“All’s well that ends” OR, Pith from a naïve genius

Months ago, I was tempted to mention my attendance of the upcoming Correctional Educational Association’s Region I conference May 27-29 in Mystic, Conneck-Tea-Kit.  I did not give into that temptation, because of certain correctional truisms, one of them being “Don’t Believe It ‘Til You See It.”  But this week I was informed by Fiscal that, I will in fact be there, and this courtesy of the “Skill-Building Techniques for Stress Reduction” grant, now in its final Year 2 death-throes.

This conference idea, BTW, was suggested two years ago by Shelley Quezada, uber-Librarian and Consultant to the Underserved on the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Shelley attends as many of our DOC librarian’s meetings as she can fit into her busy globe-trotting schedule.

Board of library commissionersShe also is my liaison for this grant and, in many ways, has mentored me throughout this crazyquilt career. She knows I don’t attend conferences and suggested that a good use for some of this grant money would be to get me out & about. So muchas gracias, mi buena amiga.

Everyone in our Dept. approval path was enormously helpful in getting me there, and when that happens I have learned to count my blessings & wing a prayer of thanksgiving heavenward.

It doesn’t always work out, this bureaucracy business.  Even when it does, sometimes it does so at a cost of so many compromises that it seems pointless to have requested anything in the first place. But corrections has helped me practice gratitude, and patience.  I figure another 200 years and I’ll have it down.

CEA logoI plan to participate in several workshops, including:

  • “Teaching in Corrections as an Adjunct Professor”
  • “Social Climate: What it Is and Why It Matters for the Incarcerated”
  • “Disleksia: The Movie”
  • “Changin’ Your Game Plan: How to Use Your Incarceration as a Steppingstone for Success,” and
  • “Embracing Change in Adult Learning”

There will also be a tour of York Correctional Institution, Connecticut’s only female correctional facility. york

I think I’m looking forward most to that.  It’s interesting, seeing how other States respond to the programming needs of inmates and the security concerns of the institution.  I hope we visit their Library. I want to see how it measures up.

Mystic is kinda close to Niantic, a sleepy harbor that contains within its town limits one of the most jaw-dropping used bookstore empires on the East Coast, the increasingly inaccurately-named Book Barn.

book barnWhat started out as books in a barn has grown throughout the village–almost cancerous-like–into four separate locations, and all within a span of 1.5 measly miles.  One of my favorite places to be and, since the conference is in late May, it should be one of the few times when I get to visit the place in fair weather.

Take a look at their RealityTV Pilot.