The Long Unpredictable Life of Art: Francine Prose on Teaching James Alan McPherson to Incarcerated Students
This spring, the second spring of the Covid-19 pandemic, I taught, under the auspices of the Bard Prison Initiative, at the Eastern Correctional Facility, a men’s maximum security prison in Napanoch, New York. The conditions for remote learning were challenging. The only screens in the Eastern school were reserved for math classes, so the humanities had to be taught on speakerphone. I couldn’t see my students, and they couldn’t see me. Also the acoustics were bad. My students could hear me, but they needed to cross the room, one by one, and speak directly into the phone in order for me to hear them.