Journal Entry: Gary Goulin-03/02/2024-I GOT a SHOT!

Journal Entry

Yesterday, I had 2 “call-outs” or appointments I was required to attend. The first one was at 8 am in the Education Center. That was perfect because I had planned on being there at 7 am to continue one of my Adult Continuing Education courses. At 8 am I went to see the gentleman in charge, and with whom I had discussed my interest in teaching and tutoring. The “call-out” was for dyslexia screening, which apparently is mandatory for all new-coming inmates. Given my educational background and no history of any learning disabilities, he knew I didn’t have dyslexia, but was required to do the screening, nonetheless. I chuckled that maybe I do have an undiagnosed learning disability that held me back from being a rocket scientist. But also, the screening did not pick up any issues.

At 9 am I reported to the gym. Rumor had it that staff was going to be handing out specimen containers which we would use to screen for colon cancer. False rumor. The staff is giving COVID boosters. My last booster was last September, so I figured I might as well take advantage. I was happy to see that most people elected to get the vaccine; not that many refused. But just like on the outside, conspiracy theories about the vaccine continue to thrive in here. Today my arm is sore, but I had no other side effects.

I’m feeling much less lost as time goes on and getting used to the routine. I’m slowly but surely learning peoples’ names, and beginning to become friendly with a few people here. I am continually amazed by the friendliness and generosity of people here. It’s generosity of information and help navigating the system; not generosity of material things. I had great preparation prior to my entry here. I know not to blindly accept things – that’s how one gets into debt and into trouble. But people are always willing to answer any question I might have and give words of advice on how to deal with certain issues.

The weather here fluctuates wildly. One day it’s nice (high in 50’s), then the next day it’s very cold and snowy. Today was a beautiful day. High in the low 60’s to my best guess. I took advantage of the nice weather (and sunscreen which I was able to purchase earlier this week at the commissary) and walked about 4 miles around the exercise yard today. Many, many others had the same idea. The walking is very helpful to me – very meditative and calming.

I’ve been taking yoga classes 3x/week. The focus is on stretching, which I badly need, especially as I get older. In addition to keeping my mind healthy, I’ve got to keep my body healthy as well! So now, after my yoga class and all that walking, I’m off to take a short nap. Have to get plenty of rest too. . . .