Inmates visit Saint Scholastica

 

Today, at Saint Scholastica I got a chance to see firsthand how white-collar crimes were committed. By hearing the stories of incarceration three convicted felons Oggy, Ty and Chris. All three felons were convicted of some type of fraud because they lost millions of dollars of investors’ money. First I want to analyze my reaction of the inmates that visited Scholastica today by their communication and public speaking skills. This is because I am a communication major. Secondly, their message to the students here at Scholastica. And lastly I want to give my genuine feelings towards these things.

The first person to speak at the presentation was Chris. Chris is an advanced speaker. I could tell immediately that he had put in a lot of experience talking to people. His postured was planted and tall, and his hands moved with what he was saying pretty well. I knew this initially because of Chris’s opening statement about video games. That nails down the demographic of college kids in this era. We all grew up with video games. Even the 30 something faculty grew up with pong. Chris started with that. He used Pong, the Nintendo Gameboy, and Halo for the Xbox to convey the change in time. “When I was a kid I played pong” Chris mentioned. Then he spoke about his upbringing as a privileged child who, one summer, went to see his grandma in Florida and she chartered a plane to fly to Disney world and get a private tour. He continued with his family life and how his child had a Gameboy. He talked about how his son got so excited when he beat the game. So he played the Gameboy too. He and his son shared the experience. This narrative of video games played a key part in his speech that was relatable, effective for sharing separate parts of his story, and also shared a great message.

Chris’s message was clear. From his opening statement about video games he was able to effectively glue his story together with one key narrative line. “When I died in the game I could start over” Chris said. But when Chris got in with the wrong crowd, he realized that there is no reset button in real life. That one bad decision can domino into another and another. And that’s how he could relate it back to video games. Being a 20 something student myself, video games are a borderline obligation for my generation.

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I felt what Chris said with an extra layer of attentiveness because I could relate to what he was saying. If he had started his speech out with explaining what a numbers guy is, it wouldn’t strike the same cord. I liked Chris’s positive message and his body language because they complimented each other.  After Chris was finished Ty came up to speak.

My first impression from Ty was his team mentality. I took note of the line that he started his sentences with more than anything else. “Like Chris said” was Ty’s go to phrase when moving from one point to another.  This made great sense because Ty was a baseball coach for many years. He chose to be more guarded, however and remained behind the desk and demonstration closed hands. Ty took shortcuts to grow his business. He simply got a taste of making money easier and quicker that it got him in trouble. That is the one lesson that came from each of the three inmates. (Even when you think you’re right, you’re wrong.) Just one bad decision will inevitably lead to another. “Like Chris said” but also through the inmate’s three anecdotal stories.  Ty also expressed his regret for doing what he did and wants to return to baseball when he gets out. I liked the caricatures that each of the three inmates played. Chris was definitely a student. This rings true with his line “If you think you know everything, then you actually don’t know anything”. Ty was the athlete of the trio and Oggy was the teacher.

Oggy had an interesting story about his incarceration because there was a point in his story that he thought he wasn’t in the wrong when investors’ money was lost. This stuck out to me because his tone changed and he sounded weaker than his words. Like he was back in time talking to his investor friend and being reassured. His body language said that he was guilty because of his lack of movement and his consistent leaning on the table in front of him. The reason why Oggy played the role of a teacher is because he recommended a lot of books throughout his talk, in addition to the classes that he took in the program and the smile that he showed when he spoke about his chance to teach a class.

This talk was a great opportunity to see how a different perspective in regards to the law can still result in a positive message. Like Oggy mentioned “Most of the inmates are extremely intelligent.”  This is my take on the Communication skills, message of this talk along with my genuine feelings about the experience.

 

 

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