We had a Christmas Party at the DRC (daily reporting center). WHAT???? I cannot make fun of this event … it was a sincere effort made by staff to have everyone get together and play games, eat, & swap funny stories. We had a solid turnout even though it wasn’t mandatory. Although when I asked for clarification….”do we have to come to this?” The exact response I received was “it is not mandatory, yet it is.” That was from the head honcho (the DRC Director). So I was really struggling with the question of …. should I go? I did go….it’s not worth the possibility of future trouble …. AND….it was worth it.
Our group of DRC inmates has actually gotten tight so it was fun to just hang out & hear more about their individual lives (prison journeys/stories fascinate me). Usually I get in trouble for asking about the details of their lives/cases (not for asking the question but because the story usually hijacks the group discussion). BUT today I was allowed to ask as many questions as I wanted.
We have a general store at the DRC. Imagine back to grammar school when you got points for being good (good behavior). With these points you could buy things.
So that’s what we have. There is a store at the facility & you can buy all sorts of stuff.
You get the money (looks like Monopoly money) from staff for winning games, answering questions, (or for other random things). Well, at the party, they made everything 50% off and called it “Cyber Monday.” There were some useful items to buy (watches, pots/pans, blankets, toiletries, games, etc). A lot of these items are essential for plenty of the inmates so it was cool to see people get excited. They also had a gift wrapping station so you could wrap the items as gifts for friends/family if you wanted to.
I actually commend the staff, the event was a huge success & helping like that goes a long way for the inmates & their families.
It really puts things in perspective & reminds me not to take any of the good things we have In our life for granted.
They had other stations that gave away prizes for participating. They had a quiz station, hot chocolate cart, design your own card, and a surprise bag (where you got one blindfolded grab….it had cool gifts such as “skip a class day,” “phone meeting instead of coming in for your one on one meeting,” “leave early,” “no homework,” and “gift bucks,”. (Things inmates wanted & would use)
So the big thing theme in every class related activity run by the BOP is participation. This cracks me up because I think most of the time this tactic is used to waste time when people haven’t prepared. But the head of the Sac DRC is sharp, and although we have had some differences of opinions she actually is pretty impressive. Anyway she had this funny giant sized dice (personalized with each side having a funny act you had to participate in). Things such as “sing a Xmas song.”, “tell why you are on the naughty list,” “tell a funny story about your incarceration (or Xmas story),” etc. Everyone participated….it was pretty entertaining.
I rolled “telling a funny story,” on the dice. Now the groups have heard plenty of my stories so I was asked who I had tortured over the past year (years). Who was I on the naughty list for? I took a moment and then I responded … “my Parents & my other family (which consists of Jessica, Erica, Linda, and even their husbands Jeremy & George).” I proceeded to tell the story to those I was eating with of how through multiple driving infractions (I am recently ranked a “top five worlds worst driver,”), reckless driving, then a felony conviction…..I have asked more of my best friends-2nd family/& MY family than I could have ever imagined. Telling this story out loud made me realize how ridiculous it truly was. How many times I made a call asking for “help.” …. Get me out of this crazy mess I got myself into ….I told the group how countless times I called and said “help, I messed up.” I acknowledged how frustrating it must have be for everyone …. Including the husband’s….”WHAT….We need to help Scott again?” The story got considerable laughs because most people in prison/HH only know the Scott Carper who is generous, & helpful….they didn’t meet the lazy, entitled version my friends & family had to put up with for years. It highlights how different a person I was at that point in my life.
Well somehow this story resonated with others because the remaining gifts (snow hats & lotions/beauty products) were given to me…..they were even wrapped by the staff (STAFF WRAPPED THESE GIFTS…CMON!!!). Even staff probably felt bad for my friends/families/attorneys….I was GIVEN EXPRESS instructions by my fellow inmates to give these gifts to the people that have earned it having to put up with me for so long. Ha….I’m not sure there is enough gifts on the planet but I will try.
A new fun contest I have started. I am accumulating pics from different institutions. Lets see who has the tiniest/brutal room. Here are this months winners. There was barely enough room to take the picture.
So as we close out another holiday. I want to share something I wrote last year with a friend during the holidays. It was one of the first times I offered to help someone write a letter. This person was super charismatic and actually very smart he just felt he couldn’t write well. So I told him that I wanted to write a letter to my family/friends also so we would do it together. I remember I was still detoxing and my brain was mush so I really struggled. But this is what we (mainly him) came up with. I ended up keeping a copy.
Dear Family & Friends,
Your love and support mean more to us than words can express. Through every trial and challenge, your unwavering presence has been our greatest source of strength. Thank you for standing by us, believing in us, and showering us with your endless love. We just wanted to take a moment to appreciate your incredible ability to love us even when we managed to mess things up royally. We cherish every moment and can’t wait to be reunited. You are our rock, our motivation, and our endless well of love. We love you more than words can say.
I think he/we nailed it!!
Thanks from all of us. We love and miss you. We will see you soon. Happy Holidays.