holiday slump

Having resigned from the job [and just in time–I found out they laid off 4 editors last week], I spent the past few weeks trying to finish up the semester successfully. Wrote another paper, gave a presentation, graded my online students. Then the real fun began: a 5 day trip to Minnesota! I have to upload the pics still but it was a beautiful white winter wonderland. We walked a lot and I looked like a bundled up marshmellow, but anything, even 19 degree weather, is better than Tampa! 😉

Back in FL now though and hosting the parents til I leave this Thursday for MLA. For that presentation, I am trying to blend some work I’ve done on blogs–in the classroom, as part of my literacy autobiography, and most recently regarding the hurricane. Not sure what the vibe is at MLA, but I’ll be getting there a day before I present so I can check it out then. I was a total geek the other night and scanned the program for names I knew, both ones that are big and those from my days in Boston.

Once I return on New Year’s Day, I resolve to blog every day! And putting that up here means I really have to do it…


light at the end of the tunnel

Met with the acting Graduate Director last week and finally see myself finishing this PhD program in 2007! Woohoo! One more semester of coursework and an easy squeezy language requirement, and I enter comps and dissertation territory…FINALLY!

Now that I don’t have the full-time job anymore, I’ve been spending my mornings and afternoons cleaning, writing, and riding my bike. One more paper to go this semester and I’ve just found more great stuff at the Pew Internet and American Life project website. Check this one out: 13 million Americans made donations online after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (PDF).

The Hurricane Katrina Wikipedia entry also has some information regarding the Internet effects.

Lots to read before this paper can be finished. Gotta go!


New Orleans, we have a disconnect

After writing a paper on the rhetoric of truth in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in which I compared the responses/emails of FEMA’s former director, Michael Brown, to the blog posts written by New Orleanians over at Metroblogging, the sources keep a’coming.

Here is an article detailing the reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s first broadcast back on the NOLA airwaves, which prompted the following response from Diane Newman, the WWL operations manager and program director:

“I will do my damnedest to get Rush Limbaugh to broadcast from here, to drive through Lakeview, through Gentilly, drive through Mid-City, drive through New Orleans East, drive through St. Bernard, drive through the 9th Ward,” she said. “I believe that Rush — as I believe about anybody on a big stage, like Rush, like Oprah, like Al Franken, like Bill O’Reilly, like Bill Maher — I think they all owe it to their audience in New Orleans and the Gulf South and really to America to come and see it and feel it.”

Also of relevance are Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s papers, which “include notes of conference calls, e-mails among members of Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s administration and state police reports on the deteriorating situation in New Orleans and its surrounding parishes,” and were sent to congressional committees.

I find it interesting that both sources used the word “disconnect” in their headlines: “‘There was a disconnect’: WWL radio invites Rush Limbaugh to New Orleans so he’ll know what he’s talking about” and “Blanco papers recount Katrina response: Documents sent to Congress show state-federal disconnect.”

These days, is anyone connected? I can name a few folks in the White House and at Halliburton, but other than that, I don’t think so.

What is it going to take to make the government aim for connectivity, especially in times of crisis? I cannot get over how lucky my parents are in comparison to everyone else I know whose entire life has been uprooted. So many people we know have moved to Baton Rouge or Lafayette, and if they haven’t, they’re staying with friends in the suburbs STILL waiting for the power to come back on in their Uptown neighborhood so they can begin renovations, etc. It’s unbelievably ridiculous that power can go on some places and not others…it’s been 3 months!

Go here for a lighter take on the power problem, just in time for the holidays!


back home in Picayune???

There is a lot to update everyone on but the most significant is that I no longer have a full-time job! My last day was Friday and it’s already been such a relief to have the free time today during the day to clean, organize “last week of the semester” papers and catch up on emails. I’m gonna miss those FADV folks, but I plan to keep in touch with ’em!

The other big news is that I went to NOLA for an afternoon of food and fun. Andy got to eat his first beignets and muffaletta and I got to walk around with a margarita! Could life get any better? 😉

Seriously, I had been a little scared of what I might see as we drove in, both to Mississippi and to the city, and it’s all still kind of a mess, but nothing too devastating-looking. There are still some fly-away boats in random places, like in the middle of the Interstate, btu what made me most sad was seeing all the flooded cars inNew Orleans East. So many people left them there, I’m sure, thinking they’d come home in a day or 2.

I have pics uploaded to my other computer, so I will have to share those later, via Flickr, but suffice it to say, it wasn’t as scary as I thought. I refused everyone’s idea to go see my house in NOLA, and I think that was best. What’s there to see? I wanted to focus on my friends and family, and that’s just what I did! And I am also quite impressed at my parents’ place in Picayune. I hadn’t been in there in probably 15 years or so and it’s quite a home, not just a weekend place. Andy and I had a great time there, even with/especially because of the lack of cell phone signals!

More NOLA and the holidays posts soon.