Nine Circles of Finals Hell at UConn

“For those of you who blew off going to class a majority of the semester, than you will most definitely find yourself in one of the nine circles of finals hell: limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, or treachery.

“First Circle: Limbo:
‘Ignorance is bliss’ as some might say. In the beginning stage of finals hell, we all like to tell ourselves that we’ll eventually get around to studying. But in reality, your studious friends are camped out in Laurel Hall, and you spend the two weeks leading up to finals taking all the naps you don’t deserve in those comfy chairs at the Benton.” — The Black Sheep Online Staff, The Black Sheep Online, December 11, 2017

Read the full article here.

Ron Jenkins “To See the Stars” (2012)

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“Lynda Gardner, Saundra Duncan, and Deborah Ranger will give a reading of a new play at a Harvard University conference next week. A different kind of alma mater qualifies them for this appearance: York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Conn., a high-security state facility for female offenders.
While behind bars at York, all three joined theater workshops with Wesleyan University professor Ron Jenkins and students from his Activism and Outreach Through Theater course. They got to know Shakespeare and Dante, and it changed their lives.
I spent my first six months [in York] trying to figure out ways to kill myself, and the next four and a half years trying to see how much more I can live,” says Gardner.
Inspired by these three and other inmates he worked with, Jenkins wrote a play about their existence behind bars, ‘To See the Stars,’ which mingles inmates’ stories with bits of Dante’s epic 14th-century poem, ‘Divine Comedy.’
The women have their own perspective on ‘Divine Comedy.’ They tend to say that they are still working on its third part (Paradise) but that they are well versed in the first two (Hell and Purgatory).
‘I’ve been in a lot of the circles of hell,’ says Gardner, 63. ‘It really isn’t about hell; it is about hope. Climbing out of those circles.’
The trio will perform ‘To See the Stars’ on March 3 in a lightly staged reading at a Harvard conference on race, class, and education called Disrupting the Discourse: Discussing the ‘Undiscussable,’ sponsored by the Graduate School of Education’s Alumni of Color. The Harvard performance is open to conference participants only, but the public can attend a free performance at Brown University’s Lyman Hall in Providence on March 2 at 3:30 p.m.”    –Joel Brown, Boston.com, February 12, 2012 (retrieved on July 9, 2012)

Occupy New Haven

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Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)

Dante Project, Wesleyan University – Prison Outreach

dante-project-wesleyan-university-prison-outreach“. . .Dr. Jenkins, who has taught in Wesleyan’s theater department for 11 years, introduced prison outreach into the curriculum in 2007, bringing students to the York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Niantic, to work with inmates on literary classics. In 2009 and 2010, they began concentrating on ‘Inferno’; this year, because of construction at York, the class took place at the men’s facility in Niantic, the J.B. Gates Correctional Institution. . .
The semester culminated with performances. The Gates inmates presented their work to their peers, and at Wesleyan, the students performed the writings of the inmates for the college community. In the classroom at Sing Sing, the inmates performed for the Wesleyan students, and then the students presented the Gates men’s words, for which they received a standing ovation from the inmates. All of the performances ended with the same line, the last of the poem: ‘E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.’ “And then we emerged to look again at the stars.” [. . .]    –Susan Hodara, The New York Times, December 24, 2010