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  • Writer's pictureBarrett Preston Busschau

12. February 2022 - June 2022

Dear Friends and Family!

Just after writing to you in January I got sick, and then again in February. They were doozies. I’m pretty sure January was Covid (again) and February’s came with some intense stomach cramps. At their peak, on a rainy Thursday night (mostly spent hugging the toilet) I was reduced to sobs. Lo and behold that worked! Something about how that flexed my stomach - flex-release-flex-release released the pain, and I drifted off to sleep. The moral of this story is: When it seems like there’s no hope in sight, life has a way of surprising me. Things in here are like a roller coaster and so I have to remember that story. So there you have it. #deep And now we can move on to some lighter stuff.

As I mentioned last time, I took a University of Oregon course covering a modern Chinese novel. It turned out to be really fun. The book made me laugh until the last page. I also shed some tears. How do some authors write so well!? I signed up for another course this term and it’s another Chinese novel: “The Monkey and the Monk”. It’s about 500 years old, one of China’s classics, and is full of symbolism. So far, so good. I’m about to hand in the first essay. #word

This year I finished a few other classes too. GOGI, U-Self, a physical fitness class, and College Reading and Learning Association Tutor Certification. Getting out of going in (GOGI) is a self-development class that teaches tools for self-direction and management. U-Self takes you through a process of self-reflection. The physical fitness class helps me set and achieve fitness goals. And lastly, the tutor certification qualifies me to be a tutor. #fancyhey

What else? Well they recently reopened the visiting room and you can hug again! They also dropped the mask mandate and opened the vending machines for chocolates, chips, and drinks - I had my first orange juice in four years! I see my mom regularly, and my Dad and his wife came to visit me recently too :) Really enjoyed those visits #huglife

My two best friends left in March. That sucks because I don’t have any besties now.

Actually, that’s not true. There are so many people here that my third-and-fourth best friends just became my number one and two. And there are 20 more on my friends list. It’s like in-person Facebook here. Actually, it’s more like a grownup high school or college campus with lots of people around every corner, lot of bad kids, and tons of detention. #waitingforthebelltoring

In other news: They painted a mural in the dining room or “chow hall”. It’s pretty impressive. Some guys spent 100’s of hours on the first wall and are working their way around the room now. So far there’s a graveyard memorial for the veterans, a saw mill log cabin in the woods with a river, a modified Mount Rushmore, a Phoenix rising, a stairway to freedom and family, a picture of an inmate breaking down a wall, Bruce Lee, an island scene, an Aztec temple with warriors, mountains, some low-rider cars with cash dolla bills floating around, some hip chickitas, a bay and bridge scene, and more. Each scene morphs into the next with lots of depth and detail. It’s really nice to look at while eating. Before, all you got to see was food dribbling down people’s faces. #foodcourt

Oh, talking about food. I had some pizza the other day. The Education Department (where I work) is run by a local community college and they had a “tutor appreciation day” for us. I got six slices of pepperoni pizza but it was thick crust so I scraped the toppings off of three of them, put them onto the other three, and ate those three slices with double the toppings. #mammamia

Somebody asked me to speak more about the people that are in here. So, welcome to this blog’s inmate highlight: Mofo Mike. Mike is about 5ft 8inches tall. He is about forty, has a bald head, and a round stomach. He’s famous for walking around the track cursing at people he’s having conversations with (fighting with) in his head. He’s not crazy apparently he knows what he’s doing, but he likes to do it. When you cross paths with him for the first time you get quite a fright because you think he might be going at you. My one friend always jokes, “Yup, there’s Mike, working on his next podcast,” and then he does a voice over: “Hello everybody! This is Mofo Mike, coming to you live from O.S.Ps track! Today we’re talking with Debby about that time she thought she could tell old Mikey boy what’s up.” #staytuned

OK beautiful people, that’s about it for now. I hope you’re well, happy, peaceful, and missing me as much as I’m missing you. If you’re feeling sentimental why not write me a letter and tell me how you’re doing? I’d love to hear from you.



Check out my next blog: Update July 2022 - December 2022


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