Elizabeth Bobrick has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Missouri, and at Wesleyan University, where she is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Classical Studies. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
This article was originally published in Amphora 11.1. It has been edited slightly to adhere to current SCS blog conventions.
At the entrance of the maximum security prison where I taught Greek tragedy was a wooden plaque in the shape of a shield. It was emblazoned with a motto: Non sum qualis eram. Apart from its incongruity in this place of no Latin and less Greek, the motto struck me as equally a declaration of failure and of hope. The men inside were not what they once were. What were they now?
I knew very little about my students at Cheshire Correctional Institute. I’d...