Writing as therapy

From the Boston Globe : Writing helping young Katrina survivors

As for my lil Julie C., who has been up in NYC at a Sacred Heart sister school, she returns to NOLA on Nov 5 and classes will start again soon. Her senior year will stretch into June/July, but I’m sure the graduation on the campus of the school she’s attended since Kindergarten will be worth it. I can’t wait to see her in full cap and gown!


wilma and the workplace

After a weekend of trying to decide if we should evacuate or not, and squeezing in a kickboxing class :), AC and I decided to stay in Tampa. All the schools and government offices made announcements that they would be closed on Monday and I assumed my St Pete workplace office would too since it is located further south. AC and I went to see Wallace and Gromit and all was wonderful in the world. Then I called the hotline at work and was told the offices would be open.

Surely that didn’t mean I would have to drive across the Howard Frankland bridge? That is why they let me sign out a laptop on Friday, isn’t it? I could work from home, couldn’t I?

Guess again. I woke up at 7am and had received no response from the boss. Went back to sleep and woke up to a voicemail telling me I had to come in. I was pissed. AC drove me in and the whole way I cursed and sulked. The drive across the bridge at 10am was still windy and scary, with Tampa Bay’s rough waters and waves crashing onto the lanes, even though the storm hit much further south around 7am. What was this office thinking? And why were there so many people actually at work? If I hadn’t just gotten a day off for Sarah’s visit last week and taken this Friday off for the South Central MLA conference, I so would have stayed home!

OK enough whining. I’m in the midst of grading annotated bibliographies and am quite impressed with my online students camraderie in the discussion forums. I’m still grappliing with the whole work and school thing and have flat out decided to return to a state of denial with regards to NOLA. I won’t believe the loss til I see it and as of now, I cannot go back until Mardi Gras, and that’s surely to resemble parties from before, so there!


Links of interest

Back in the academic groove these days after last’s week stress-o-la time at the job. If things continue in that manner, I’ll tell em to take their job and shove it come January, but so far I’m off to a much better week, although it is only Monday…

So I’m trying to focus on my directed study group on Online Communities. Rita has mentioned Rocketboom a lot and I finally watched a whole v-log post. Kinda was entertained…and really liked this link for “When you absolutely, positively have to get off the phone…” 😉

Ryan shared the link to the Wild Cam of Pete’s Pond in Africa, which is amazing. Minnesota Stories has an awesome frog video too — and my AC was JUST talking about the digital video he took when feeding his frog! Ha!

Seriously though, the immediacy calls to mind Krause’s dissertation which I have only recently come across.

I’m still hooked on Metroblogging New Orleans because these stories mean most to me right now. Ernie’s writing in this post is just so heartfelt and honest. There really is no way to describe the feelings between optimism and truth and fear and sadness.

Gonna go to bed and read. Lots to cram in over the next 7 weeks, but I am ready!


still a roller coaster of emotions

As I sit in my cubicle at work, which has sprung a third wall and window-paneling in the past week (don’t ask), I’m tortured by the thought of a world out there that I cannot help and a pretty sunny day that I cannot take advantage of. I know I am repeating myself, but the thought of my friends and parents returning to NOLA every other day to find what is left, and even hearing from Tom how he feels like his has tunnel vision since everything is OK on his street but he sees so much in nearby areas that probably will never be rebuilt, hurts me so much. It is probably normal that these emotions come in waves, but last night was rough. I started thinking about how I will never sleep in my room at home again and I couldn’t stop crying. While some kids moved around and changed schools, I always lived in the same house and friends who knew I had moved to Boston and then Tampa but didn’t know how to get in touch me ALWAYS were able to find my parents at 5766 Cameron Blvd. We always had the same phone number and it will remain in my cellphone under “home” forever.

And I don’t think anyone here gets it. Yes, the stories are still in the media every day, and everyone knows that my parents are safe and lucky to have our house in Mississippi to relocate to, but we dealing with the daily reminders of filling out FEMA applications and forwarding mail and waiting for insurance adjusters to NOT screw us over, etc.


Tina told me some things last week that I feel are worth mentioning here. She lives in LaPlace, LA and finds the whole no-bid contracts thing very fishy. A friend of hers who is a retired Navy man and now unemployed after the storm wiped away his job [not sure what the current one was], waited in line to apply for work and was flat out told, “We’re only hiring Mexicans.” I’m scared that so many of the people rebuilding the Gulf Coast aren’t the people from that area who know how it should be preserved, and more importantly, need the work to start rebuilding their lives! Thank goodness there has been a change of mind as noted in “FEMA pledges to reassess no-bid contracts,” but I want to hear more good stories from actual residents rather than these sketchy ones.

I’ve got to get back to work before the boss comes around and starts complaining that we need to get more cases out. Quality over quantity, lady!

But here are my closing thoughts: I’m putting any academic focus I have left into studying and researching online responses to the Hurricane, whether the kairotic response on Craig’s List or the ethos of the blogs at Metroblogs: NOLA or The Interdictor.

I can’t wait to read and research for that this weekend..

Speaking of schooling, can someone drive down St. Claude Avenue and please tell me that the campus of my high school, the Academy of the Holy Angels, is still standing and not too wet!

Oh! And before I forget, you have to go read “Southern literature and the meaning of Britney’s bra” in the Times-Picayune by Chris Rose. A funny piece but he poses a serious question in my book!

Why are all of America’s smartest people sitting alone in library carrels and coffee shops trying to change the world with written words while people whose primary accomplishment in life was to make a pile of money get to actually run the world?


5 days with Katrina

This is an amazing slide show with captions so you can see the dramatic pre-storm, post-storm, then post-levee break devastation that occured downtown and in the Quarter.

I’ve gotten preoccupied with the reality of all of this again and it was quite difficult to get through my Rhetoric mid-term tonight. The editing job isn’t going too well either these days and I am thinking something will have to give soon but I’m desperate to save money and get outta here for awhile.

More tomorrow once I’ve gotten some sleep!


my trina

Apparently it’s been so long since i’ve blogged, that this is the 3rd time i am writing this post because other windows I’ve closed have ended up closing all of them. Ugh! I don’t even think that first sentence makes sense but i am too tired and frustrated to deal with it.

I only want to share a few links to albums friends have sent since returning to New Orleans and dealing with the damage in their homes. My parents house had 8 feet of water in it so everything is gone. My mom managed to save her china and some pictures but that’s about it.
Renee sent this video along; TB went to her recently purchased house uptown and found all of this ruin; LB sent this album along; and Randy has 1000s of pics of Chalmette hosted here.

The main loss hitting me more each day is of my kitty Trina. My parents took her with them when they evacuated but she hates car rides, became a nervous wreck and stopped eating all together. I was reminded that my friend Brian made this silly webpage of Trina pics several years ago, so go take a look. She was the sweetest and I miss her pinky paws so much. 🙁

Dealing with work and school is better but I’m also not getting as much sleep as I should because when friends do call, I have to talk to them since I feel so helpless here in FL. AC and I haven’t done anything social in weeks and I hate that.
I went to Jacksonville this weekend for a funeral of a prof’s mother and it was good to be with that family but here I am again trying to justify sitting in a cubicle at work editing reports when I could be doing something and living life. I hope to have some down time soon but we’ll see. Something might have to give…