AI gives high school students the opportunity to have someone else write their college admissions application essays for them. Avoiding writing seems to be the goal for those who seek a college degree. Ironically, one of the successful programs launched for inmates has been one in free writing. The inmates sit down with a former prosecutor who encourages them to write. One inmate explained, “I just let whatever goes through my mind go on the paper. That’s where the magic happens.” It sure does.
Writing demands introspection, attention, reasoning, concentration, patience, learning, insight, and all of these over and over again. Tragic that the high school kids try to avoid it as those with fewer opportunities recognize its power and their need to just do it.
There is some critically acclaimed material coming out of the prisons. Along with the writing success, there is something else emerging from the prisons: reclaimed lives and reformed individuals who can now see the world is their oyster.
Ernesto Londono, “Finding Clarity and Inspiration in Writing, While Incarcerated,” New York Times, September 8, 2023, p. A12.