Edith Roller – May 17, 1978 – Wednesday

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Had some conversations during the day with Annie B. Washington. She is suffering from the effects of jet lag and the heat and the distance she had to walk to the showers and so on. There was an orientation session at 10.00 for new arrivals. She is going to work in the rice tent.

Terri Buford has been gone for several days. No doubt she is one who has been sent to Caracas to talk to the defector.

Had breakfast.

Brought my journal up to date.

Wrote two memos for Jim. One was in response to a demand that all write on ways of making or saving money.  I told of my aim to write magazine articles if I had some free time and made a recommendation that people leaving dishes in their residences etc be punished by sentencing to the Learning Crew (now to be called the “New Brigade”) as people lose time and thus production when they have to wait for food and drink.  I also wrote a report on a conversation with Jean Lucas who yesterday told me she was lonely, liked cities, had expected to live independently in Georgetown, hadn’t known when she gave her money and jewelry to the Temple that she couldn’t go back and so on, that she is a senior, seems well educated, is not likely to try to leave the area, but we have orders to report all negative comments.

I went to lunch.

In the adult class I evaluated the knowledge of a senior on the important news of the day. It was nil. I spent the period trying to explain the two most important events: the border conflict between China and the USSR which might erupt into nuclear war and the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea in which the US is involved because of its interest in getting oil through the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula. I reminded the class that a couple of weeks ago Jim said he had a vision of radioactive fall-out over Ethiopia. I then went into the conflict between Israel and the Arabs.

I took a shower.

Michaeleen Brady had been reported missing (several hours late) and Jim alerted SAT to make a thorough search. She was found asleep in the jungle. Two people, one Marcus Anderson, had heard her threaten to run away. Jim the whole afternoon exhorted supervisors to report immediately when a person under their supervision was late and he warned the community again and again of the futility of trying to escape. He also insisted on reporting anyone who makes negative remarks.

For classes the present regulations are to be enforced more strictly. Any person late to the first period at 4.00 was to be sent to the Radio Room to give an explanation.

During the first period I conducted a discussion on what I had told the class yesterday. To my surprise several of the students remembered a good deal of what I had said. Willie was the best but Marcus also had shown great interest. Some asked intelligent questions.

The second period class was disappointing. They had done no planning and were behaving disinterestedly, even eating some seeds or nuts. Some throughout the period worked on homework for other classes. Some books on Black poetry were obtained from the library and five or six of the class took turns reading and seemed to enjoy it. With the noise around us it was hard to hear,

I had dinner.

We had a high school teachers meeting. The theme was maintaining interest in the material presented in the classroom. Liane Harris as a result of her observations of the high school classes gave as her conclusions that all of us need to use more varied methods to keep the students involved. Tropp agreed. The key should be more student participation and less from the teacher. Barbara Walker had critical comments about my adult classes. My students, she says, come to her and complain they can’t understand me. She teaches at 1:00 also. After some discussion on the extremely low level of understanding of some of the adults, Tropp decided I should teach at 12.00 and leave the field to Barbara at 1.00, that the students should be told they can join any class they want (he seemed to feel Jim had given me a prestige the seniors were unwilling to flout) and I am to try to bring my material to the level of understanding of the students.

Annie B. was feeling a little better.

I expected we would have a Rally or a Women’s and a Men’s meeting. We had neither. Instead we went to a counseling session about Patty Dennis. After hearing the complaints it was decided she would obey rules and much closer supervision was to be maintained of her by Laura.

I again read Chile’s Prisoners of War in the library.

I got home at 10.50. The lights were out so I went directly to bed.