This week, I have been taking a writing workshop at Meredith College with writer Peggy Payne. I have worked with Peggy before one-on-one, had her as a sub in my other writing class, but never spent a week with her as the teacher. It has been an awesome, informative week.
For one of our exercises, we chose a picture from a pile of magazine cutouts. We were then asked to write about the character. All week, I have used this person for sketches for the class. The man, Jamal, is a prisoner, trying to keep his temper in check so that he can be released. His obstacle to doing this is a very sadistic guard named Erskine Lewis.
Today, I read a scene where Jamal is being strip searched. But instead of searching, the guard rubs his stick up and down a scar on Jamal's leg, taunting him with derogatory names.
After the fairly explicit reading, one of the girls in the class leaned over and said, "Can I ask you a personal question?" I said, "Sure!" She said, "Have you ever been in prison?"
I don't know whether to feel complimented or insulted.