My most memorable thing in San Fransico this year by far was Alkatrez. Unless you have been there it is so hard to try and explain the feeling that you feel when you are there. It has a touch of uneasiness about it, but for me the overwhelming feeling of sadness and loneliness. My heart ached for those who served time there along with their families. The cells were nothing more than a closet if you could call it that. They were not known by their names, they were simple a number. I have to give credit for those criminals who were truly geniues in their attempts to escape and for those that we still don't know if they made it out alive (I like to tell myself they made it). I was really moved by coming here and hearing the stories and learning of the prisoners and the gaurds. They were human beings who made bad choices and in consequences lived in a closest made of cement walls and hole for a toliet. I had a hard time thinking we as human beings could treat other humans in such a way. I had to remind myself that these were hard criminals, the toughest bunch of them, but even than I found myself feeling so sad for them and the number they were now known by! I am now creating a unit for my English classes on this. I think there is so much we can learn from the prisoners, the guards, and all those who had ties in someway to this place.
I was so shocked to learn that some of the gaurds wives and children lived on this island. They had a school and other things for the kids who were raised on this island and lived next to the prison with the most dangerous criminals. Blows my mind why anyone would raise their children in a situation like this. I was not in thier shoes nor knew their situations so I don't mean to judge but being on that island and seeing it and taking it all in I could not imagine raising my children their...not even for my husbands career.