Friday, February 26, 2010

2/23/10 - Classroom Drama

Okay, this getting out of control. After all my leg-work getting put into History of WWII to take the place of a canceled Credit Smart class, I find out that Credit Smart is back on. WTF!? Now I am torn between taking a class I wanted originally - or telling the teacher, thanks for all your finagling, but no thanks. After all, he allowed me to test into the class after it had already started, a class in which I never signed up for, and won't be taught again due to his nearing release date. My only hope is to see if I can switch to the Thursday Credit Smart class, which is rumored to be full. It also won't be the original teacher or his teacher's aid. In fact, class resumes tonight and the teacher is still TBD... Wow, really? Are they going to pull names out of a fucking hat here? I don't know what the deal is, but I got 4 hours to figure it out. I suppose I will just go to HWWII tonight, History of Ancient Civilizations tomorrow and just walk into Thursdays CS class and see if I get a seat. More on all that at the end of this week. FYI, I pretested a 73% percent on the HWWII but only scored a pathetic 30% on the HAC. I have a lot of studying to do in the HAC class.

As for other news, they mounted these huge flood lights at the corners of the Unit 5 & 6 buildings. It just so happens that the lights on the Unit 6 building shine directly into our fucking windows at night. It was so bright inside, I could read my book easily and without the usual book light. After waking up around 3am, I couldn't fall asleep for the rest of the night. I am bushed, and tonight's HWWII class is supposed to have a movie, I better not fall asleep.

Otherwise, things are moving along. A couple people have yet to respond to my request for signing up the inmate email system, so check your in-boxes for an email sent within the last two weeks, it will hyperlink you to were you need to go. A couple of those same people haven't been answering my phone calls either. FYI, it says 'private number' or 'unavailable number' on your caller ID. As soon as you pick it up, an automated message tells you it's a federal inmate calling and tells you my name. So answer your damn phones every once and a while and see if it's me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bureaucratic Bullshit

So yesterday I had my team meeting, but as usual, I was told it wasn't until March 16th, so I was late to it. I could have been written up for being tardy, but I got a stern warning instead. I learned the BOP plans on releasing me to Montana because that is where my case is from. I was in shock. I have had a residence in Seattle for 10 years, did my pre-trial there, and want to go back there to continue on with my life. So we (my councilor and I) started the lengthy paperwork process to get that changed to Seattle. Additionally, we got the ball rolling on getting my Social Security Card sent in and my Birth Certificate sent in. It's all kinda stupid as I know I have these things packed away, but the BOP requires you get them sent in so you can leave with them. Now I know why the running joke for the acronym BOP is not Bureau Of Prisons, but Backwards On Purpose.

Last night was supposed to be the second Credit Smart Class. At noon, we got our ID's photo copied to send in with the Credit Report Requests so I thought things were normal. That is, until I went to class at night and discovered class was cancelled. After asking around, I learned the BOP stepped on the teacher's toes about something, and he quit. He was teaching four Credit Smart classes and was also a GED tutor. I understand his frustrations with the stifling system and hold no grudge against him for his decision, but I am crushed none the less. I immediately asked my Ancient Civilizations teacher if I could join his History of WWII class as well, due to the closing of the Credit Smart class. He said yes, no problem. So I will take my first HoAC tonight and my first HWWII next Tuesday. I will be one week behind in HoAC and two weeks behind HWWII, but I can catch up fairly easily. I want to maintain two classes per quarter if and when possible.

Otherwise, I was medically cleared to work today - which is fine considering I already locked in a job. At 1:30, I and many others have some mystery meeting to attend to, yet none of us know why. Even the experienced inmates don't have any clue as to why so many are being called into the auditorium today. I guess I will find out soon enough.

I will post on that tomorrow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

e-mail alerts: a message from your editor

If you want to know when Geoff texts you and you don't want to log in to CorrLinks to check it every day, try this...

- Log into Corrlinks

- Go to Account Management

- Go to Manage Inmate List

- Click Email Alert Box

This will make the Corrlinks system send you a notice to your regular email address saying you have a message waiting. This will be better than logging in each time to Corrlinks just to see if you have an email from me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Job

So, today my bunky comes running up to me in the rec. yard with a panicked look upon his face. As I began to question his distraught appearance, he interrupted me to say, 'Thank God I found you. You need to follow me quickly.' I again attempted to ask what was going on, 'Did I miss a page to the admin building? Did something happen to my property? WTF is going on?!?' He again repeated his instruction to follow him, so I did staying right on his heels. We entered our building, and made a mad dash up the stairs to the councilor office. Now I'm thinking, oh shit, something bad is going to happen. When he ushered me in, there was another inmate I didn't recognize and the councilor. The door shut behind me and I stood still not knowing what was going on. The inmate looked at me and said, 'Dodd, I heard you were looking for a job to keep you out of the kitchen.' 'We'll, yeah, actually I am. What does this job entail?' With a wink, he replied, 'Next to nothing.'

He told me about a weekend gig mopping and sweeping the bathroom, stocking TP, soap, and paper towels. I mop and sweep once a day, Sat. & Sun. at a time of my choosing and keep an eye on the supplies throughout the rest of the day. Takes no more than 45 min. to do the labor part of my job, and best of all it keeps me from doing the BS kitchen duty (which is 3-4 days a week for 3-4 hours a day). Now, at .35/hour no matter what job I get, I want to do as little as possible and for it to not interfere with my other activities. I couldn't be happier with how this worked out. Councilor said as soon as I am medically cleared, the job is all mine.

My Credit Smart class starts tomorrow. I am super stoked. A couple of days ago, I ran into the teacher of that class and got to pick his brain while we waited in chow line. Then by some stroke of luck, he sat at my table and we got to continue the Q&A. Talking to him made me even more excited to get started on this class.

I will keep ya'll up to date on the progress of that.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Classes, etc

The only thing of interest today is I saw the list for the ACE classes. I got into my Credit Smart class I wanted. Good thing too, roughly 75 people signed up for it, but only the first 35 got in this quarter. That's a start in the right direction for me, and I can't wait to get right to it. Like I said the other day, next quarter I am going to try and get into HVAC and I heard about a landscape architecture class that will be initiated next quarter or the one after that.

Otherwise, this place is buzzing with anticipation and preparation for the Super Bowl. Sounds like we get a f'ing sack lunch tomorrow... shitty thing is I don't have any food stuffs from commissary to cook myself something descent. Oh well, everything will be back to normal on Monday.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Classes, Pt. 2

Luckily a friend came to tell me this morning I had to be at our A&O meeting at 8am. The meeting is redundant shit spouting off rules and regulations, by multiple people, but always regurgitating the same information. We got let out just in time to rush over, (but not too fast, because there is no running on campus) to the ACE registration line. First come, first serve I was told. Although, I was also told you could sign up last and still get in due to your release date. No one really seems to know all information about one thing, only half... I got in and signed up for the Credit Smart class as planned. I think next quarter, if I get into Credit Smart this round, I will look into the HVAC classes. (HVAC = Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) Pretty handy shit to know and they are talking about integrating a new solar panel installation course to it soon, which would be also very valuable. After lunch, I asked about the possibility of getting into my computer class this round and building trades, but it still looks bleak. Otherwise, I reconfirmed that I can take a fitness class taught by my cubey and receive an ACE credit for it. I can simply sit in on those classes anytime I want, which I will do for now, but I might as well get a credit for it too. The registration for that class isn't until March.

That's it. Back to focusing on keeping myself occupied and healthy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I found out that it is highly unlikely I will get into the vocational classes I initially signed up for, but I am still awaiting for an official word. However, I did discover that ACE class registration begins tomorrow. (ACE means Adults Continuing Education). They are not considered equivalent to college credits, but they do show your eventual Parole Officer, and your half-way house, that you didn't just sit on your ass during your incarceration. That will open the door to highly sought after half-way houses because you are already showing improvement and independence during incarceration. The class I signed up for is called Credit Smart. It is a class that teaches you how to comprehend and improve your credit score. They also let you pull your current report and help design a potential plan to make necessary improvements. The class is 10 weeks long, meeting once a week for 2 hours. While there is no guarantee that I will get into this class, but at least I still know I have a chance to get into something this quarter. If I don't, I will definitely get in the next round based on my release date.

Anyway, that is all I have to report at this time. Classes start Monday so I will know very soon if I got in this round.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Shake down! So as we waiting in line at the cafeteria for dinner, an unusual number of inmates are pouring out of my building. Within minutes we hear that four C.O.s kicked everyone out of our building (Building 5). When we finished dinner, many of us were lined up around the cafeteria trying to see if we could catch a glimpse of what they were up to in there. We were blindsided by another C.O. who ran us off and told us to go to the rec. yard (so we couldn't see anything). I am freezing my ass off from the chill of the Oregon night as I didn't dress to be out in that weather for more than a few minutes. It took these assholes nearly 2 hours to complete their search of our homes. Finally, tentatively, we walked back in to inspect the damage. It wasn't bad, not too much was strewn about, but it was shitty to think how bad they could have tossed the place. This experience brought on stories of other incidents that left the building in total chaos. The C.O.s are reported to smash food containers on the floor, spilling the contents everywhere, then emptying your locker contents on the floor, and finally, dumping your bed and clothes into the mix. They said a real shakedown will take hours to clean up from, not the 15 minutes this took to clean up. It was obvious they were after something specific: Drugs, Tobacco, or a cell phone. Luckily, all my unit is older gents who just want to do their time without any trouble - quiet and relaxed. No one was reported to be cited with anything but tomorrow will yield more answers.

You know you want to come visit....

If you want to visit me in here, please go to and click on the 'visitor' link or 'visitor form'. You should be able to print out a background authorization form. Fill it out and include a photocopy of your drivers license.

Send To:

Camp Counselors

P.O.Box 8000

Sheridan, OR 97378

My information is:

Geoffrey Dodd 39244-086

You will probably have to fill in who you intend on visiting.

Here's the visiting regulations for Sheridan:
download the pdf located in the bottom right-hand corner.