This week we present a third-installment of graduate student Annie McClanahan’s account of teaching at San Quentin correctional facility with the Prison University Project. Annie has contributed two previous posts on this topic, in which she addresses, first, the nature of the program in general and a short account of the class she most recently taught and, second, the nature of the prison itself as well as that of the students she teaches. In what follows, Annie speaks more pointedly on frequently asked questions about issues of safety and academic achievement specific to prison teaching.
Are you scared?/Is it safe?
The short answer is that no, I’m not, and yes, it is. In one way, it’s often very easy [...]
One of the ongoing ways in which some members of the English department involve themselves with the larger community of the Bay Area is, as we’ve already touched on here, through the Prison University Project. Below, graduate student Annie McClanahan continues her account of teaching at San Quentin by answering some “Frequently Asked Questions” about her experience. As the semester progresses, the blog will include a number of posts that describe the members of the departments’ involvement with the program in more detail.
What is the prison itself like?
It’s about as hard to generalize about the prison as it is to generalize about the students: for those who don’t know, San Quentin is located on one of the most beautiful pieces [...]
In what follows, Annie McClanahan, a sixth-year PhD student in the English Department, gives a brief overview of her teaching at San Quentin Correctional Facility. This is the first of a number of posts about the English Department’s involvement with the program. In the future, both Annie and other members of the department will report specific stories from their classes as well as describing the different facets of the experience in greater detail.
I imagine that most of us are pretty sure we’ll remember where we were on election night this year—I know I will, because I happened to be in prison. Lest you think the academic and financial pressures of graduate school have led the department’s students to a life [...]