Dear Professor Jennifer Lackey,
I heard you speak on the radio recently about your years of experience teaching philosophy to prisoners held in a maximum security prison near Chicago. Some of the prisoners you say are on death row. Other philosophy teachers were debating the validity of your endeavor. So you offered praise for your students' diligence in reading the required literature, the thoughtful questions they asked you, and for their gratitude. You shared that most of your students had committed their crimes from ages 18 to 25 years old. They have already been incarcerated for many years. Most will remain in prison, or possibly be put to death.
As I listened to the story you told I was looking out at the trees. They were beginning to change colors. It is a joyful sight - one I don't believe your students see too easily from prison. I think your classes are gifts like (colorful fall leaves) to members of our society who are held with contempt and underestimated by most of us.
I just wanted to write to you and say thank you for your care. We all need care, we all deserve care.
Sincerely, Jan Olsen
. . . and your watercolors, Jan, are gifts to all of us. I am so inspired by this series of artwork--I hope there will be many more.
Thank you Mary....I hope so too. I give you the official copyrights, here and now, to publish this series of letters. This is official. I hope it is an utter tome.
Dear Jan, Thank you for touching my heart deeply with this one - by the written word, your brushstrokes, and your care. Absolutely stunning. Love, Hannah