Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The End of Math Camp, Life Maps, 8am Friday Class and New Orleans

First, thank you because finally Math Camp is over. As much complaining I did about it it was actually very helpful. But 3 hours of it starting at 9:30am is a little much. I'm also a little worried that a lot of it was stuff that I understood while the instructor was explaining it but two months now in the middle of stats class I'm gonna be in trouble.

I also found out today that I have Stats class every Friday from 8am to 10:30am. Are these people insane? Then we were told that the professor actually wanted the class to start at 7:30. As anyone who worked with me in FRL's office knows, chances arent good that I will be making it to a lot of those on time. Jeez, I usually don't wake up before 8. Now I gotta learn statistics at 8am. Something tells me I'm not the only one that will be chronically late to that one.

So today and last week we did this really cool exercise to get know each other called life maps. Its one of these things that sounds really stupid, but turned out to be quite helpful. Its amazing to hear about the experiences that people have had from working on development in Cuba, to doing peace corps in Ukraine, to work with unions, to working for a citizens investigative service in NYC and so on. There are a lot of midwesterners (especially Iowans) and people have studied everywhere from huge universities like UNC, Iowa State, and Wisconsin-Madison to smaller schools like St. Mary's (both Indiana and Maryland) and Truman State. The school did a great job of getting a class with very diverse experiences.

Finally, to New Orleans and that region of the country more generally. What a horrific story and the pictures that go with it are both depressing and awe-inspiring. Talk about having respect for nature. The damage is in the billions and more importantly, people's lives are completely wiped out. Not only are houses gone, but whole neighborhoods are gone. And to think that it happened to three of the poorest states in the country. The best trained rescuers in the country can't do anything because they can't get to the people and cant communicate with each other. The Mayor of New Orleans has called for a total evacuation of the city and to add to the problem now they face a health crisis because of bodies and sewage in the water. There is no power, the roof was wrecked at the Superdome and their are reports of suicides of people that have lost everything. I also just heard that because the National Guard and emergency workers are spread so thin that now roving bands of gunmen are patrolling the cities. It is starting to sound like Iraq down there. This is not a small repair job either. To rebuild these cities and their infrastructure will take years and billions of dollars and a lot of people that live in "towns" will never be able to rebuild. A quick note on the looting, Hey where are you bringing the stolen TV jackass? As Americans we should remember how we responded to 9/11 and the Tsunami and all help in anyway we can. The American spirit is all about helping those less fortunate and in need and God knows that the people of the Gulf Coast are in need right now. The least we can do is all say a little prayer tonight.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Don't Stop Believin'

So I got back last night after another fun weekend at the Jersey Shore. Went up Friday to see Journey at PNC Bank Arts Center. So I'm sure I'm not the only one but I had no idea that Journey was coming out with a new album. Not only didn't I know, but I don't care and I didn't pay $30 to listen to you sing crappy songs about faith in the heartland and many generations. Just sing Lights, Open Arms, Only the Young, Wheel in the Sky, Faithfully, Anyway You Want It, Separate Ways and Don't Stop Believin'. I must say that I'm a little afraid that so many people paid money to see this show. When they hit the first piano cords of Don't Stop Believin' the place went insane (myself included). I must say that them singing the greatest hits was an awesome experience.

Saturday was a crabbing day on Jay's dock. I of course got sunburned (big fucking surprise) and then Saturday night was water taxi. We started at Wharfside hanging out with some of Jay's friends and we finally got on the water taxi, which is basically a drunk boat. They take you around to a bunch of bars while serving drinks on board. BTW being a waitress on this boat has got to be one of the worst jobs in the world. We ended up at this other bar that had the hottest hot wings ever. Everyone that tried one was crying. We caught the last water taxi back and steamed through the bay with the Boss at an obnoxiously loud level (if that's possible). We got back to Wharfside and thankfully we were just in time to see a pretty entertaining bar fight.

We were waiting for our taxi as a about four guidos got kicked out of the bar for fighting. They got in a car (yea good idea jackasses) and drove off (I thought for good). Then another guy walked out with some of his girlfriends who were urging him not to go the way the guidos had driven off. He didn't heed their advice and walkied that way. About 10 minutes later he came running down the street followed closely by the guido mobile, which emptied for a rematch. They started fighting and then the guy's friends came running out and a melee was born. Thankfully our taxi showed up around this point so needless to say we beat a hasty retreat but not before seeing the punch of the night: a guido landing a nasty right to the side of some guy's head and dropping him hard.

Came back Sunday and hit up some math camp, which is not as bad as I thought it might be and is actually quite helpful and then writing camp which is either wonderful or horrible depending on which teacher we have. Thankfully only a few days of this left and then an epic house party on Saturday that we are hosting. If you are in the DC/Baltimore area and want to come let me know.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The 1st Day

Well here it is. The first day of math boot camp. Something tells me by about 10am I am going to be cursing my decision to come back to school. From what I have gathered this is either going to be incredibly easy math or incredibly hard math. Either way its probably going to be excrutiating. All I gotta keep telling myself is that if I can just make it to the Happy Hour tonight than I might survive. Pray for me.