Oct
2006

Katrina overload

Well I never thought I would say I have too many facts about the storm, but having watched When the Levees Broke, New Orleans: Anatomy of a Disaster (Nova), AND National Geographic: Inside Hurricane Katrina, all in the past week [which all echo Douglas Brinkley’s book The Great Deluge], I think I’m back on track with what little I knew then, what I learned from the Internet that fateful week and since the recovery started, and what I’m just learning now. The main thing is that I want more people’s stories–like I said way back when all of this was happening, I don’t care what Blanco or Nagin should have done or the extent to which the federal government dropped the ball, the media had little to report that concerned MY neighborhood. What were people in Gentilly seeing? Where are they now? What did they return to? Spike Lee’s 4-part epic came closest to fulfilling my needs as an eager audience member in need of information, still his work focused mainly on the 9th ward, not the 7th where I was raised.

I started writing my narrative for Ellis’s class a few weeks ago then stopped, realizing that I had too much to say. I needed to figure out a way to frame things. I thought that frame might be “love amidst disaster and the guilt that causes me” but I think if I want to make this paper work as the beginning of a dissertaion in Rhet/Comp, I may stress the public writing and comfort that the Internet provided me when all other mediums failed. Who knows. I’m sure if I write it how I want to, emphasizing the personal and the public, both narrative and analytical frames will be present. Plain and simple: whatever I can focus on for the next 3 weeks is what it will be! At least for now…

A wise man told me today that I need to stop thinking about this as writing a dissertation and instead think about it as my work, my future.

No wonder I’m marrying him! 😉

One thought on “Katrina overload

  1. You also need to quit worrying about perfection and just write! As I have said to you before, a good dissertation is a done dissertation. That’s not original (obviously), and neither is this:
    Q: What do you call a grad student who barely squeaks a lousy dissertation past her committee?

    A: Doctor.

    BTW, you wrote recently that you had never heard of trauma theory until this past February. That means you just smiled and nodded when I told you about my Hemingway article back in ’05! Grr. 😉

    We love you and miss you,
    Marc

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