PASSING THE TIME WITH MEANINGFUL PURSUITS IN FEDERAL PRISON?
As I stated in the past, remaining active and involved is one of the keys to passing time in federal prison. Being active also helps me overcome the negative thoughts I experience from time to time about being utterly useless in prison. Recently, I found myself growing anxious as I await receipt of my release date so I signed up for two additional classes to fill my time. If you know me, you know I have basic mechanical skills. (I know which end of a screwdriver to hang on to.) Despite my mechanical skills, air-conditioning was something that always befuddled me.
My knowledge and experience in this area consisted of writing checks to HVAC guys who visited my home or boat to make repairs. (usually, expensive repairs). As a result, I signed up for an accredited Heating, ventilation and Air-conditioning program at the education department. The course is self-paced, and I take national accreditation tests at the end of each module. I took my first 2 tests yesterday. I knew the information and I felt good walking out of the education building after the tests. I experienced that feeling I got in college when I left a final exam knowing i did well. While I may never use my newly acquired knowledge in any significant fashion, I am using my brain to stay busy and stay in focus. Who knows, maybe I will become an HVAC salesman and this knowledge will prove to be beneficial?
The other course I signed up for is residential electric. A real electrician teaches the class and it provides an overview of residential electric systems. Again, I will probably have little use for the information I am learning but it is beneficial for me to focus on something other than how much time I have left in prison.
Things Pensacola Federal Prison Camp have been mostly routine. One guy in a neighboring pod got sent to the SHU for a PREA violation. PREA is the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Allegedly, this guy grabbed another prisoner in an sexually explicit fashion and such activity is a serious violation under PREA and under general prison etiquette. The odd thing is, the prisoner who was sent to the SHU, is now back at the camp and it appears that He did not suffer any additional penalties other than his extended stay in the SHU. You can rest assured that most prisoners (including me) are giving this guy a wide berth. To be frank, the situation makes me very uncomfortable.
I do not have my final prison release date but I realize that things move slowly through governmental bureaucracy. I just have to be patient (not one of my strong suits) and be prepared for the worst case scenario and pray for the best case scenario. I heard a great line in a movie last night, “If you do not like the road you are on, start paving a new one!”