drawing classes in prison

After I spoke to the Rec counselor at prison she told me that I could take the class over, the inmate who had taught the class had left and he had not given it to anyone { classes,jobs that are desirable are sold or given to friends and family,} I didnt want to step on the inmate who taught the calligraphy ,card making class so  I went to him and asked if he would mind if I taught the drawing class before I had a chance to do this he found me and said he had heard that I drew and ,that he had the class,but he didnt know how to draw,if I taught him how to draw, then we could share the class ,I didnt really want to share the class, I eventually ironed it out with him , { his classes like a lot of the classes never happened or if they did happen attendance was given everyone was present/ if he taught the card making class then no one would hire him to make cards,if he taught calligraphy then everyone could do it , so he never taught it the guys got credit , the counselor got a attendance sheet they could file. everyone was happy cards cost 25-40 dollars in commissary )

I waited until the days got shorter beforeI taught classes, we could still be in the rec trailer a small double wide that was used for church,exserisize, classes. I had to kick the exercise guys out which they weren't to happy about, I had a paired down version of drawing from the right side of the brain I kept some things, and didnt use other things and added some projects, one of the things I didn't use was drawing a self portrait, I thought that these guys are confronted with themselves everyday having to study yourself and make a drawing you're unhappy with was a bit much. so I stayed with the safe things: drawing a image from your past, drawing your hand, and drawing a scene from the room. but what I didnt count on was that nothing was safe every draw triggered something , draw the room was very hard as there was nothing in the room everything was taken out of it so the guards could check the room quickly with out havinng to dig around, so it was an empty trailer with some chairs and folding tables,the chruch had soem posettias so I took one and put it on a table , this worekd out great as it had color and softness that nothing else had. HOWEVER  when I asked the guys to draw thier hands I had some issues,one day a guy was drawing his hand and I walked by and said , the idea behind this practice was to learn to look-and that your not quite looking at his hand ,he insisted that he was-this went on for a little while and I tok his hand and turn it over to show him what was missing from his drawing as he had failed to draw all his fingers when I turned his hand over he didnt have those fingers he had two fingers on his hand, this exact thing happen 2 more times where I got a student with missing fingers. another time a student for some reason had chosen to draw his palm and when I pointed this out all his fingerprints were burned off. 

my rec counselor : got me some pencils and paper she told me to keep it in my bunk area ,I wanted her to not this as we were only allowed to keep 5 books and current magazines in your bunk area no magazine over 3 months old , they would go thru every once and a while and throw everything out, I would be able to keep most of the supplies only once just before christmas when the guys were working on drawings to send home ,we had a big shake down they brought us all into the TV room and turned over everything and strip searched us ,did they throw away all the drawings the guys were sending home for christmas, they had been working for a month on these drawings, I tried to get them back the 3rd time I went back I was told that the SHU van was still outside and if I Asked again they more than happy to put me in it, the net class was hard I had to get the guys to start their drawings all over again,

the most important thing to the prison is there count,and punishment , the classes they could care less about- so they found some cell phones in the trailer so the trailer was locked for 6 months ,so I had to find another place to have classes, I went to the class room, I looked at the 3 schedules the regular schedule the rec schedule and the education schedule I realized that they all used the same time the they were in complete conflict, I asked my rec counselor if I could use the class room and she said yes ,butI would have to ask the inmates and figure out when it was open, this negotiation took 3 weeks to find out when the class room wasnt in use. one of the education guys had sold his time to the gambling house so they could have their weekly meeting about the house take,the house took 10% of all the gambling sports fantasy football card games ,it didnt matter if you had a card game with friends if you bet on some hting you had to give, so this involved all the runners who reported on what they saw, then the accountants tallied and the bosses decided on who owed what. I walked in on one of these meeting once , I got the class room and it was great for a while until we got kicked out some kids(20 somethings were sneaking out the classroom window at night and seeing their girl friends , one was to fat so he broke the window , this closed the classroom for 6 months while they investigated and decided what exactly to do so there were no GED classes no classes for credit, I still wanted to teach drawing so I asked if I could teach in the cafeteria after dinner, the cafeteria had been closed since they were caught gambling in the cafeteria and using the toaster to make grilled cheese after hours, I got the cafeteria opened up , and my class was allowed to be in there ONLY this created some bad blood with the guys who wanted to play cards and watch TV, at first some inmates who decided that because I was so serious about my class that they should guard the door and not let anyone interfere with my class this work for a few months , until the main guy who was guarding the door for me Scotty got sent tot the SHU ,he brought moives in game of thrones , current movies and they had a sting operation and caught him getting his movies at the drop . so now guys came in and played cards and watched TV , I had to police the cafeteria , and I only had to kick the  card game out, some jerky old nightclub owner was annoyed that the other guys weren't taking the card game seriously so he started yelling and throwing things , I didnt like this guys anyway , and then I found out that he threw away all his plastic utensils and cups , so that ever few month we wouldn't have any the cafeteria guard was mad that all the plastic utensils and cups were gone so he wouldn't replace them. so we would go months with no utensils to eat with or any cups to drink . so I was more than happy to ban richard from the cafeteria. we eventually got kicked out of the cafeteria , and I gave my friend Dave my class when I left so the class could continue, teaching gave me an extra $40 / month I only made 30 working every day at welding so this meant that my family didnt have to send money for me to live,I will save this for another time but if you dont have money coming in , you can't live in modern prison , you have to pay for everything .