Google Maps showed me that I could easily detour to my favorite ice cream place en route to prison and still get there in plenty of time. I wrote down the three roads to take but didn’t look at the map, and, as it happens, forgot to take my phone too. You know where this story is going. Or not going. I got very seriously lost by staying on road #2 and awaiting signs for #3, which sadly never came. I got so lost I ended up in a couple of towns I’d never before set foot or tire in. Still, I made it to prison only a little late and was surprised that my usual van companions, two amiable Jehovah’s Witnesses, were nowhere in sight. The driver usually waits for all three of us before heading out into the yard. But tonight they were not there because they’d been turned away, their gate clearances having expired. Though someone from Hamilton had gotten in the previous night with no problem, the lobby guard checked the big binder and discovered that my gate clearance had also expired. This makes no sense at all since all of the Hamilton volunteers are on the same schedule and need to have the clearances renewed at the same time, and for the same length. When I gently pressed the lobby guard on this matter he discovered that two of us had had them renewed, two not. Huh.

Most disappointing, having missed my regular last meeting because I was out of town for that part of spring break, but also because we were in the middle of — now more than a month ago — an interesting application of the week’s reading to an ACLU argument about net neutrality. Though the men usually assume correctly exactly what happened, and are usually told by a call down to the school that I’d come but been turned away (at my request to the lobby guard), still, having them wait around in the classroom for a long stretch only to be sent back to their dorms with no good intellectual work behind them: demoralizing to all. Oh, and having driven more than twice as far as usual to get there this eve…


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