Journal Entry: Robert Jesenik-02/17/2024-Journal #6

Journal Entry

Sunday 2/11

Woke up to a glorious day weather wise (can’t wait until that’s not the exception) and Superbowl Sunday as well! Getting myself organized for a busy week, as I have lots to do now that I’ve met with my case manager:

– Meet with Dr. in Psychology to get recommendation for RDAP(Residential Drug and Alcohol Program)- if I qualify I would get a year off my sentence

– Meet with education Dept to:

  • prove with my MBA I went to high school so I don’t have to take GED classes
  • sign up for tutor class so I can eventually teach classes
  • sign up for 3 First Step ACT classes which give me credit to further reduce my my sentence 36 months
  • Present my doctor’s letter to medical team/case manager outlining my autoimmune issues and required off property treatment plan

– Finalize my research/questions for counsel on appeal issues

Doesn’t seem like a lot,but the hours and wait times baked in the above will easily use the whole week, believe it or not. Combined with a forecast of good weather week and getting access back to weight lifting in the Yard, should be a busy week!

Spent five hours on the Superbowlgame, first time without food and dink in a long time! Obviously a great game, and best of all I was 3/3 on my bets so cleared 7.5:1. First time in a long time since I made some money:)

Monday 2/12

Should be a productive morning, finishing journal and book reports from last week, followed by a workout at 12 and an xray on my back at 1.

Reading a couple good books simultaneously, Project Hail Mary, a fantastic book on space travel and saving the earth, and encountering aliens, and how mans science and human emotions intersect with theirs. Lot’s of biology as well. Not sure how the author, ___ even came up with the story! During my past chat with my pastor before surrendering, he recommended Chuck Colson’s books, so I just started Born Again, his autobiography. Colson was in Nixon’s White House, served 18 months in prisom for Watergate related stuff, and subsequently started a prison ministry, Prisoner Fellowship, now in 112 countries. I hope it inspires me in some way to start refining my goals and inspirations, especially God’s will for me while in prison and thereafter.

After our outdoor workout at 12, a beautiful day I might add,headed to the library to finish my research on a couple cases that might be relevant for my appeal. Now that I can finish the legal memo for counsel,I’m also running it by a friend I have made here, a former lawyer to see if I’m missing or misstating anything on Thursday.

My evening was spent bouncing back and forth between the 2 books, both becoming more and more fascinating!

Tuesday 2/13

Big day today, commissary at 6:45 am. Well almost, fog was in so we had lockdown from 7-10:20 am. Another three hours of reading those two books!

Decent day at commissary, had to miss luch to get it, and only spent $70 as they were out of things. good news is I finally got new gym shorts after 5 weeks!

Beautiful 65 degrees today, so was going outside at 1, but a lieutenant told me to go back to my unit as my shirt wasn’t tucked in under my sweatshirt. Ughh, the important things they seem to worry about. But my bad, I just forgot. After dinner, saw a good movie,and then finished Born Again, the book by Chuck Colson on Watergate etc. covering his journey from the White House to prison for 18 months to forming a non profit Prison Fellowship and his conversion to Christianity. This is is now the third book I’ve read since being here that met me exactly where I was at the time of my journey here, a true answer to prayer each time. While I keep asking Jesus what his Will for me while in prison, I haven’t gotten a clear answer, which is sometimes discouraging until when one of these books shows up. It not only encourages me but I realize its God’s way of saying ” stay patient, one step at a time, it doesn’t mean I’m not answering your prayers”. While patience is not be one of my virtues, I do understand its always God’s timing, not mine that matters.

Wednesday 2/14

Well its Valentines’ day, hope my girls got their cards today!

Today was going to be the start of my daily double workouts, one 9-10 am, and the other 2-3 pm. As typical anymore it seems, we were waiting at 9, but the guard didn’t open the door to head out. Turns out some prisoner had a screaming attack in the hallway, had to be handled, so no morning workout for all of us. I just need to get used to not being able to plan anything, doesn’t come easy after all these years of scheduled meetings and calls…… Guess it helped me have a couple hours on the computer finishing my legal memo and my journal from last week.

Met with a new friend of mine who is/was an attorney, and has several wild prison expriences to share. Spent 1.5 hours talking about our past plus prison life which was quite enjoyable. Then 30 minutes on my appeal to get his perspective on what I’ve written, should hear back next week.

Thursday 2/15

Every once in awhile one has a great day in prison. Well today was one of those!

Started with my normal email and quiet time/reading till 8, and got off my long email to counsel for appeal questions. Followed by a 9 am workout outside, by far the nicest day of the year. First time I was able to sweat after a workout!!

Enjoyed through out the day the often pathetic, yet entertaining Atlanta DA Willis and her former boyfriends performance.Way more entertaining than ESPN, though a pretty sad statement on how much freedom and lack of oversight our prosecutors really have- its like unlimited power matched with very limited capabilities.

Thursday is my favorite lunch day with rotisserie chicken. Followed by a 1 pm outside again in gorgeous weather. At 1:34 pm, we saw a launch of a Space X Falcon rocket for my first time upclose as Vandenburg Space Force BAse in < 5 miles away. A beautiful bright light traversing horizontally across the horizon and blue sky until disappearing. We’ve experienced almost weekly the 30-45 second shaking inside the building walls during takeofffs, but to see it while feeling the schocking was special!

Ended the day with a movie in the auditorium, a little TV, then back to my books in the cell till 10 and lights out!

Being in prison, one has so much time to think and reflect on so many things. If there’s one benefit to prison that would be it, thats for sure. I’m finding that writing my journal daily as part of a weekly series really helps me reflect and think about each day itself. I have several highlights from this day to think about, from God’s glory shining outside all day,to several calls with family and friends,to reflecting on Born Again, my next book report to write. One item really is always on my minds,and thats how sad our prison system really is in terms of really achieving its objectives. As an example, walking back from the movie tonight with a fellow inmate who is 6 cells down, from Idaho, been in prison 10 times for over 30 years now. Still has 7+ to go. All drug related to make income to live a decent standard of living, not excessive, just standard.Whatever skills he has with his hands like construction or woodworking dont make much to live on, let alone save anything for retirement, so drugs it is until caught again. I asked him point blank, will you do an 11th stint, his reply was “probably as I have no family, no retirement.” In some ways its like a harmless street person in disguise I’m speaking to and no one in BOP is set up to diagnose and deal with it, nor likely can. What solution is there in our society for people to live with 3 meals plus shelter besides prison, even though they are otherwise harmless? Somehow we have solutions for illegal immigrants but never for our own folks it seems. Sad.

Friday 2/16

Today was another enjoyable prison day. Maybe becasue of the weather or maybe because after 6 weeks I’m finally getting things figured out, not really sure.

Morning was normal reading and writing and 9 outside workout. Three miles plus exercises. After lunch( I made tuna on saltines as I’ve learned to only go to chow when it might be decent)I went outside for 2 hours to do weights and laps. Since it was so nice I brought a book to read as well as to get more vitamin D! Definitely will try this routine on nice days going forward.

Receivd my first legal package from my counsel today. I didn’t realize what a big deal that is for the prisoners an guards. Prisoners get excited( I assume out of hope) and the guard opens it and inspects everything, looking for things to not allow. Couldnt find any today:). Same thing happened at self surrender.

Finished another book report and getting ready to tackle Born Again as a book report as well as The Hail Mary Project.Those plus this weeks journal will be my priorities next week. I aslo now have a draft letter from my doctor to see if counsel approves so I can begin that process inside BOP.

Sat 2/17

Great day as my partner of 7+ years and her sister visited for 4.5 hours today.Really is amazing how fast time flies when we’re together . Saying goodbye is always the hardest part, but if we didn’t love each other then it wouldnt be that hard I guess!

Unfortunately I woke up with sniffles and by Saturday night was a full blown fever, sore throat etc. Thankfully I have lots of books to read,

Another highlight Saturday was speaking to all my kids(all4!) and granddaughter who were in Fort Lauderdale together after a wedding. My little granddaughter is getting quite vocal including saying “B PA” all the time now. Can’t wait to see them, some in 2 weeks, some in 4 weeks!