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        Our mission is to help corrections clients develop their academic skills so they can take charge of
their lives, build and sustain positive human relationships, achieve their goals and realize their potential.
           In all our work, we will place human dignity first and celebrate our clients’ accomplishments.

The Learning Curve
The Learning Curve is a bimonthly newsletter published by The Donald H. Londer Center for
Learning, Multnomah County Oregon, Adult Community Justice.

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Learning Center or the Department.
Please direct questions or comments to Al or Esther, editors, at 988-3466.

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The Learning Curve


 The weekly schedule is: Six days a week, Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00
 noon, and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; except Thursday morning (closed for staff meeting from
 10 to noon); in addition, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (For
 Saturdays only, please call ahead and make an appointment.)

 If you need more information, call the Londer Learning Center at 988-3466 or Cindy Stadel,
 Program Administrator at 988-6828.
Donald H. Londer Center for Learning
Dept. of Community Justice
Multnomah County, Oregon
Mead Building
421 SW 5th Avenue
Seventh Floor
Portland, OR 97204

The Learning Curve
The Learning
 This issue features student work that was produced in two Creative Writing Workshops
recently held at the Learning Center.
On Friday December 8, sixteen women from       De Paul Treatment Center attended a
Creative Workshop presented by Glenda S, instructor at the LLC. One student wrote
about her ideal job.
                                 THE PERFECT JOB
If I could have any job that I wanted, I would be a Head Person at Disneyland. I wouldn’t
be a stuffed shirt, suit and tie type. I would want to design some new rides; of course, I
would have to test ride them. I would also like to take part in some of the skits.
The best part of the job would be to dress up as one of the characters. I think Cinderella
would be the greatest: to go from old, ragged street clothes and be transformed into a
beautiful princess with a flowing ballroom gown and glass slippers; then I would end the
evening going home in my wonderful, exotic, pumpkin carriage. I would be rewarded daily
by all the families’ smiles and happiness.
Teri W. student

These students wrote about a special time.
                                   A PERFECT DAY

My perfect day was in Wallowa, the place where my grandparents lived. My grandfather,
grandmother, and my father were planning to go to Wallow Lake. We could see the huge
Wallowa Mountains in the background as we were driving to the lake. Once we got there,
my grandfather unloaded the packhorse. We were going hiking six miles to Mirror Lake. I
was dressed in my blue jeans, my Keds tennis shoes, and my blue cowboy hat. The best
part of the whole trip was fishing with my grandfather, side by side.
I was six years old; and my grandfather to this day, always tells me that this was the most
perfect day.
Amy B, student

 I can recall a day almost a year ago that was so wonderful for me.
 I was just waking up in the morning and found my three children lying all next to me in my
bed. As I awoke, I noticed my two younger boys smiling and giggling. We all gave a
family hug, and I told my children how wonderful they have made my life. I haven’t had all
my children together since, but it was a day that none of us will ever forget. We will
always be together in our hearts.
April A, student

We were living in Silverton, Oregon. I awoke and there was almost a foot of snow on the
ground. The moon was still shining, and the sky was crystal clear.
 Our family finally had a real home again, but this time it was out in the country. My mom
and step-dad were headed out to the barn. I tiptoed behind them. Just as we arrived at
the barn, the most beautiful thing was happening. A big ewe was giving birth.
 I’d never experienced a birth of any kind before. It all was so wonderful.
Margaret J, student

 It was a warm summer day, about eighty degrees. The lilacs were blowing their scent my
 I was watching my kids on their slip and slide when my son who is only six years old said,
“Mom, give it a try.” I gave him a laugh and said, “I’m too old.” He said, “Come on Mom,
it’s fun.” So, I ran across the lawn with all of my might onto the yellow slip and slide. It
was so much fun that we spent hours that day playing.
 I’ll never forget that day, every time I smell the lilacs of summertime.
Mary R, student
 In another workshop, 27 budding writers from the Volunteers of America spread their
literary wings at the LLC’s, Creative Writing Workshop – Writing from the Head and Heart.
 Becky K, a corrections counselor for Adult Community Justice, who writes professionally
as Rebecca Kelley, led the workshop, but the real stars are the women who participated.
 They learned how to show rather than tell a story. How to make their words come alive in
the imaginations of their readers.
 See for yourself what talented writers these women are as you read the following samples
of work from the class.

 As she began to unpack her bag once again, she looked around the room. It was cold and
dark. It reminded her of her grandmother’s basement, which she only had vague
memories of, but the musty, moldy scent engulfed her from head to toe.
 As she picked up the hand mirror off the old worn dresser, tears filled her eyes,
wondering why me? What did I ever do to deserve being all alone?
Even though, Mr. and Mrs. Green, her new foster parents, seemed to be nice, why couldn’t
she have a family of her own? After all, this should be one of the happiest days of her life.
It was her birthday, but it wasn’t a very sweet sixteen.
Elaine H, student

 Motionless, her body was paralyzed, crippled with fear. She heard the floor creaking as
footsteps came toward the bedroom door. Her mouth opened to scream, but nothing
came out.
 As the stranger approached the room, she noticed the candlestick lying on the cherry
wood table, next to her Victorian laced bed. She grabbed for it as the stranger walked into
the night filled room.
 Then, she noticed it wasn’t a stranger at all, but her dear friend Sally. But wait, she
thought, Sally died ten years ago.
Terri Z, student

 It was a warm muggy day and the corners were filled with groups of people doing exactly
 Her mom was driving down Burnside when she approached the stoplight. She gently
reached out and touched her knee. As a single tear ran down her cheek, she began to
explain the dilemma her family had with her addictions.
Patricia B, student

She had a bad day at work because she worked double time and she was really tired. She
scraped the mud off her work boots.
Shirley M, student

 As he stood in his cold and lonely kitchen, gazing out the window, reality was before his
eyes. The energy of tense and restless bodies shuffled through his mad house.
 He took a deep breath and as he exhaled, stress is what he released. Confusion scattered
through his head and a sharp extravagant pain hit his heart as he said to himself - why am
I still here?
Francine T, student

 The hospital was stark and industrial. The waiting room for emergency patients was thick
with sickness and trauma. His breathing was labored. The walls were a pasty yellow and
intentionally drab.
 Obviously, the nurses were impatient and the doctors overworked.
 He wondered if he would grieve for any of these strangers, who would die today.
Himself? No, he couldn’t allow that. He had a serious journey to attend to. He must find
her at all cost.
 His vows rang in his head along with the fever – in sickness and in health, til death do we
Jennifer P, student

 She walked out into the backyard. It was cool and dark outside. She looked up at the
moon and stars. She took in their magnificent beauty. Her mind wondered full of
memories of days that passed. Her heart fluttered as she thought of the image of his face
that is etched, so deeply etched, in her heart. She smiled.
Victoria S, student

 As the night sky got darker and the stars began to show, he looked around as the people
began to diminish.
 Knowing this neighborhood well he looked up at the street sign – 130 Street and Powell.
He began to walk south, walking around a familiar pothole. Two blocks down, he knew he
was almost there. He took a right turn to the first house on the left.
 The flowers in the front yard had grown since the last time he was there. The lawn was a
little overgrown, which made him remember last summer when he would help out and
mow the lawn.
 The night air gave him a slight chill as he walked to the door and knocked. Her familiar
face smiled when she answered the door. He smiled back as he stepped forward and
embraced her with a big hug.
 She hugged back, saying, “I missed you. What took you so long?”
Sara W, student

 Completely engrossed in his desire to get the Roadrunner, Wiley Coyote was unaware of
the locomotive coming at him. He’d been trying to catch that Roadrunner for what seemed
like years.
 He’d seen his opportunity of laying a trap on the railroad tracks for that slippery guy. The
tracks lay right in the middle of the lonely canyon where Wiley’s obsession crossed on a
daily basis. This sun was shining on this day and the time was near for the capture.
 Wiley had seen the Roadrunner lazily resting on these tracks numerous times so he had
gathered ropes and a huge boulder to finally eliminate that pesky Roadrunner. He’d seen
the train coming so he hid himself to not give away his plan.
 But that Roadrunner deceived him again and that train was coming at him and the boulder
was falling on him as his chance to finally catch his arch nemesis ended in defeat.
Judy H, student
The next three articles were submitted by individual LLC students.
                           QUALITIES OF A GOOD FRIEND
 I need to be able to trust my friend. Whatever I tell my friend must stay inside the room. I
need to be able to count on my friend to do what they say they are going to do. I need my
friend to be loyal to me. This means that they won’t gossip or talk about me to other
 Loyalty to me also means taking time out of their day to hear my problems. My friend will
also not be judgmental of me. He or she will take time to try and understand me and what I
am going through.
 I will need my friend to be open-minded. I would like my friend to accept me for what I am.
I need my friend to have the ability to be open to new ideas.
 If my friend is a female, she may not have the same interests as I do, such as my love of
race cars, but she will humor me because she is my friend.
 I hope my friend will be open-minded and loyal, but most of all, I want him or her to be
Lafayette C, student

                                       ALL I HAVE LEFT
 All I have left is more than some people ever get in their lifetime. But what I choose to do
with what I have can make the difference between where I am, where I’m going, or where
I’ll end up. To make a decision like this one will take me to the past and the future.
 Will I learn from choices, or be driven by my dreams. All I have left is not just my life. I
must realize that it’s not what I have left, but what to do with what I have, to make what I
have the best I possibly can. Do not fear my mistakes, and be confident in my future. If I
fall, I will stand. If I forget, I will remember. If I lose my way, I will ask for help.
 So teach me, and I will teach others. Listen to me and you will be heard. All I have left, I
will give to you. Please take my choices, but do not make my mistakes. Give them to
some who listen to you, hear what they have to say. Remember and you will be heard. All
I have left.
Victor D, student
                       HOW I’D SPEND A MILLION DOLLARS
 If I won a million dollars, I would do three things with my winnings First of all, I would help
the homeless people.
 I worked at the Sister of the Road Café, where I was the cashier and responsible for the
night clean-up. At the café, I worked directly with homeless people and I saw them as real
human beings with real human problems. I became friends with all the people there. In
fact, I still go there to eat even though, I don’t work there anymore.
 I was just there today, and several people said Hi and spoke with me. I feel the reason
that I get along with a lot of the homeless people so well is because I can relate to their
situation very well, for I was, at one time, homeless myself.
 Second, I would buy myself a home and a car. The house would be nothing fancy or
expensive, but I would like it to have three bedrooms. My car would have to be a Cadillac.
 Third, I’d like to get married, but I would get a pre-nuptial agreement, just in case it
doesn’t work out.
 So if I were ever lucky enough to win a million dollars, I would help the homeless and get
married. Most important to me though is buying myself a home.
Glasker R, student
Our final piece is a heartfelt poem.
I am a child that’s born in a world that promises justice and liberty, but feeds with the
spoon of death.
I am a man that time has never known. The color of the skin breathes nothing but
I am an old man that has fertilized lands with my blood. The sea has nourished it’s own
with the flesh of my bones.
I am a black man.
Lonnie M, student
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                            IMPORTANT GED REMINDER
Have you taken some GED tests before and have one or two tests to go? Then it’s time to
come to the Learning Center and get it done. Remember, the State Office of Community
Services has issued a timeline to finish your GED:

Date started test: Must be completed by:
1997 or before (Must start re-testing)
1998     3 years from date of 1st test

 The Learning Center has scheduled GED testing for January and February on the
following dates:
 January 16, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
 January 30, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
 February 13, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
 February 27, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

If you are already coming to the LLC, have a staff person give you a practice test. If you
score high enough, you can be signed up for an official GED test.
If you are not yet a client of the Learning Center and would like to be, have your PO or
counselor call our referral number 988-3136 ext. 27353.
 We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
   Martin Luther King Jr.

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