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.


At 3:11 PM, Blogger Robert G. Torricelli said...

cry me a river you big baby!


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