“Good Time” vs. Having a Good Time

The workers get “good time” for taking my class. For those of you who may not know what “good time” is, it is the amount of deducted time from a given sentence, rewarded for good behavior and/or involvement in programs such as the Maintenance Collaborative.

From time to time, classroom conversation will get off topic and get into discussing “good time.” When I find this happening, I always nip it in the bud – for various reasons.  I want these men to see that this class is an asset to them whether they get good time or not.  They are learning fantastic skills, even if they don’t love flowers or the specific work that they are doing.  I would like them to understand that they all have something to learn whether they think they do or not.  And from what I can see it seems like the men actually have a “good time.”

Recent Happenings:

We realized this fence was too tall to hop over. As a solution one of the guys fashioned a gate and he was very proud of his end result.

The potatoes sprouted up in a crooked lines! We all had a chuckle about the planter of the lopsided potato plant rows.

The raspberries have the most delicate blossoms but they are hard to catch because they are not in bloom for very long.  It always astounds me that the men never seem to understand that in order to get a fruit you first need a flower.

One worker didn’t think much of this huge strawberry patch until he bent over and counted 13 strawberries on one stem! We do nothing for the strawberries, no water, no fertilizer, nothing.  And yet we still must divide them every few years and plant yet another patch – they grow like a weed!


Like the strawberries, I try to act and work in ways that helps the group and gets positive results: compliments and constructive criticism; real conversations, listening to their input; trusting their honesty and sincerity. I also like to letting them work out solutions on their own (Like the gate for the fence).

They are a pleasure to be with and as usual we have a good time, learning as we go.


2 thoughts on ““Good Time” vs. Having a Good Time

  1. My kids found the strawberries in our front garden today, too. They arrived with some plants from a school plant sale, and more came from my sister’s garden for Mother’s Day…We don’t get many, but the watching and talking about what is happening is worth a lot..It is amazing how basic things like flower to fruit remain mysteries to so many of us..maybe really most of us, when I try to think what I really know about how a strawberry comes to be.

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