Jan
2007

othered

If any of you are on Gtalk, you’ll see that my away message all week has been “othered.” I didn’t want to blog about this because I felt if I did the people who have made me feel this way would read the blog and I’d get in trouble. Well that still may be the case but I don’t think I have to name names. I can just vent.

I think my frustration all comes down not to individual peers or professors but the fact that I’m at a large school. Yes, it has a fabulous gym and a decent library, but everyone here has so many students and responsibilities to consider, I should never expect the attention I received at my undergrad. Also, I’m so close to the dissertation stage that I can only think about that so when I am asked to write short pieces that don’t fit in with that larger project and am critiqued on that writing, I’m annoyed. When I can’t get anyone to focus on my work even when I have specific questions, I get even more pissed.

But now that I’ve talked to good friends and slept the initial hurt off, I think I am OK. My problem is trying to figure out everything at once instead of just focusing on my exams. Yes, I know the dissertation and a possible move are looming [and let’s not forget wedding plans], but for the next 36 days all I should allow myself to do is ANNOTATE and STUDY.

That’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted if anything changes for the better.

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Jan
2007

oh well…yay UK

So the Saints lost. Damn. But at least New Orleanians have Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest to focus on for the next few months. Lucky!

Nothing much going on here except reading for exams, teaching, and counting the days til NYC!

I’ve been on a Brit Flick kick [:)] and would like this moment to profess my adoration for Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren. Go girls!!!!

ladies is my new fav, but

queen is a must see while it’s back in the theatres.

And go here to see how fabulous Helen looked with her 2 awards at the Golden Globes.

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Jan
2007

different words for things that sound familiar

I’m home today trying to compose reading lists for my upcoming PhD exams. Drafts of these lists have already been written but I wanted to look at some other texts that I’ve purchased but never read yet to see if they would apply to my areas–trauma theory, history of rhetoric [with a focus on kairos] and computers & composition [with a focus on blogs].

I shuffled some books around the shelves then got on the computer to procrastinate.

I checked my email to find a colleague had sent the link to the December 2006 issue of Reconstruction on Theories/Practices of Blogging and through my clicking around, I found that in 2005 they published an issue on the Rhetorics of Place. Cool! But even cooler is that one of the blog issue’s essays, “Two papers, me in between” is an autoethnographic account that discusses many of the same issues I’ve dealt with when trying to figure out how to include my own experience and be an academic researcher at the same time. All I can say is that I am so lucky to be taking Carolyn’s autoethnography class at this point in my PhD!!!

When I was done with that discovery, I started clicking on links in my blogroll and found that Jill/txt is writing a book on blogging. She’s got her past research links up too and while I’ve kept up with Jill’s work over the years, I don’t remember the term distributed narrative. The more I read about it, the more it seems to fit with what I am seeing in post-Katrina NOLA blogs, with the main difference being in that each blogger is telling his/her own story and not collectively composing it, although I’m sure arguments can be made for that as well, particularly on sites like the ThinkNOLA wikis and the NOLA blogger email list.

Anyway, I went on to Google to see what else is out there about distributed narrative and a lot of it is Jill’s or people talking about Jill’s work. One such blogger is Christy Dena whose blog is called Cross-Media Entertainment. Again, on first viewing of what’s discussed there, the term “cross-media” is more fitting for gamers, Second Life-rs, interactive sites, etc., but if emails are included, then why not blogs?!

Needless to say, I’m going to keep checking in on these sites when not reading the old school hard cover texts that are on my reading lists! 😉

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Jan
2007

news from the march

the #s and words from the Times-Picayune:
in just the last six months of 2006 — after much of the city’s current population had returned — murderers killed 106 people. If the population is 230,000, an optimistic estimate, that means the city has seen a rate of 90 killings per 100,000 people since last July, a frighteningly high rate that clearly would make New Orleans the nation’s murder capital.

Anderson Cooper’s on it:
Mayor Ray Nagin tried to address the crowd and likely would have used the phrase he’s used for the last six months, “Enough is enough.” That’s what he said in June when he asked for the National Guard to help patrol the streets, and that’s what he said on Tuesday when he promised new anti-crime initiatives.

Today, however, the crowd didn’t want to hear those words. They’ve heard them too many times already. March organizers refused to let the mayor speak. It was a very public slap in the face, a sign of just how deep the anger here has become. It was an extraordinary day in this bruised and battered city.

and BRox was there to voice the anger we all feel: (click here for video)
Fueling our anger is the perception that our leaders do not share our fear and our sense of shame. And so today I want to say shame on you, Mayor Nagin, Superintendent Riley, District Attorney Jordan. You’ve really let us down. You have failed us. The criminal justice system and the government is broken. And I want to communicate to you the level of outrage that my friends and neighbors are feeling, because we don’t think you get it.

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Jan
2007

silence is violence

I can never gauge who reads my blog, but if you’re in NOLA you probably already know about the march today on City Hall. If you’re from everywhere else, a site has been created to explain: Silence is Violence. This senseless crime needs to stop and our city leaders need to know that we won’t stand for it anymore, and by “we” I include those of us New Orleanians who have been transplanted somewhere else. Nagin needs to get his act together and do something that is positive and works instead of showing off.

God, I wish I could be there to march with them. Look at this from NOLA.com to see the press coverage. And at CNN.

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Jan
2007

new course and new sources

I have to hit the hay VERY soon as it’s been a long day and one that started out very crappy, but wanted to share these finds.

Thanks to my new friends in my second Carolyn Ellis class, Authethnography, I was turned on to the new media-focused books by Henry Jenkins as well as the social sciences’ take on Katrina, which looks to be an awesome resource!

There’s also this Disaster Communications Clearinghouse and this Hurricane Katrina in Context page.

Also found this 2004 USF dissertation: Weblogs and the technology lifecycle : context, geek-chic and personal community.

Man, it’s amazing what you can find when you go interdisciplinary! 😉

EDITED to include the links to these 9/11 and Katrina resources and trauma/loss book list.

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Jan
2007

road home

cameron

This is what my street in New Orleans looks like these days. We went the Thursday after Christmas because my parents finally had a Road Home person coming to count rooms and take measurements to then send to Baton Rouge while we wait, yet again, to see how much money they’ll give us to rebuild elsewhere. My parents are set on not rebuilding and I don’t blame them. The first time I returned to my house was over Mardi Gras and it was a sunny day and some people were out and about looking positive about things. On this trip, however, the weather was grey and several homes on our street had been demolished. There were either vacant lots of land or shells of the homes that once were. Not a soul was in sight and the thought of returning to that, or worse yet, living in a FEMA trailer in front of your former home, is so depressing. I can’t believe the strength of the friends I know who do it every day.

This visit made me realize that while I used to feel guilty for not being there to help or clean up or spend money to fuel the economy, I now feel guilty for not wanting to return to my old neighborhood. I cried the whole time I was on my street, although I hid it from my parents. AC and I took a walk and that’s when I let the tears come down. We walked to a Burger King that was open but we were the only customers. I couldn’t imagine being one of the workers there who knows that the only people who stop in are just passing through. The University of New Orleans is right across the street so I’m sure when school is in session that business is better, but when you stop to think of everything that was there before and all of the people who traveled those streets and realize that once night falls, there’s not a soul in sight, that’s just so scary and sad at the same time.

Maybe I am being too negative, but with all of the crime happening in NOLA now, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to visit, much less live.

Still, some of the friends I have who are living there are flourishing and there is a job I’ve got my eye on. I guess I’ll wait to see if I need to make a decision.

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Jan
2007

jennifer coolidge

jenc

Turns out one of my favorite actresses lives and loves New Orleans. Here’s her 60-second interview with Chris Rose.

People in L.A. would kill to be as eccentric as people in New Orleans are. And none of it is fabricated. There’s no pretense to it. It’s all authentic. This whole town is authentic. I love that you go into these bars and everyone has brought their dogs and there isn’t a curfew. In L.A., at 10 o’clock, everyone runs home because they’re all working on their films the next day; everything just sort of dies. But here, people who have a big morning the next day actually stay out late and ride the ride. There are no wimps here. It’s a very strong, tough, salty person who chooses to stay here.

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