ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the April 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [livejournal.com profile] paantha. It also fills the "bruiser with a soft center" square in my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Characters fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman and [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"The Law of Life"

Travis finds himself thinking
a lot more than he has been
since he finished school.

It's not just one thing, even;
it's everything all at once.

It's the chayne incident and
what he did to Shiv and then
all their interactions afterwards.

It's talking with Tolliver about
how not to drop the kid on his head.

It's talking with Ambrose about
how to keep Shiv more-or-less steady
and how to handle the feelings
that raises in himself.

It's going to group therapy
with other guys shaken up by
what happened in the cafeteria,
and the can of worms that opens.

It's listening to the snippets
of Dr. G's radical ideas that since
disruptive urges can't be eliminated,
they need to be channeled to minimize
the amount of damage they can do.

Travis gets a little lost in the flood.

"You look overwhelmed today,"
Ambrose says on the way to his office.

"Yeah," Travis says. "I have all of
these new ideas bumping around
inside my head, and I don't know
what I'm supposed to do with them."

"Maybe I can help," Ambrose says,
beckoning Travis into his room.

Ambrose has a zillion books and
binders and files in here. He gives Travis
a workbook on personal development.

"Thanks," Travis says. "I'll try this."

The workbook is actually a big help.
It has little essays on self-worth,
identifying values, and success.
It has scales for self-awareness
and life satisfaction as well.

The worksheets cover things like
creative responses to difficult times,
building confidence, goals and dreams,
and how to make an action plan.

Travis is less satisfied with his life
than he was earlier in the year, but
more hopeful. He'd been coasting,
he realizes, and needs to fix that.

He writes out some of his values
and things he likes about himself.

The worksheet on handling hard times
naturally makes him think about
the chayne incident, and that
soon wears Travis out.

He loops through the lunchroom,
where Dustin is cowering away
from Shiv again, even though
the supervillain isn't really
paying attention to him.

"Hey kid," Travis says gently.
"He's not an awful guy, even
if he is stuck in here along with
the other hoodlums. He is not
going to stab you for breathing."

"I know that," Dustin says,
tapping his head, "up here, but
the rest of me's still spooked."

"Have you tried talking to anyone
about that?" Travis asks him.

"I've got the group," Dustin says.
"That's about all I can handle."

Travis thinks about how he just
tanked himself, and shuts his mouth.
Fixing things isn't as easy as it looks.

Then Ragno drops his tray,
for what must be the millionth time,
because he keeps trying to hang onto it
with one hand whenever Raoul is busy
doing something else like filling up
their drink cups the way he is now.

Ragno is freaking out in
complete, bitter silence over
the mess and biting his lip
hard enough to bleed.

Travis can see that the poor kid
is about to snap in an even worse way,
and he's not sure how that would
turn out other than really bad.

"It's okay," Travis tells him.
"Go get some napkins and
clean yourself up, I don't think
you're spattered too much.
Let me worry about this."

Ragno trudges over to
the napkin dispenser where
Raoul pats him on the shoulder.

Travis gets Darius, the best janitor
in the prison, to come handle the mess
on the floor. Darius listens silently to
Travis' description, grabs his cart,
and soon takes care of everything.

While Darius is mopping up the spill,
Travis goes over to Ragno and asks,
"Why don't you just get a tray carrier?"

"A what?" Ragno says with a blank look.

"You know, it goes around your body and
has a flat part to carry stuff," Travis says,
holding his hands in front of his belly.

"Does that really work?" Raoul asks.
"It sounds like it could help a lot."

"Yeah, it works. My brother Joey got
some when he broke his arm playing
football," Travis says. "There are
a couple different kinds, one that's
shaped to carry food and drinks, and
another that's just a plain shelf so
it can hold anything you want."

"Thanks," Ragno says. "I'm trying
to find ways to do for myself,
but it's ... hard going."

"I'll check the catalogs we have
for adaptive equipment, and see
if they have something that will
suit the prison regs," says Raoul.

Travis sighs. "I get the feeling that
prison regs are blocking a lot of
needful stuff," he says.

"I got myself in here,"
Ragno says with a shrug.

"That doesn't make it okay for us
to shortchange you on the support,"
Raoul says. "State's got an obligation
to help you find ways of doing things,
or do them for you if you can't."

"I'll ask around a bit, see if anyone
has ideas on how to get approval
for more tools," Travis says.

"Thanks," Ragno says quietly.

Travis continues his loop
around the cafeteria.

"That was good of you,"
says Kincade, who's important
in the prison pecking order. Most of
the black inmates look up to him,
which helps keep a lid on things
since he's not a troublemaker.

"I'm just trying to look out for
the guys," Travis says.

"I've noticed," Kincade drawls,
and now Travis is getting stage fright.
But Kincade just nods and goes back
to eating a pizza fresh from outside.

After that, Travis returns
to work in the private wing,
which is a lot quieter.

He stops to see Jimar, who
is startled to get a visitor.

"Isn't Nurse Espinoza working
on his addiction support homework
with you?" Travis asks him.

"Yeah," Jimar says. "It's just hard
for me to focus or remember things.
I lose track of time a lot, and that
means I startle easy too."

That's more worrisome. Everybody
knows that Jimar has pickled his brains
in anything he could get his hands on,
but Travis still hates seeing the signs.

"Did you know that you can access
the infirmary's game archive from here?"
Travis asks, waving at Jimar's tablet.

Jimar perks momentarily, but
then wilts again. "Can't afford it."

"I bet if you tell Dr. Bloch that you're
having trouble concentrating, he'll
write you a prescription," Travis says.

Anything that helps keep Jimar busy
with something other than drugs is good.

"For games?" Jimar says, staring.

"For 'cognitive exercises' that meet
a legitimate medical need," Travis says,
making air quotes with his hands.

They do play like video games, but
they have real clinical benefits too.
Travis had a concussion once, and
Dr. Bloch showed him how to use
those to gauge his recovery time.

"Okay," Jimar says. "I'll ask
Dr. Bloch what he thinks about it."

"Speaking of points, Emmett says
the recycling truck is due at the end
of this week, if you want to help carry
boxes of paper," Travis says.

"Yeah, if I'm allowed," Jimar says.

"You check with Dr. Bloch and
make sure your body's up to it, then
I'll put in the paperwork," Travis says.

Inmates from the private wing are
only allowed to do the simplest gruntwork,
and only with close supervision, but it's
a way to get them more active.

Travis stops to tell Shiv about
the opportunity too, which at first
just gets him a disgusted eye roll.

"Do I look like a longshoreman
to you?" Shiv says, not budging
from where he's sprawled in bed.

Shiv is short and skinny and
spends way too much time
lazing around his cell instead
of getting proper exercise.

So Travis sweetens the pot.

"Nah, but you've got something they
don't," Travis says. "Anything but paper
bungs up the recycling plant. I thought you
could find the staples and paperclips that always
get into the boxes even though the signs tell
people not to put metal into the paper bins."

Shiv needs more practice with his superpower
than he's been getting, in order to learn
more control, finesse, and flexibility.

"Yeah, I could do that," Shiv says.
He swings his feet to the floor so
that he can sit up and look at Travis.
"Do you really think it would work?
The warden kind of hates me ..."

The warden is a pain in everyone's ass.

"I'll start the paperwork," Travis says.
"You might give Dr. G a heads-up,
because Warden Daley will probably
deny your application the first time,
and Dr. G might shake it loose."

"That doesn't suck," Shiv says,
which is about as close as he
ever gets to saying thank you.

Travis will take what he can get.

He continues on his rounds,
but he can't stop thinking about
Shiv and his superpower and all of
the unfinished business between them.

Sure, Travis has apologized, but Shiv
hasn't accepted it -- only acknowledged it.

There had been the thing with the staples,
which was equally scary and fascinating,
but that isn't the same as hearing the words.

Travis knows better than to bug Shiv about
that, but it still bothers Travis sometimes,
like a wrinkle caught under his belt that
he can't work out and which pinches
him whenever he moves wrong.

Group therapy has made it easier
for him to deal with his own mistakes,
but harder to overlook that dangling thread.

Travis pauses to make a note about
that matter in his goal worksheets.
He can work on it later.

He drops by the storage room
to give Emmett the preliminary count
of inmates in the private wing who
want to help haul boxes later.

"Thanks," Emmett says. "Even if
the warden vetoes a few, we should
have enough men to do the job."

"I'm glad to hear that," Travis says.
"Just let me know where to put them."

Emmett knows where everything is,
and can find his way through the prison
despite it being kind of a maze. He's
a slow thinker other than that, but he
does a great job of carting things around.
All you have to do is remember to phrase
what you say in terms of things and locations.

By that time, Travis is more than
ready for his afternoon break.

He heads to the break room,
where he collects a plastic plate,
a plain ham-and-cheese sandwich,
and a travel mug of water.

The vending machine is out of
Jumble Munch in Panda Dance,
so Travis decides to sample
the Black Magic that Shiv likes.

Ambrose is sitting at a table
with a big bowl of vanilla yogurt
topped with what looks like a whole bag
of Jumble Munch in Tropical Froo-Froo.

"Have a seat," Ambrose says,
patting the chair beside him.

"Don't mind if I do," Travis says
as he sits down at the table.

The Black Magic mix is
amazingly good, sweet with
freeze-dried blackberries and
dried black cherries, but
the candied black walnuts
have a peppery bite.

"How are you getting along with
the personal development workbook?"
Ambrose asks. "Have you had time
to take a look at it, or not yet?"

"It's been very helpful,"
Travis says. "I can't do
too much of it at once, but
it's good for sorting out
things in my head."

"So what have you learned?"
Ambrose asks, leaning forward.

Travis thinks back over his day,
and especially, his interactions
with Ragno and Jimar earlier.

"I realized something, and I think
I've been working on the wrong angle
since I started here," Travis says slowly.
"I don't just want to control people. I
want to teach people self-control."

"That's an impressive discovery,"
Ambrose says. "What else?"

"I can't stop thinking about Shiv,"
says Travis. "I know it's not finished
between us, but I understand that
it's not fair to pressure him."

"He still hasn't accepted or refused
your apology?" Ambrose says,
tracing the edge of his bowl.

"Not yet," Travis says. "It would help
if Shiv came to group therapy, but ..."

"He dives for cover every time that topic
has come up," Ambrose says dryly.

"Yeah," Travis says. "I think that it's
affecting some of the other inmates,
although in different ways. There are
some things that we have a hard time
processing as a group just because
one of the primary people from
the chayne incident isn't there."

"Work around it as best you can,"
Ambrose says. "We can let Shiv
know the door's open, but it's not
right to shove him through it."

"I'll manage," Travis says, and
turns his attention to his sandwich.

"Any other trust issues?" Ambrose asks.

That had been a serious challenge
right after Travis had pounded Shiv
into the floor. Everyone had been
skittish around him for days.

It's getting a lot better, though,
and nobody has flinched at
his presence or touch recently.

"Not anymore," Travis says. "The guys
seem more relaxed around me now."

"They've noticed how much work
you have put into making up with Shiv,
even if he hasn't," Ambrose says.

"Shiv has noticed too," Travis says.
"He doesn't talk about it -- when does he
ever want to talk about anything serious? --
but if he didn't believe that I meant it, then
he wouldn't let me anywhere near him."

"That's true," Ambrose says. "So how does
that play into your personal development?"

"I think it's going to be a lot harder than
what I was doing before," Travis says.
"I don't know if I'm really up to it."

"If you weren't up to it, then it
never would have occurred to you,"
Ambrose assures him. "Trust me, I've
seen a lot of lazy or indifferent guards.
You are not one of them. You will
figure out what works for you,
and for the inmates too."

"I just feel like everything
is changing so fast, and
I'm changing along with it,"
Travis says. "I'm not sure
I know myself anymore, and
I'm not even done changing."

"Change is the law of life,"
Ambrose says, giving Travis
a solemn look. "If you get stuck
in the past, or even the present,
then you miss out on the future."

Travis still feels a little shaky inside,
like all the pieces of himself have been
jumbled up and not settled yet, but
there is something in that line
which appeals to him deeply.

"Change is the law of life,"
he says, thinking about how
the inmates need to change
in order to have any chance at
rejoining society after their release.

It's hardly fair to make them go
through all of those challenges alone.

"Okay," Travis says, "I can work with that."

* * *

Notes:

Travis Vanburen -- He has pinkish-fair skin, brown eyes, and dark brown hair buzzed short. He has a large frame and a layer of padding over his muscles. Travis has a little sister born when he was two and a little brother, Joey, born when he was five. Their mother passed away a few days after Joey's birth.
Smarter than he looks, Travis does best with emotional intelligence and also excels at convincing people to do what he wants. He is fair and honest. He works as a guard at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln. On the downside, Travis often jumps into situations before he has all the information needed to make the right decision. He's serious about making amends for his mistakes, though. After beating up Shiv, he makes a point of apologizing.
Qualities: Good (+2) Brave, Good (+2) Conscience, Good (+2) Convincing People, Good (+2) Model Train Collector, Good (+2) Smarter Than He Looks, Good (+2) Strength, Good (+2) Wrestling
Poor (-2) Jumps to Conclusions

Ambrose Farrington -- He has ruddy skin, brown eyes, and brown hair with red highlights especially in the beard and mustache. His interests in history include religion, correctional systems, and the state of Pennsylvania. Ambrose lives in a small house with his queerplatonic roommate, Garry Albright. Both of them had tried romance and found the drama too much of a distraction; they are happier with a quiet, steady friendship as their primary relationship.
Ambrose works as a chaplain at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln. He also volunteers in the community on weekends. His mellow, happy personality makes him an effective counselor. He tends to poke into other people's business, though, which annoys some folks. Shiv calls him "Rosie." Various of the inmates call him "the Ninja of Silence."
Qualities: Master (+6) Quaker, Expert (+4) Chaplain, Expert (+4) Counselor, Expert (+4) Equanimity, Good (+2) Body Language, Good (+2) Constitution, Good (+2) Coping Skills, Good (+2) Emotional First Aid, Good (+2) Hiking, Good (+2) History, Good (+2) Listener, Good (+2) Rock Balancing
Poor (-2) Nosy

Dustin Hall -- He has tawny-fair skin, brown eyes, and curly black hair to his shoulders. His heritage includes Winnebago Omaha, Mexican, Nepalese, and American. He's been called everything from "spic" to "prairie nigger" -- also "spoon-licker" because he likes people with superpowers -- and is heartily sick of all of it. He is 21 years old.
Dustin used to handle supplies for Boss Batir in Lincoln, Nebraska until he was captured in a police raid on a weapons cache. He is currently in the Nebraska state penitentiary in Lincoln. There he networks with Ragno and some other inmates run the shadow economy of the prison. He's happy to deal in light contraband, doesn't really want to deal in weapons anymore, but feels conflicted about whether or not to return to his old boss. Who has done bupkis to help him in prison.
As a quartermaster, Dustin can find just about anything, anywhere, and enjoys the challenge of getting the goods. He is a people person, but until recently he hasn't been around very good people. He's very good friends with Ragno, and completely freaked by the chayne incident. Shiv made Dustin uneasy before the incident, and downright frightened after it.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Quartermaster Skills, Good (+2) Loyal, Good (+2) Supervillain Henchman, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Internalized Oppression

Ragno (Corrado Rapallino) -- He has light olive skin, black eyes, and short wavy black hair. He is missing his left arm from just below the elbow, after a superweapon incident; and he was left-handed, which makes the adjustment more difficult. He is Italian-American, and his ancestors came from Genoa. Corrado excels at dealing with people, primarily in the underworld but also in more honest areas. He's not picky about the divide between soup and nary either. While his physical strengths protect him from the worst risks of smoking, Corrado is keenly dependent on tobacco for pyschological reasons. He gets incredibly antsy and cranky without it. He also likes stringy foods and enjoys picking them apart with his fingers: licorice laces, spaghetti squash, any jerky that's soft enough to shred, string cheese, etc. Other favorites include Italian food, carbs, and cured meats such as pepperoni.
Amusingly, people often think his cape name -- which means "spider" -- implies that he has Spider Powers. He doesn't. He has supernal constitution, which enhances his resistance to disease or toxins, as well as enhancing his stamina. The name refers to his skill at building networks. Ragno views other people kind of like human tinkertoys: not for sake of manipulation, but to see how big a structure he can make with them. Although he does not belong to the Marionettes, he has worked with them and for them as muscle or button man as needed. Most recently, Ragno was a witness to an incident that the police would very much like to hear about. They offered him an excellent deal, and he turned it down, so the Marionettes are pleased enough to be working on getting him out of jail. Ragno is currently serving time in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln. He is doing quite well as a smuggler of cigarettes and other contraband indulgences.
Origin: Ragno got his Super-Immunity from the Aegis vaccine base, and his Super-Constitution developed later. His body seems to be slowly optimizing itself.
Uniform: Currently provided by the Nebraska State Penitentiary, a zebra uniform with reflective white stripes. Outside, he wore street clothes.
Qualities: Master (+6) Loyalty, Expert (+4) Making Connections, Expert (+4) Tough, Good (+2) Alternative Economics, Good (+2) Iron Will, Good (+2) Leatherworker, Good (+2) Mobster, Good (+2) Wine Connoisseur
Poor (-2) Smoker
Powers: Average (0) Super-Constitution, Average (0) Super-Immunity
Motivation: To put the pieces together.

Darius Root -- He has mahogany skin, black eyes, and nappy black hair and mustache trimmed very short. He can clean anything, no matter how filthy it is. He rarely speaks aloud, but communicates quite well nonverbally if people pay attention to him. A former inmate, he currently works as a janitor at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln. He is fairly well respected among the present inmates, and often supervises those who have been assigned to cleaning tasks.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Janitor, Good (+2) Big and Tall, Good (+2) Nonverbal Communication, Good (+2) Stamina
Poor (-2) Talking with People

Raul Bonaventure
-- He has tinted skin and brown eyes. His brown hair curls at the ends where it brushes over his collar, and his hairline comes to a sweetheart point. His heritage includes Italian, Spanish, and American. Raul is married with four children: a 5-year-old boy, 3-year-old boy and girl twins, and an infant girl. He serves as a guard at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln. The salary is decent, but it's hard to cover a family of six people, especially with his wife staying home to take care of the kids.
Raul has a keen interest in trading, although he isn't very good at it yet -- everything from swapping collectibles to day-trading stocks. He has the potential, but not the skills, so he has made friends with Ragno, Dustin Hall, and the other reliable middlemen among the inmates. He helps them with their social skills, points management, or whatever, and they give him tips about making good trades.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Fairness, Good (+2) Prison Guard, Good (+2) Sociable, Good (+2) Strength, Average (0) Trader
Poor (-2) Too Much Month Left at the End of the Money

Kincade King -- He has brown skin and black eyes. He has black body hair, but his head is completely bald. He has prison tattoos over much of his front, his left arm, and a little on the right. Across his collarbones is a large banner saying "Lord Have Mercy" and his belly says "Warrior." Originally an enforcer, Kincade worked his way up to boss. His gang outside deals primarily in protection services and the occasional side of revenge-for-hire. He is currently serving time in the Nebraska State penitentiary in Lincoln, where he leads most of the black inmates. Kincade grew up in the inner city and has little education. He has quite a sweet tooth, and loves chocolate. He also appreciates cars, with a good grasp of models and mechanics.
Qualities: Master (+6) Gangster, Master (+6) Tough, Expert (+4) Leadership, Expert (+4) Strength, Good (+2) Adaptable, Good (+2) Car Fan, Good (+2) Favor Trading, Good (+2) Strategic Thinking
Poor (-2) Uneducated

Jimar Alvarez -- He has toffee skin, brown eyes, and black hair buzzed short in an attempt to make its loose nap less obvious. There are scars from defensive wounds all over his hands and forearms, including a particularly large machete scar on the outside of his left forearm and a horizonal slice clear across his left palm. His heritage is black and Hispanic. Because of that, he doesn't belong directly to Kincade or Sanquez, they kind of share him. Both of the senior gangsters feel a bit protective of Jimar because he's so vulnerable. He is currently serving time along with them in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln.
Jimar has an addictive personality. He has had problems with alcohol, various narcotics, softer drugs, food, and oxygen. Yes, really, he caught a bad chest infection once and it took the hospital weeks to wean him off the supplemental oxygen. He cannot seem to stay sober for very long, no matter what the penalties. Jimar uses whatever he can get to self-medicate for some serious emotional problems left over from childhood abuse -- his father attacked his mother, Jimar intervened, and both of them almost died. That's how Jimar wound up spending the rest of his childhood in the foster care system. He is actively terrified of his father, and his relationship with his mother is not good because she still loves the man despite all that violence. A Microfyne blanket might help.
Qualities: Good (+2) Friends in the 'Hood, Good (+2) Gangster, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Addictive Personality

Emmett Milliken -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short dark hair going bald on top. He is pudgy, with the long torso and short arms common in people with Down syndrome. Emmett works at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, where he does a lot of the fetch-and-carry work. He also knows where everything is. However, he gets stuck when trying to make big decisions for himself, so he has a support crew for assisted decision-making. His older sister handles the personal things for him, while Mr. Lincoln helps him with professional ones.
Qualities: Good (+2) Friendly, Good (+2) Organized, Good (+2) Porter, Good (+2) Spatial Memory, Good (+2) Strong
Poor (-2) Making Decisions

* * *

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."
-- John F. Kennedy

Law enforcement goals vary. Some focus on punishment, others on deterrence. It is essential to understand that punishment hurts, discipline teaches. Not even the death penalty discourages crime very much. What does? Probability of getting caught: the more likely a capture, the less likely a crime. In local-America, we have a huge problem with police violence precisely because they aren't penalized for hurting people or breaking the law. Police can literally strangle a man to death, in public and on video, using an illegal choke hold, and American law considers that okay. Some departments have better policies, though; this one is typical of Terramagne. Travis growing into some deep waters now.

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
During the life of any heart this line keeps changing place; sometimes it is squeezed one way by exuberant evil and sometimes it shifts to allow enough space for good to flourish. One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being. At times he is close to being a devil, at times to sainthood. But his name doesn't change, and to that name we ascribe the whole lot, good and evil.
Socrates taught us: 'Know thyself!”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains ... an unuprooted small corner of evil.
Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

The question of evil raises fascinating questions about the limitations of government and its role in discouraging evil. Consider now the Cherokee legend of "The Two Wolves." We get more of what we support. Environment, too, has a potent influence on behavior. Most humans are contextual creatures who will mimic whatever is around them, for good or evil; only a few seem so strongly drawn to one pole that they will remain good in a horrible situation or remain evil in a benevolent one. You can see this a lot with Shiv, just because of the way he's a supervillain based on past environment but is doing a little better now that he has better examples. People don't like to think about how permeable the boundary is between good and evil, but in fact, many things can cause someone to cross it. One of the best ways to oppose evil is to work on shifting perceptions.

Most evil people don't see themselves as evil. They have methods to convince themselves that they are good and right, regardless of how heinous their actions may be. Othering includes aspects of scapegoating and dehumanization which facilitate the process of justification. There are ways to resist othering, overcome the scapegoat role, and prevent dehumanization.

The process of rehumanization can heal a divided world, and encourage former offenders to improve. The techniques of rehumanization also appear in reconciliation through restorative justice.

Self-improvement offers options such as using meditation to stop negative thoughts or break a bad habit. You can become a good person whom others look up to, or even become a real-life superhero.

Improving the world is more challenging. Overcoming hate and connecting people are good ways to make the world a better place. This kind of idea-based project is popular in T-America. Here are some websites and free apps for world repair.

A personal development workbook may include worksheets on self-worth, identifying values, time management, motivation, thoughts on success, the Six Thinking Hats and their applications, self-awareness, life satisfaction, a stress diary, creative responses to difficult times, building confidence, goals and dreams, and a personal action plan. In T-America you can get stuff like this in any counselor's office, mental health clinic, or community center. Having access to good information and personal growth tools thus raises the overall levels of health and satisfaction.

Know how to tell if someone is struggling or afraid. There are usually ways you can help. Travis has this training precisely because T-American prison guards aim to prevent problems rather than reacting after something has already gone wrong.

Disability etiquette offers suggestions for improving interactions between disabled people and others. It's okay to ask whether you can help, but intruding without an invitation is generally considered rude. In this case, Travis is doing his job by acting to avert a major meltdown -- but he's also trying to be gentle and discreet about it. With mixed success. People with an old disability have usually found most of the solutions that will work for them. People with a new disability often rely on others to model appropriate manners and to help figure out what will work. Understand how to help someone with a disability, improve their daily life, and make programs more inclusive.

Easy Tray is a waist-mounted tray specially designed for carrying food and beverages. Connect-a-Desk is a shoulder-mounted portable desk whose flat surface can support a wide variety of items. These can be very useful for people with upper limb disabilities.

Think about ways to encourage physical activity and recruit volunteers. There are steps to make your community more physically active and otherwise healthy.

Apologies come in different styles, which can be accepted or rejected. Consider the process of accepting or rejecting an apology, and how to react when your apology isn't accepted. Shiv hasn't done either yet, and that's precisely because he has so little experience with it before getting thrown into a very messy situation that even a fluent person might flounder in.

Jumble Munch in Panda Dance contains black walnuts, macadamia nuts, banana chips, dried lychees, plain mochi, black sesame mochi, white chocolate granola clusters, and dark chocolate granola clusters.

Jumble Munch in Black Magic includes dried black cherries, freeze-dried blackberries, candied black walnuts, cacao nibs, dark chocolate coated espresso beans, and blackstrap molasses granola clusters.

Jumble Munch in Tropical Froo-Froo flavor features dried pineapple, papaya, mango, and banana; crystallized ginger bits; brazil nuts and macadamia nuts; and triple chocolate coconut granola clusters. Here is a nice recipe for tropical fruit granola.

Self-control is an aspect of executive function which relies on multiple strategies. Understand how you can build and teach self-control. These are important tenets of positive discipline.

Change is an inevitable part of life, but often feels overwhelming. A lack of social support just makes matters worse. Know how to handle change and help other people cope with it.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-11-30 04:36 am (UTC)
thnidu: Lucy bright and bold. Lucida Bright font, boldface: backslash, small-o, slash: YAY!! (yay)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Varied in viewpoint and info. I'm thinking especially of the notes, which I just read thru end-to-end, and the link How to Become a Superhero, which I've read and bookmarked with an eye toward my safety pin. Thank you.

Clearly this is with the old S.O.B. of a warden.

• There he networks with Ragno and some other inmates ^ run the shadow economy of the prison.
?^ "who"

• Travis growing into some deep waters now.
> This sentence no verb.


(no subject)

Date: 2016-11-29 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janetmiles.livejournal.com
I like this one a lot. Personal growth is good. Hard, but good.

One question: mostly you refer to the "private wing", except in this stanza:

He drops by the storage room
to give Emmett the preliminary count
of inmates in the solitary wing who
want to help haul boxes later.


Did I miss something (are there two wings, one private and one solitary)?

Thank you!

Date: 2016-11-29 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> I like this one a lot. <<

Yay!

>> Personal growth is good. Hard, but good. <<

So very true. Travis is turning into a very fine guard.

>>One question: mostly you refer to the "private wing", except in this stanza:<<

It should have said private; I have fixed that. There is one private, higher-security wing; several standard wings; and one privileged, lower-security wing; all arranged around the central hub. Typically new inmates arrive in the standard wing. They can then move up or down, depending on their behavior. The idea is get people into the privileged wing prior to release, for a smoother transition. Going from a private cell straight out the door would be like falling off a cliff.

Shiv is having a hard enough time just going from private to standard, now that he has discovered he prefers being alone to being with people. He didn't have much opportunity for that before, so while he knew that he liked it, he hadn't connected the fact that alone time makes it much easier for him to tolerate people briefly and keep his temper.

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