Week 11

Week in Review

Monday December 24, 2018

It’s our holiday break for Christmas Eve, and it’s been slower than the normal ebb and flow of events that we’ve gotten so used to. Yet we warmly welcome the holidays as a time to build camaraderie. Instead of going to computer lab to work on assignments or working on our public speaking in Toastmasters, we spent the day in M-pod catching up on our studies for our next entrepreneurship test, as well as helping the Phase One class adjust to the PEP culture and bond with their PEP brothers.

Afterwards, we were finally able to host our weekly game night with two electric games of “Sock in the Bucket.” First, we took turns throwing a sock (turned into a football by stuffing it with a laundry bag) into a mop bucket on the opposite side of the dayroom, wedged into the corner of the second row runway. We clapped and cheered as the sock started sailing through the air and was shortly followed by the thud of it finding its home in the bucket. Progressively we upped the ante and took our three shots at the bucket from further distances and let our competitive sides shine radiantly. The good-natured competition not only allowed us to have fun, but it helped us spread the holiday cheer. After that, the games ended and the night began to wind down. As we got ready to go to bed, we had our last-minute conversations about our big Christmas meal we will get for lunch tomorrow.

James P. (a.k.a. “Geico Lizard”)

Tuesday December 25, 2018

Today is a glorious day to be alive! Starting at 6 a.m., everyone was full of the Christmas spirit. The joy that was in the air was greater than it had been in a long time – smiles were on everyone’s faces, laughter filled the dayroom and everyone welcomed each other with a “Merry Christmas!” There was even a forest-like smell that reminded us of Christmas. All of us were looking forward to the special meals that we get served on occasions like this. So as we awaited our treat, we enjoyed a movie marathon while sipping coffee and spending time with each other. As time dragged on, we realized that lunch time was already overdue, then the announcement came. The CO working the sections conveyed to us that three ovens broke down simultaneously and our Christmas meal was going to be delayed. Even with this troublesome news, our Christmas spirit was still at an all-time high.

After a couple more hours, we were finally called out to go get our Christmas meals. Walking through the hallway, shouts of joy resonated throughout the building. We proceeded to pick up our meals and head back to the dorm. We were blessed. They fed us baked potatoes, barbecue beef, green bean casserole, and baked barbecue beans that reminded us of good ole southern barbecue. To top off the main course, we received an exquisite dessert tray consisting of peach cobbler, chocolate brownies and vanilla ice cream. The food had to be good, because at certain tables there was no conversation as we were busy feasting. We had a Merry Christmas indeed. God’s love is definitely over the PEP brotherhood.

Kenneth R. (a.k.a. “Yvette”)

Wednesday December 26, 2018

Today was a good day. We came to class this morning the day after Christmas and, like most Wednesdays, we took a test. We also watched a bit of art history. PEP has done a lot for us in helping us become better men. We now have a system of Driving Values, which helps us to make smart decisions. One of the Driving Values PEP has is fun. Even though we are serious when it comes to taking care of our PEP business, we still manage to have a good time.

I love this program! Nowhere else in prison can a person grow this much. The best part about it is that there is a group of men to take the journey with me. Life in PEP is truly amazing. Tomorrow we are supposed to watch a movie – I don’t know what movie David F. will bring, but whatever it is I will be grateful. We have four more days of this year left until 2019. We also have only a few more months until we graduate. When I look back to the beginning of this course, I can barely fathom the vast amount of growth achieved. We didn’t have a guest executive appearance today, but we still managed to gain knowledge. This program really lives by the 10 Driving Values it stands by. I’m still learning and growing every day, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Overall, today was a good day.

Christopher R. (a.k.a. “She’s Happy Hair”)

Thursday December 27, 2018

Reporting live from the Sanders Estes Unit … today is Thursday, the last Thursday of 2018. Today was good, as David F. brought us the new movie Venom for all accountability groups who got the most praise reports. It sure was a blessing! – it even made some of us feel like we were the free world. Then we got stuck in count, so while we were also able to watch Avengers: Infinity War, we didn’t get to finish it all. It’s the little things that we appreciate in life. A lot of us still cannot get over the half chicken, baked potatoes with sour cream, cheese, barbecue beef, green bean casserole and dessert (peach cobbler, chocolate brownie and a scoop of ice cream). That was the talk before the movie started. Usually we talk about exciting things like that, or about our last entrepreneurship tests.

Being in PEP sure is a blessing as we gain more knowledge about the business world. As human beings, we all have a purpose to fulfill. We have all gone through ups and downs in life. What’s important is the lessons we learn from those experiences. PEP gets us prepared to build a business plan, come up with a strategy to survive in this life and thrive as a successful entrepreneur. All of us enjoyed our time by playing dominoes. We recently got a scrabble board too, and we were able to play until lights out. Being a part of PEP has really changed a lot of us. This program is definitely a challenge, but it all comes down how badly we really want to change. I would like to thank PEP and all the executives and volunteers for the support. Redeemed ’19 appreciate all that you do.

Eric R. (a.k.a. “Strawberry Jam”)


 “Become the change you want to see in the world.” – Ghandi

The reason that I love this quote is because there are so many people who say the world should be like this or that. But when you ask them what they have done to make a difference in this world, they can’t really say anything. They say try answering with “well if I were in power, I would do this or that.” If you really look at it though, you don’t need to be in power to make changes – you just need to be willing to do what you can to make that change. The world is so full of hate that people overlooked acts of kindness. People are seen as needing something in return for doing what God told us that we are supposed to do. So just ask yourself this: are you becoming the change you want to see in the world? Or are you so content with the way things are that you’re just riding the wave? Don’t be ordinary – be extraordinary! Be that light in someone’s life that gives that person hope. The only way change is going to happen is if we come together and do our part. Don’t let the hate in the world take you off the path of love that we were naturally set on. Let’s all become the change that we want to see in the world.

Cedric R. (a.k.a. “Mayknot”)