Excerpts from MDC’s literary magazine
From the Women's Writing Classes at MDC
The following is a compilation of thoughts based on the idea of resilience and resourcefulness:
We call ourselves the McGalvers of MDC because like the infamous MCGuver, the TV hero who could make a bomb out of bubble gum, we are all incredibly resourceful. To all of those employers who question our skills, work ethic and problem solving capabilities, you might want to change your mind after hearing our stories.
We have no curling irons, rollers, makeup or hairspray, but every morning we get ourselves together by plucking our eyebrows with strings, curling our hair with tissue paper, and holding it all together with spray made by dissolving sugar, water, Jolly Rancher candies, and indigent toothpaste.
Speaking of toothpaste, indigent dentifrice is the glue that holds pictures of our loved ones above our beds, or sticks together an envelope that sends a birthday card home to our children. Beads of toothpaste left to harden by an air vent become Jailhouse Tic Tacks.
Nothings is as it seems. Panties become bras, bras become hair ties, unless you have an extra sock or two. Tissue become Tampons, and material becomes string which eventually finds itself hanging as a cross around our necks.
by Robert Cameron
I am so lucky to be in this place called jail. Just listen and see. I was on my way straight to my death. Because of a drug. One we called Meth. I kept digging a hole a hole that was deep. If I dig anymore it would have reached six-feet deep. I was digging what I called my very own grave. Scoop after scoop because I was a slave to a drug the one we called meth. And just like I said, it was leading straight to my death. If I would have kept hiding in my foolish ways you could have found me at the bottom of this grave covered with what? Nothing but dirt. Leaving my family with nothing but a whole lot of hurt. I thank the Lord, I thank him for jail because without this I know now I would fail. Now I'm clean. Clean and sober again, with the Lord's help I know I can win. I will do this for me, myself, and I. And at the same time I this, well one day at a time. Because if I die I'm sure you will find, me right here in the same place, or even worse at the bottom of a grave and all for what? A drug we call meth one that will lead only to death. So thank you Jesus for saving me once again this you showed me. I truly do have a real friend.
Vive Tu Vida
Estoy aquí en este prisión
Pagando un delito que cometí
Solo Dios sabe que tanto tiempo
Que tanto tiempo me tiene aquí
Lejos de todos los que me quieren
Y que yo quiero, pobre de mi
Esto me sirve para decirte
Que no seas tonto que aquí
No sirve parra vivir
Vive tu vida con quien tu quieres
Déjá los drogas déjá el alcohol
Que solamente te trae problemas
Puras desgracias y cuanto dolor
Lucha con todo lo que puedas
Mantente lejos de la prisión
Cuida tus hijos y tu familia, dales carrino
Dales respeto y mucho amor
A donde estan esos tu amigos
Aquellos que daban todo por ti
Solo tu gente es la que sufre
Y la que pide a Dios por ti
Live Your Life
I am here in this prison
Doing time for a crime I committed
Only God knows how long,
How long he will keep me in here for
Away from everyone that loves me,
And that I love too; poor me,
I just want to tell you, do not be
A fool, this place is not a good place to live.
live your life with whoever you want
Leave drugs, leave alcohol
It only brings you problems
Sadness and so much pain.
Fight with all you’ve got
To stay away from prison.
Take care of your kids and family
Give them affection and respect,
And lots of love.
Where are all those that claimed to be
Your friends? Those that gave all for you ...
Just your people are the ones that suffer
And pray to God for you.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a corrido by one of Carlos Contreras’s students. The corrido is a narrative song, or ballad, and is part of a tradition spanning over 200 years. Its characters, events and themes are representative of the history of local communities in the Southwest. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first corrido composed at MDC to be published and gain a wide audience. We are printing the English and Spanish versions.
Why are Some Cops Crooked
By Eli Platero
Police corruption in our cities is a big problem. We should really look into our officers who join the city police stations. Most cops that do their jobs, do their jobs well, but many are corrupt. Many cops arrest people to have a sense of control over others, to become the head chief in the police force, and to profit from illegal organizations. Police corruption must be stopped because it makes the public lose faith in law enforcement.
Police officers often join for selfish reasons. Police have power over other people and can use that power in a negative way. Most situations that I have witnessed in my life is that the cops get smart with the people they are arresting. They lack respect for others in the process of serving and protecting society. This leads to a lack of respect from law abiding citizens. Police should be as polite as possible and the city should consider who they hire for the job and not hire mean people.
Some police officers are cops for the wrong reason. They want to be a big man to prove that they are better than others. When it comes to hiring anyone for law enforcement we should look into more why they should work in the law enforcement police department because most cops are either too aggressive or too verbally abusive to people. So we should really think twice in who we hire and see for sure if they really are good people to get the job done right and in a good manner. We should look into their backgrounds, life, hospital background, and mental problems if they have any.
Police can easily use their position to break the law themselves. Because they deal with criminals on a daily basis they are exposed to the temptation to take money for favors. They are the law, who's going to tell them differently. that is the way some cops see their jobs. It is important to hire honest people to be cops.
Police corruption is a problem that needs to be looked at. All too often cops are cops for the wrong reasons. They want control over others, they want to be superior to the public, and they want to get something for nothing. Police corruption must be stopped because it makes the public lose faith in law enforcement. It is important to not hire anyone with a crazy life that wants to take it out on everyone while being an officer and using the law to do that. Eighty percent of our officers are really good cops and the other twenty percent are crooked. We need a really big change in who we hire to serve and protect...
My Wallet Represents the Symbol of My Dad -Who He Was, Who I Am
By Kandy Padilla
I carry the memories of my parents
In my mind, in my heart.
In my heart first is the pain of losing both parents early in life.
I carry a longing to educate myself
To carry more responsibility
The responsibility of a good job
The ability to reach in my pocket
And feel spare change there
To be able to pass it along
To be the compassionate person I am.
I love life itself.
It is beautiful
There is so much to love.
The keys of my bike
The keys of my escape
Escape from sadness, pain, grief
It allows total freedom
I'm completely happy, filled with joy
I love that freedom.
My Initiation into M.D.C.
Heart sinks! Driver coming closer to the dark gray building, with barbed wire. Hand cuffed, and shackled, I’m stripped of all my belongings. Harsh words and stewed looks, I’m asked to strip down and shower, given a bed roll, and sack lunch, taken down a long hall, brick wall, quiet, and shocked led to a one room with many cells loud pod. Given a mat told to make my bed and put away into cell, to be forgotten.
A Vacation Paradise
By Martin Mares
MDC is a great place to visit. The MDC experience is an experience of a lifetime and one that all people should enjoy. If one wants to experience an awesome cuisine of fine foods, great accommodations, and the camaraderie of pleasant folks, this is for you.
At MDC the gourmet food is to die for. A first rate catering service will provide room service three times a day. You won't even have to leave you domain and suffer the crowds of the restaurant. The food is awesome and a variety of delicious courses are served at regular hours. You satisfaction is guaranteed.
The five star accommodations provide for a comfortable stay on your vacation experience. The rooms are an architectural marvel. The Zen ambiance of the environment gives you peace of mind and a time for self-reflection. It's the experience of a life time. MDC even has doors that are automatic, and the activities are so modern, you can never get enough of them. There are a number of activities that you can enjoy, a full size Gym that you can use as well as a personal trainer that is attentive to your needs.
So MDC is the place to be if you're looking to have everything handed to you. It's truly the land of entrapment so if you're ever in Albuquerque Nm it's a place you must see and visit. They're even open for you 24hrs a day, basically you don't have to do anything its al done for you, and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the vacation.
The cost to visit this paradise is less than you can imagine it's practically free. So when you want to stop by, it's open 24 hrs. a day seven days a week. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Apparently I cry at the drop of a hat, manipulate with smiles and tears, and ignore all therapeutic resources at my disposal. So Judge Jaramillo says as I stand before her with my hands demurely behind my back, my heart heavy, and my mind busy.
“What will be different this time?” Judge Jaramillo asks.
I think about the past fourteen months I spent in the Metropolitan Drug Court. The program was supposed to keep me out of jail, yet here I was again standing before the judge wearing orange and shackles. I spent a total of seventy-three days in jail over fourteen months, and I was tired. Specifically I was tired of the stereotypes, generalizations, and inconsistent judgments that defined Drug Court. I never expected this to be a pivotal moment in my life until my head and heart agreed for once and answered her question with one word.
This was the day I chose jail over freedom, or so it may seem. I actually chose jail so I could begin to live. I had to start at the beginning again if I really wanted change. I could not commit to a program I did not believe in. I had to start believing in myself, so I told Judge Jaramillo I wanted to drop out of the program. I had to drop out, and I felt such a sense of relief. I had finally found that peace of mind I was looking for. I decided to finish my sentence in jail and discover who I was because I am not sure I ever knew. Every day I journal and I reflect. I work for Metropolitan Assessment treatment Services where I cook and clean for fellow addicts and alcoholics in the midst of their own rehabilitation so I can practice going to work, finishing work, going home and heat, sleep, or socialize.
I was never comfortable with myself, but that defining moment was my first step to creating my own security.
To My Son Sgt. Joel A. Dahl
by Rheta Heather Dahl
He was born September 15th 1985, weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 21 inches long.
He died on June 23rd 2007.
He was a caring, loving boy and always put people before himself. He liked school, karate, wrestling, football, and R.O.T.C.: Reserve Officer’s Training Corps.
When he was a boy, Joel and his friends would go out on missions. They killed rattlesnakes, went shooting on the mesa, went fishing in the ditches, or spying on people. They were acting like soldiers at war. Joel and his friends made that dream a reality; they enlisted.
not long after Joel joined the Army, he got married to Alia. Then she got pregnant. He was so excited that he was going to be a daddy. Then he got shipped off to Iraq. He was there a few months.
In June of 2007, he was in Baghdad on his way home to see his son Daiden Anthony Dahl being born, when there was a small arms fire. He was hit in the head and was killed instantly. That was on June 23rd 2007. His son was born June 28th 2007, and I buried him on July 9th 2007, which would have been my mother’s birthday.
Joel died for what he wanted to do, and what he believed in. Now he’s happy with his grandma in heaven.
We all love and miss him, and he will never ever be forgotten in this life or this world.
Love, your mother
Rheta Heather Dahl
Matt Knudsen: American at Box Performance Space and Improv Theatre
A performance by the actor and comedian.
ECRR Preschool Storytime at East Mountain Library
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