toastmasters

on my second day ,I was told keep myself busy ,walk around read exercise by a guy who was helping me get adjusted told me to go to the toastmasters meeting at 2:30 pmI had belonged to toastmasters on the outside,
( toastmaster is a public speaking club started in the 1920s it has a MC and different jobs you can do to help you over come your fear of speaking publicly)  I was very happy to go, the meeting was packed there were 40-50 guys at the meeting the meeting are set up so there is participation with everyone, the toastmaster was very comfortable , the jokes were very dirty sexual about the guards the warden.... I was called on as new guy #1 , and I was called on to see what I was about,there is a section called table topics . its to help you answer quickly off the top of your head.) the thing that made me think was how comfortable these guys were with each other, how little reservation they had in speaking in front of each other . as the months went by I came to realize that they were comfortable with each other because it had been the same people in the meeting for years, that they knew each other so well because they had spent years with each other, that you had no privacy but no one did, the lawyers in the audience were the brunt of alot of jokes , I would go on to make a speech about Malcolm X and how he would have been a forgotten burglar had it not been for toastmasters it gave him the foundation for speaking in public , his prison had a toastmasters meeting every two weeks it was a debate club about non inflammatory subjects , how long should a mother nurse , which is better for the baby mother milk or bottled milk. I  would be elected to the board at toastmasters every week I would walk around asking guys to make speeches, tell jokes, some of them would back out at the last minute and I would have to fill in myself or ask someone in the audience to step up. this was a great asset to me and my mind it made the weeks and months go by faster ,after we got elected two things happened it became clear that the president had bought the election , and that he was not liked by anyone, that he constantly lied to everyone would tell us the board and then do somehting else. the real trouble came when we got a new education counselor who didn't like the idea that we had titles and that we were elected she said it went against ,everything that it created a hierarchy, so the administration spent the following months trying to derail toastmasters , from taking away the credits it gave you towards going out to  on your paper work. during the meeting one of the guys who they called the professor ,I caught up with later , the Professor had some art education so we were able to talk, he was one of the few people in prison I could talk to , he had articles on Eva Hesse - one of the other guys had given him colored pencils a jar of colored pencils , he leant me the pencils so I could have somehting to draw from. these things were passed down from prisoner to prisoner ,drawing boards ,I would eventually leave my watercolors and brushes water color paper,I was able to get to another guys who was in my drawing class, Getting back to toastmasters I had seen many guys learn english in toastmasters, talk about the things they loved family ,or jobs they had done,it made everyone closer and more interested in each others lives , this was a great assesst