Going to Prison

Well, I was called back for a second interview for one of the two Education Director positions I had interviewed for the week before. I’m going to tell that story this week because my brain is consumed by thoughts of this role and as such I am incapable of thinking about anything else.

A bad sign if I don’t get the job.

Or a good sign because if I don’t get the job I’ll go back to thinking about other things again and NOT EVEN CARE.

The second and final interview was on site which meant I had to physically show up on site.

The site being a prison.

So, of course, when I was walking out the door I called out: “Goodbye, home! Off to prison!”

That’s how many of us have felt when leaving for work so it felt good to have it be literal.

Now this wasn’t my first prison (it was my second) so I knew all about the strict clothing criteria and got through the gatehouse’s metal detector on my first try.

The security guard had underestimated me and looked a bit taken aback. “Wow. You did do some preparation.”

I felt his response was funny. It’s like I had removed my metallic exoskeleton beforehand.

Or maybe it wasn’t just me and he underestimates every human because he’s had that job for awhile. I can’t imagine having to explain how metal detectors work to people who should really have been able to grasp the concept before visiting the prison.


However, he had to loan me a quarter for the locker because I had been so focused on not having anything metallic on my person I had forgotten about the locker which is where you put your car keys etc. which you can’t bring with you into the prison and which also costs a quarter.

Nothing is free in this world.

So it was very nice of him to loan me a quarter for the locker.

I put my coat into the locker with my car keys and then popped back up and he asked, “Where’s your coat?”

And I was all, “In the locker…”

And he was all, “Oh no. You’ll need that coat. You need to get it out. It is not a short walk and it is very cold outside.”

That threw me for a loop because I was pretty sure I was doing this interview indoors but I opened the locker and got my coat out again.

And then he gave me a series of verbal directions one of which was “Just stick to the red brick road” and sent me out another door…

and I found myself standing outside again and looking over a vast expanse of fencing and barbed wire.

Since my brain was still stuck on “HAVE NO METAL ON PERSON” I was a little gobsmacked by how much metal was directly outside the building and also wondered how the metal detector inside felt about it.

I felt like I was seeing isolation. I wasn’t really feeling isolation but… I really hoped I didn’t somehow fuck up getting from one building to the next as it seemed a mistake could be deadly.

I walked forward toward the fencing directly in front of me and it didn’t really have a door but it did have some kind of solid metal thing which could have been the handle to a door so…

I pulled on that and it didn’t move.

But that’s because I hadn’t been buzzed in by the guards above me who I had not at all been aware of.

They called out “THERE YOU GO!”

I sort of looked back and up to see the guards in their tower with their guns but then the door buzzed and unlocked and so I yelled “THANKS!” and moved forward.

This is when I saw the red brick road.

I liked that there was a red brick road I was to follow.

It wasn’t a yellow brick road and I had no friends but it was a colored brick road and it was going somewhere.

So I moved forward.

And I was glad I had my coat. It was freezing outside and I was conscious that there were armed guards watching me make my long walk but it honestly didn’t feel any different than walking around anywhere in America.

In any case, I got to the end of the red brick road and entered the building and sat down like the gatehouse guard told me because no one was there to greet me and… then someone came out of a room and

THEN I did my interview.

That was definitely the most I’ve done to get to an interview after I had arrived at the site of the interview.

And the second interview was another panel. I had been hoping it would just be a tour but… nope.

So I got through the interview and feel I did well after a slightly shaky start where I momentarily had a speech impediment which caused them to all look up at me


but I recovered with a ferocity and said one of my strengths was my tenacity and it took about an hour and I then walked back out and was again outside and the cold air hit me and I was walking back down the red brick road.

I went to my car and got a quarter and walked back in and paid back the gatehouse guard because I believe in clean breaks.

And now I’m really hoping to get the job because everyone seemed so nice at this prison which was a somewhat essential sign and I really liked the people I would work for and they seemed enthusiastic about me introducing storytelling

and critical autoethnography

and hero/mythical narrative work

and… mmmm making prison a school just like Kenrick Lamar said in his song.

Not a perfect world but if prisons could be sites of rehabilitation rather than…

it would be amazing.

‘Course… can’t get my hopes up because once they’re up… high hope affects my ability to bounce back.

Something to do with the metaphysical weight of hope.


6 thoughts on “Going to Prison

    1. 😘Yes! That was the final one! 🖤🤞Now they’re doing background checks and references and…hoping hoping hoping… my last stand, dear BBF! 😘😘😘😘


    1. Thank you so much dear Peggy! It’s been a couple years of traveling for second and third and fourth (!?!?) interview… (haha once I traveled from Pittsburg to Milwaukee and THEY CANCELED THE FOURTH INTERVIEW AFTER I ARRIVED 😑)…oh the credit card debt I’ve accumulated as a result… and thank you so much. Fingers crossed… my senior thesis was comparing a punitive vs rehabilitative approach in relation to recidivism (REHABILITATIVE!!💙🙌) soooo yes yes yes yes. 😘


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