It’s Not Funny: Prison as a Joke

Hillary Blunt
Staff Writer

As I watched a recent episode of The Mindy Project, I was shocked by the portrayal of people who are incarcerated.  As a student who travels to prison once a week, I know what it is like to go inside, and I have interacted with “prisoners” on a more personal level.

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The Geometry of Goucher Sex

Ada Maxwell
Opinion Editor

Hillary Blunt
Staff Writer

Many different kinds of circles exist in this world:  the circle of life, the Goucher loop road, planetary orbits, and sex circles.

Because Goucher is such a small community, insestuous relationships within friend groups are bound to occur.  The overlapping nature of these relationships sometimes creates circles of sexual relations. But, much like the Goucher loop road and planetary orbits, sex circles are not always perfectly round.  Often they come together in unique ways to create chaotic webs of social interaction.

It has always seemed strange to us that these circles seem to be not only accepted, but are almost encouraged amongst friends at Goucher.

This is not normal in the outside world.

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AH-mused: In This Edition: Poking.

Allison Panetta
Staff Writer

Hillary Blunt
Staff Writer

Poking on facebook has been over for years, right?

Wrong.

For us it is on the rise. Thanks to a spike in boredom and unproductivity over break (and finals), poking is making a comeback.   Read more of this post

AH-mused: In this edition: Winter Break.

Allison Panetta
Staff Writer

Hillary Blunt
Staff Writer

Winter is an excellent time to be productive. Many students have internships or work to earn money. Through these experiences, our peers gained money to afford activities and learned excellent skills to help them for when they enter the “real world.”

We were not amongst this lucky group. No, we were part of a much better group: a group of unemployed who used their six weeks of free time as inspiration to watch super hero movies as well as almost all of Sailor Moon and several seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In many ways as you get older, winter break gets better and worse. As freshmen, it’s nice to go home and see all your familiar friends, as juniors and seniors it’s interesting to see how everyone has changed or not changed over the past couple of years.

Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, all of your friends have moved away, but it’s especially fun when you’re friends come of age, and you can finally start drinking together in public in bars.

Let’s be real. Goucher’s break is way too long. We spent the first and last week doing absolutely nothing because there was nobody around.  The ones in the middle contained far too many hours spent watching Disney movie marathons with friends from the days when you were too cool for Disney.

Fortunately, several movies came out over break to keep us entertained, most notably, of course, Les Misérables.  Both of us had the pleasure of enjoying Anne Hathaway’s death and the ever tear jerking moment between Gavroche and Javert multiple times.  

Needless to say, this break involved a lot more crying than normal.  

Additionally, realizing that we would have to wait for two more movies for the Hobbit to be completed was equally depressing.

There were some parts that weren’t so sad, and these were not the Holidays.  Hillary actually cried on Christmas Eve.  New Years Eve was spent sober with few friends and a grumpy ex-boyfriend.  

Allison though, did have a small amount of enjoyment on Christmas, because her family was surprisingly well behaved.  

It was these experiences in particular that helped us grow to appreciate all of the great friendships we have made at Goucher.

Coming back from winter break was truly a treat.  It was great to see familiar faces, and zero grumpy ex-boyfriends.  

The best times over break were actually spent with fellow Goucher students from our area, so it was exciting to be reunited and back on the home turf.  

It feels like everybody who was gone on ICAs were actually away for a semester, but that was because we received no Facebook pokes for three weeks (foreshadowing of our next article: “To Poke or Not To Poke”).  

Regardless, it was nice to see everybody home in America and in the beautiful city of Baltimore again.

GPEP: What I learned in Prison

Hillary Blunt
Staff Writer

Every Monday, I travel to Maryland Correctional Institution for Women to work with Goucher students, tutoring them in both math and writing.  Through the Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP), the women at the prison are taking courses taught by Goucher professors for Goucher acadmic credit.

Professor Barbara Roswell, among other community members, laid the foundations for the program many years ago through a book club she helped to start at the prison.  GPEP returned in full force this year, with its new director Amy Roza and help through a grant from Bard College, which began a similar program in 1999.

The goal of the program is to give people who are incarcerated a chance to earn a prestigious degree, despite serving a sentence. The women at the prison went through a similar admissions process to any student who attends Goucher on the Towson campus.  The academic standards at the prison are as high as any class at Goucher.

The women are wonderful.    I know from experience that they are extremely intelligent. They ask boundless questions and are typically lively and engaged in their work.

This semester, the women have been taking an Introduction to Communications course, English 104, a frontiers course taught by Professor Roswell that has students both from the main campus and from MCIW, and an Algebra I math course.

Recently, each of the women received a copy of An Enemy of the People, the same book that all incoming freshman read over the summer.

Centerstage Theatre in Baltimore performed an Enemy of the People, a play written by Arthur Miller, this fall.  The play’s director, Kwame Kwei-Armah, spoke to Goucher freshmen during their orientation week, though I was fortunate enough to hear him speak with the women of MCIW.

His talk was inspiring in a number of ways.

I was inspired as an artist when Kwei-Armah said, “The goal of art is to hold a mirror up to society and ask: do you like what you see?”  This statement helped me to think about my own art as a choreographer and find what was missing from my advanced composition class piece.

He was inspiring in the discussion he led, which surrounded the idea of the meaning behind truth.

Lastly, I was inspired by the women at the prison, who  showed great analytic thought throughout their discussion, which dissected the story and led them to ask a number of questions that were both fascinating and engaging.

Often, here on campus, I attend the large lectures given by guests and am frustrated with the questions my peers ask.  Usually, the questions seem to be asked just for the sake of asking a question,  not for provoking some sort of thought or bring about an answer that leads people in a new direction.

Unlike many on-campus Goucher events, or even classes, that I have attended, all of the students at MCIW had not just done, but also thought about the reading.

Goucher is doing its student population a great service by now including inmates into the curriculum.  It would be great if even more interaction between the two campuses were to occur.  We have a lot to learn from each other.

 

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