Feb
2006

a very merry half-birthday to me–mark you calendar

On March 6th, after being inspired by MegFest, I will begin the celebration now to be forever known as Daisy-palooza. It will be my 30 and a half birthday and considering I never got the Big Fat Italian birthday in New Orleans that I had planned last September, I think I’m long overdue!

Before then though I have to face returning to my childhood home. I’ve known for some time that I would have to face the devastation in person sooner or later, and I think that time is now. Still, I’d envisioned myself on a driving tour of my Gentilly neighborhood, so when I told my mom I wanted to see the house and she asked, “OK do you want to go inside?” I froze. I hadn’t thought about taking that big of a step and now am haunted by the image of me walking from room to room and it all being empty. And of course, the tears start all over again. Some of you have told me that I may be building it up to be bigger than what I expect, and I agree (to some extent.) Just keep reminding me of that, please!

Feb
2006

you're fired!

OK last one for the night. Also from the EFF site, I just came across this “definitive list of people who have been fired or disciplined for blogging.” I’m not sure when it was last updated though because Spohn isn’t on it. De Vry isn’t on the Blogophobic Companies/Organizations list either.

Reviewing all these sources I’ve read today, it seems the safest thing to do is blog anonymously, whether you work for a corporation or academe, but it’s too late for that for me. 😉

Feb
2006

Eureka!

I’ve been researching the topic of bloggers’ rights at the workplace for my First Amendment and Society course ever since I heard about Meg Spohn’s case and now have to present on it this Thursday. I’ve been scouring all sorts of sites for cases/legal precedents rather than anecdotal tales, and finally came across the following “Overview,” which is exactly what I needed! Of course, I had known about the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s work and the organizations listed here, but this is explicitly what a lawyer has to say about blogging and its possibility to raise First Amendment issues.

Feb
2006

busy bee/Mardi Gras on the brain/blue dogs

I haven’t been blogging much this week because of English dept. duties, deadlines and the amount of work I need to accomplish before flying to NOLA next Saturday for Mardi Gras. I CANNOT wait! After some friends read my emotional dream analysis, even ones who lost much more than I did, they told me to stop being so sad and to just come and see what is left, so that’s what I am gonna do!

The NYTimes has a wonderful piece that you should go read: “Mardi Gras Set for City Stripped of All but Pride.”

And when I visited NOLA.com this morning I came across the latest Rodrigue! I love it!

blue dog

Feb
2006

deer in headlights

chertoff

“Our investigation revealed that Katrina was a national failure, an abdication of the most solemn obligation to provide for the common welfare. At every level — individual, corporate, philanthropic and governmental — we failed to meet the challenge that was Katrina. In this cautionary tale, all the little pigs built houses of straw.”

Hmmmm. As long as the pigs mentioned are the government and not the victims, I’m OK with this statement. Read the CNN full story here.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the report, “Failure of Initiative,” this week.

This story on Brown as a scapegoat is also sure to be helpful in my work this semester too.

Feb
2006

fly tomato fly

Like The Flexible Generalist, I thought it strange that the Olympic athletes marched in at the Opening Ceremonies to 70s dance music. From the many folk dance festivals I’ve attended, it’s always made blatantly clear that other countries have their own unique sound, so why this random disco mix? And if Torino is a club-hopping Italian paradise, why not some electronic, wordless, techno?

I doubt I will have much time to watch the Olympic coverage every night, even though I’m a huge fan, but with Michelle out, I guess the most entertaining American there will be The Flying Tomato.

To me, he [aka Shaun White] looks a little more like the flying orange, or even a mini-Ronald McDonald, but oh well…

flying tomato

Feb
2006

A Comarda in Time

I blogged about this way back when, and came across the Time Magazine that the story appeared in, but at that time it was for subscribers only. I planned to go to the library to peruse a hard copy, and still will to see the pictures, but now looking for it again I see that the entire piece is available online now.

With that much of a set up, go read “The Displaced: Which Way Is Home?” which features the Comarda’s, and focuses on Julie, who I used to tutor. I cannot wait for her high school graduation in June!

Feb
2006

the blame game continues

brownie

Grrrrrrrrrrr that Brownie…Friday’s Senate hearings were a waste of time

Bob Schieffer’s got it right:

By now we know this was a failure of government at every level and that the Department of Homeland Security is a monumental flop, a bureaucracy so huge it is unable to move in spite of itself.

FEMA, the disaster relief agency that Brownie ran should be removed from Homeland Security, and its chief should report directly to the White House.

Feb
2006

emotions & plans

Since I have my students blogging these days, and I often use this blog to air out my emotions post-Katrina, I wanted to post about the number of posts that mention me crying. I’m certainly not in a state of depression, and to see me around campus or at home, I’m quite calm. Just sometimes, like when I have to write a dream analysis, the feelings I have about losing my home and the physical referent of NOLA overwhelms me and I get weepy. Then I feel guilty for feeling that way since so many of my friends have it worse and are more displaced than I am. I am just itching to get home and help in any way I can.

So the first step to getting home is finishing my PhD program, and I met with a prof from last semester to outline ideas for the dissertation. Here’s a rough sketch of what I want to do:

Ch 1: Trauma theory/kairos: Discuss the breakdown of communication at times of crisis. From 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina, how people respond to tragedy and how/where “news-telling” occurs has changed.

Ch. 2: How does the Internet remediate how we respond to tragedy? Online spaces create knowledge and trust differently; each site has its own validity, interaction level and concepts of truth.

Ch 3/4: Examples from Hurricane Katrina. Blogs weren’t just blogs anymore. Craig’s List changed visually. These two and many other sites became news forums. Different voices/witnesses spoke. Analyze how each gained legitimacy.

Ch 5: How does this affect rhet/comp teachers? The Internet’s flow regarding memorials and information is continuous and doesn’t go away, as Katrina has shown us. No matter if we use technology in our classroom or not, students now get knowledge online and off and what is created online is radically different. We need to teach them to evaluate sites for authority and train them to take advantage of it.

There you have it. We shall see how it evolves over the next year or so. Til then, I have to get to other pressing matters, like grading student work and vacuuming! 🙂

Feb
2006

Words and Music

Tried writing my dream analysis today (an assignment for Criticism and Theory) and cried nearly all the way through composing the introduction. Setting up what New Orleans means to me and attempting to figure out why I keep dreaming about being in my childhood home either alone or surround by people is beyond me this evening, but I will try again tomorrow.

Til then here are some NOLA-related links. The first is to the Faulkner Society’s web page. A friend’s art will be on exhibit at their sponsored “My New Orleans is Mardi Gras: Come As You Are” costume party at The Presbytere, from 6:00 to 9:00 p. m. on Thursday, February 23. The second link is to the book I’m currently reading, which was also celebrated by the Faulkner Society. Every essay is a beautiful tribute to New Orleans, which is as the title suggests. Go buy it if you want an insider’s view and help support the Faulkner Society and PEN Center’s Writer’s Fund.

my nola

Feb
2006

link roundup

From Bitch Phd: Michael Bérubé on Academic Freedom and CC Dean on Elephants.

From Ernie the Attorney: the Brian Williams blog post on why the network continues to cover Hurricane Katrina. I just wish W had read this or included some of the same sentiment during his State of the Union–I didn’t watch, but heard he only spent 58 seconds discussing the storm… He only needs to read the comments to Brian Williams’ post to learn about what people are really dealing with. Images are one thing but people sharing their stories, the reality of their everyday life, is something a lot of Americans won’t understand, even me, until they immerse themselves into it, go to the Gulf Coast, and spend some time there.