1. When did Wally Lamb know that he wanted to be a teacher, and in which type of students was he particularly interested?
Wally Lamb starts by explaining that from the age of eight he wanted to teach. He tried out his skills on his older sisters first, but they weren't very willing students. Then, he jumps ahead fourteen years to his first teaching job as a high school English teacher. Wally Lamb describes how teaching becomes a calling for him, not just a job. He takes particular interest in working with tough students. He calls these students the walking wounded.
2. Why was Wally originally asked to come to the York Correctional Institution in 1999?
He promised Marge Cohen, the prison school librarian that he would come and speak to a group of women. There has been a recent epidemic of suicides and suicide attempts in the prison, and Marge hopes that Wally Lamb will inspire the women to use writing as a tool for coping. Wally Lamb really does not want to go to York Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison for women in Connecticut, to teach but does so anyway.
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