It’s been nearly 4 months that I’ve been here and today was the first time that something of any significance actually happened. I received a pass for today and I automatically assumed it was for the law library since I’ve been going twice a week to read up on the SCOTUS case Packingham v. North Carolina (about banning sex offenders from accessing any social media sites). I never even looked at the pass when they handed it out last night and I just went when they called for library passes. When I got to the library and when to sign in I couldn’t find my name on the sign in sheet. I checked my pass and it wasn’t for the library, it was for a Toastmasters club meeting after lunch. I stayed in the library, what was I going to do, tell the CO that I had snuck into the library without a pass and potentially get written up for being in an unauthorized area? At least I got to finish my reading of all the briefs on the Packingham case. *smile*
After lunch the club coordinator came around and took 6 of us over to the education building to hold the first officers’ meeting for the first PC Toastmasters club. There is one guy who had helped run the Toastmasters club in GP before it was suspended after the riot 2 years ago. The club coordinator knew him already and so he sort of took over the position of president by default. The main purpose of the meeting was to determine the rest of the officer positions and to plan when to launch the club. There were 2 vice president positions, one for education and one for membership and then there was treasurer, secretary and sgt. at arms. The pres went around asking who would be interested in which positions and I, of course, expressed an interest in vp of ed but another guy did too. Michael is a younger guy, mid-20s, who did Lincoln Douglas debate at Millard South and judged competitions for a few years afterwards. Though it would look nice for the parole board to be the founding vp of ed for the first PC Toastmasters club I chatted with Michael and bowed out of the contest for vp of ed so he could have it since he seemed so eager for it. I am the sergeant-at-arms, so I guess I get to make everyone check their shives at the door. LOL!!!
Michael is in gallery A/B and is doing a writing project with Black so I told him to force Black into joining the Toastmasters club. Then I could maybe start chatting with Black semi-regularly. Our first general meeting will not be until early Sept. because we have to get all members to send in an institutional check for the $1/mo membership dues and they are due by the 15th of the month before. We could have aimed for Aug. except the coordinator will be gone on vacation next week and all the dues would have to be processed by July 15 which isn’t very feasible with her vacation plans. That gives us more time to recruit more members and build interest. One marketing ploy is that clubs get to (eventually) order logoed t-shirts and caps which is a big selling point in prison where everyone wears the same clothes. LOL
We can also individually join the Toastmasters International organization and submit our speech records for official certification through them. That’s actually a reasonable resume builder for anyone, especially an inmate. Though the membership fee for TI is $36/6 mo and that is out of many inmates’ reach. The pres. had formerly arranged a 50% discount with TI but that was before the riot over 2 years ago so who knows if we can get that again. There were also guest speakers that used to come that were arranged through TI but after the multiple riots some volunteers have expressed a concern about coming back into TSCI. Understandable but regrettable that the inmates who are attempting to improve themselves lose out because of the violent minority. *sigh*
I intend to get through as much of the TI certification as I can while in here but if I move from one facility to another they might not have a Toastmasters club. LCC doesn’t have one, NSP does and I don’t know if OCC does. At bare minimum it gives me something to productively spend my time on while I am in here. I especially look forward to mentoring and helping other guys learn to give effective speeches. I guess that’s my inner teacher coming out. *smile* It’s a shame that it will take 2 months to have our first meeting but we’ll have officer meetings before that so it will give me something to do.
There is one other guy from F gallery who went and is an officer of Toastmasters now. His name is Molina and he is vp of membership. He’s already been recruiting members but it’s a hard sell in F. *chuckle* My cellie, Robert (Beto or Pelon), has been classified for work release so he may be leaving soon. When he does I may be asking to be moved to A/B gallery but then I’d have to put up with CO Barker who is a real bitch so I’m not convinced of the benefits yet. I’d enjoy being able to communicate and socialize with Black, Georg, Travis and others I knew in D&E as well as Michael from Toastmasters but if Barker took to disliking me she would write me up for no reason so there’s a risk of losing my perfectly clean record all because she is such a bitch. The Toastmasters president even made a joke about needing Toastmasters skills to be able to communicate with her without giving into the anger and irritation she instills in people. So I don’t know if it would be worth it. Although I don’t know whom I’ll get as a cellie which is a risk too. Hmmm. One of the younger latino guys in F, Danny, has suggested he should move in. I told him no…unless he gave up drinking, brewing and tattooing. He’d also have to stop flirting with and hitting on me. *sigh* He doesn’t get money put on his books so I suspect he may want to be my cellie for the canteen.