretions, but for the most part the class was silent.
The reason this came up was that during Class 21 Effective Leadership (Phase One for the next class) this morning it was mentioned that people were asking for signatures without wanting to do scenarios. The next class stepped up to call out Class 20 on an integrity issue. In any other prison setting this would be considered ‘snitching’. Here we call it holding one another accountable.
Thank you to the men who stood and accepted responsibility for their actions and thank you to the man I saw sitting at a table in the dayroom doing homework last night even though he was not one of the ones to raise a hand in class. When I asked him what he was doing, he admitted he had been wrong too and just had not confessed.
We are examples to those who come behind us and we all represent the values of PEP. Those sign-in sheets represent more than completed scenarios; they are indicators of honesty and work ethic. Likewise, that gentleman doing homework last night represents more than the correction of a bad decision. He is proof that it is never too late to do the right thing.
Daily Journal 10.07.2013
PEP Class 20 logo
I write a lot about Class 20 here and that is how it should be. This is their time. Today though I would like to write about the guys who make Class 20’s experience run as smoothly as it does. There is a group of graduates that makes sure all of the little things get done for our organization to operate and our participants to flourish.
I watch these men come to work every day. They prepare the business plans, the visual aids, and various lessons for passing on knowledge to the current class. All of the workers here know what it takes to get through class and they help in whatever way they can. They are true servant-leaders and I cannot help but think that this is the only place in the prison system where a group of men works so hard for the benefit of others.
Class 20 will soon be filling these seats too. They are nearing the homestretch and when they cross the finish line they will become daily laborers that make Class 21 possible. This is a cycle we a privileged to be a part of and I look forward to seeing the contribution that Class 20 will make.