Tuesday, May 02, 2006

letter for amnesty

Your Excellency,

We, a student chapter of Amnesty International at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, in the United States of America, are writing this letter in response to the detainment of journalist Elham Afroutan, member of the Writer’s Association, who has been imprisoned with other journalists whose names have been withheld, in connection with the publication of an article comparing the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini to AIDS. We would like to stress to you that Afroutan herself said that she had not written the article, but had found it on the internet and published it in an attempt to fill a blank space in a page. Additionally, Afroutan said that “there was neither any ill intention nor any pre-conceived plot behind the publication of the article.” She also stated that the publication of the article was an “unintentional mistake.” We are aware that journalist Elham Afroutan is no longer being held in solitary confinement, and we are pleased of this news. However, we are conscious of the fact that there are up to six additional journalists being detained along with Afroutan as a result of the publication of the aforementioned article, and we are calling upon you to inform us of the identities of these additional prisoners. Additionally, we are deeply concerned that the prisoners detained in this case are prisoners of conscience, being held solely for the peaceful exercise of their internationally recognized right to freedom of expression. Based upon this, we request that these prisoners be released immediately. We would also like to request that you urge the authorities involved in this matter to grant Afroutan and the additional prisoners immediate and regular access to lawyers of their own choosing, communication with their families, and any medical treatment that they may require. Finally, we ask you to remind authorities of the fact that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Article 19 states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression. We are writing to you not out of any political motivation, but simply because we are deeply concerned with the dignity and welfare of human beings worldwide. As such, our group would greatly appreciate a response, at your earliest convenience, to our inquiry into the identities of the prisoners involved in this matter and what steps the Iranian authorities are taking in delivering these prisoners lawyers, communication with family, medical attention, and freedom. We thank you for your time and assistance in this matter, and hope that this letter finds you well.

Sincerely,

Monday, May 01, 2006

Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems
1.6 The student will investigate and understand the basic relationships between the sun and the Earth. Key concepts include
a) the sun is the source of heat and light that warms the land, air, and water; and
b) night and day are caused by the rotation of the Earth.

· The sun is a star that produces both heat and light.
· The sun does not move its position.
· The sun gives us energy.
· We need energy to live.
· It also helps grow food, make weather, and keep things alive.
· The sun affects the water, soil, and air temperature.
· Temperatures are lower in shaded areas and higher when in direct sunlight.
· Earth is the planet that we live on; it is the only planets with conditions that allow humans to live.
· Earth rotates on its axis in a counterclockwise motion once a day.
· An axis is an imaginary line that the earth rotates around that you cannot see.
· It takes a full 24 hours to complete this rotation and this is why we have 24 hour days.
· It runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and rotates on it from west to east.
· We are rotating with the Earth constantly, but we cannot feel it.
· As the Earth rotates on its axis, the part that faces the sun goes through daytime and the part away from the sun goes through night time.
· As the Earth begins to rotate toward the sun we experience morning and when it begins to rotate away from it we experience afternoon, times in the middle of day and night.
· Because the sun is a source of heat, when we are closest to it (daytime) it is the warmest, whereas at night time it is furthest away from the heat source producing colder temperatures. This is also why it is darker at night time.
· When it is daytime on one side of Earth, the other side is experiencing night time.
· The relationship between daytime and night time is an opposite relationship.
· Earth is the third planet out of nine planets from the sun.
· The order of the planets is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto
· The planets all circle around the sun in a counterclockwise motion just as the Earth does around its axis.
· It takes a 365 days for Earth to travel around the sun completely, this is why we have 365 days in a year.
· The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.
· This is called sunrise and sunset.
· The sun is at its highest point at 12:00 pm, directly in the middle of the sky.
· At times before 12 pm, the sun will always be more towards the east and at times after 12pm it will always be more towards the West, allowing you to see the general time without looking at a clock.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

sol background

Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems
5.6 The student will investigate and understand characteristics of the ocean environment. Key concepts include
a) geological characteristics (continental shelf, slope, rise);
b) physical characteristics (depth, salinity, major currents); and
c) biological characteristics (ecosystems).

· The four oceans cover about 71% of the Earth’s surface, approx. 140 million square miles. (US is only about 6 million square miles). This is 99% of the plants living space
· Life began in the seas 3.1 - 3.4 billion years ago. Land dwellers appeared 400 million years ago..
· 90% of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans.
· Geological characteristics describe the ocean’s history &formation; land itself.
· The continental shelf is an example. It is the submerged part of the continent.
· It is usually sloping with an average depth of 400 feet and an average width of 80 km.
· Water depth at its edges is about 400 feet deep.
· The continental slope is the boundary between the continental shelf and the ocean floor.
· It is steeply sloping from 5-25 degrees and it is about 20 km wide.
· The continental rise is at the base of the continental slope when the slope angle decreases, it is made from sediments that have fallen from the continental shelf via slope.
· Physical characteristics are those characteristics that you can see or measure.
· Physical characteristics of the ocean environment are its depth, salinity, and major currents.
· The avg. depth of the ocean is 12,200 feet (over 2,000 adults standing on each others shoulders)
· The deepest point in the ocean is 36,198 feet (in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific).
· Salinity means the amount of salt found in the ocean water.
· The salt that is in the ocean is made up of a number of different chemicals that are dissolved in the water, and are called "ions". Two of these are sodium & chloride which make up table salt.
· As the rivers move to the ocean, they dissolve the rocks that they pass over. The dissolved ions in the water make their way to the ocean. When water evaporates from the ocean and falls on land as rain, the ions are left behind in the ocean.
· The highest salinity values are found in surface waters at 20-30 degrees north and south of the equator, where evaporation is high and precipitation is low.
· Currents are large moving rivers of water in the ocean in a particular direction; oceans are always in motion due to the spinning of the earth. Currents occurring on and below the ocean surface are caused by winds and deep currents are caused by the uneven heating of ocean water by the sun. Saltier water is heavy and sinks. Less salty water moves over it. When salty water meets less salty water, a current is formed.
· Major currents include the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift.
· Biological characteristics of the ocean deal with its ecosystems, systems formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.
· The three main ecosystems are the intertidal zone, neritic zone, oceanic zone, and abyssal plain.
· The intertidal zone consists of sandy beaches, rocks, estuaries, mangrove swamps, & coral reefs
· The neritic zone is relatively shallow that extends to the edge of the continental shelf.
· The oceanic zone is over the ocean basins. Productivity is pretty much limited to the depths that light can reach.
· The flat part of the ocean floor beyond the continental slope is the Abyssal Plain, a flat, featureless region found in water 2-4 miles deep in many places and it receives hardly any light.
· The blue whale is the largest known animal ever to have lived on sea or land, they can reach over 110 feet and weigh almost 200 tons (50 elephants).
· Giant kelp is the fastest growing plant in the ocean. It grows up to 2 feet per day. More than 100 feet in a year and as much as 200 feet in its life time.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

style #10

This lesson is on ethics and goes beyong just the polishing that we have been reading about thus far in the style book. It states that we don't only have a responsibility to our readers to write clearly but we have a responsibility to our fellow writers to do so. If we write carelessly or choose not to follow certain rules when writing, other writers will find that we are lazy and thoughtless and therefore not take our writing seriously. On page 179 it states that "we should make our ideas no simpler than they desercem but no more difficult than they have to be." We should write our ideas in a way that we would want them to be written to us. It says that writing this way, however, is not as easy as we think it is because as writers we are impartial to our writing and usually think of it as being clear when it is not. Writing in a dense manner or misdirecting the audience is not something we intend to do, but it happens because we fail to realize that the readers do not have the same familiarity with the subjects to which we are writing aboutl. There is also the case of the writers who feel as though they have to write in a complicated manner because they are "breaking new intellectual ground". We can choose to write this way but it is really not doing the reader any justice because they will be struggling through the words the whole time. There is said to be two more defense for writing in a complex manner. The first is because some writers think that complexity is good for the reader because it will cause them to think harded and thus understand the information more after they do finally grasp the concept being introduced to them. The second is because some writers feel that clarity is bad because it misleads us by making complicated issues seem overly simple when they are not.

Friday, April 28, 2006

lesson plan

Lesson Plan for Similes


Chapter Similes Title: Making Windsocks for Similes

Lesson Objectives:

To understand, identify, and write similes.

Equipment/ resources/ materials/ needed:

Stapler or glue
Windsock worksheets
Yarn
construction paper
o simile web worksheets
o simile web transparency
o markers
o highlighters

Stapler or glue
Windsock worksheets
Yarn
construction paper

Lesson Sequence:

Begin the lesson by defining a simile. A simile is a comparison using like or as. Pass out simile web worksheets and turn overhead projector on. Go over the worksheet and do examples first as a class, then as a cluster, then individually, and finally there is a spot to make one up all together. Then pass out windsock activity to each group of students. Tell them to follow the directions on the worksheet, to read the list of sentences and pick out the five similes that are in it. They should raise their hands when they think they have them picked out for writing on the windsock and if they have done it correctly tell them to get their strips of construction paper. They are to write what a simile is on the large piece of construction paper and then the five examples on the skinny strips and staple or glue them to it so they hang. Then they will string a piece of yarn through the big piece and hang above their desks.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

comletely revised narrative

Breaking the Mold
By Brenna Wade

IT IS AS IF WE ARE IN A THIRID WORLD COUNTRY, or a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. I feel around for my glasses and quickly put them on. I can’t believe what I see when I peer out of the lightly tinted bus windows. I feel like we have been traveling for days not hours. There are rows among rows of cars covered in a white residue on the sides of the main roads. Road signs fallen or non-existent; buildings reduced to roofs held up by wooden beams. I looked to my professors for input but they simply tell me the worst is yet to come. My mind began to race, filling with questions in anticipation of what the next two weeks has in store for me and the other student volunteers from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, on our journey to help rebuild New Orleans.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” I am quickly interrupted by a high pitched squeal so loud that it makes my whole face flinch. It is one of my professors trying to use the loudspeaker on the bus to tell us that we are about to reach our destination. By the time he figures out how to use it, the bus has stopped at what seems to be an abandoned church parking lot that, in my best judgment, seems to have escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. The bus has stopped at what seems to be a completely abandoned church parking lot that, to my best judgment, seems to have escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. As I step off the bus it hits me. We are actually in New Orleans. There’s no turning back. I am overwhelmed with the images from the media of looters stealing things and the words of my father telling me to be careful of alligators and snakes. Have I gotten myself into something that I can’t handle? The only people I really know on the trip are my ex-boyfriend, who I am not speaking to, two of his good friends, and two girls that live upstairs from me. But I didn’t sign up for the trip to make friends. I don’t think any of us did.
I signed up for this class to spend two weeks in January rebuilding New Orleans. I remember sitting in a frat house the weekend before school started watching a football game, while news banners were reeling at the bottom of the screen telling us that a Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast as a category 3 storm, destroying virtually all in its path. For weeks afterward,, that same television screen was filled with images of people walking through oil filled waters up to their shoulders, people standing on their roofs desperate to be rescued; thousands of people crammed into the superdome in seek of food, of family members, of help.
This made me remember when Hurricane Isabel came through the areas of my home town about three years earlier, leaving flooding and devastation in its wake. As awful as that experience was for me and those I loved, I am quickly learning that the tragedy in New Orleans was far worse. They needed help. They needed our help. My twenty-nine classmates, three professors, and I were here in this church parking lot for that very reason.
When the bus door finally opened, we quickly grabbed our pillows and backpacks and made our way through the big doors of the Gretna United Methodist Church. A brown haired woman named with a great warmth about her greeted us in the hallway. Her name was Lisa and she showed us to the rooms where we would be staying. My room was a cheery red color. It was spacious with three couches, a foosball table, and a TV. Since the girls outnumbered the boys, we laid claims on it, giving the boys the room next door despite their many failed efforts of switching so that they could have the TV. After we laid claims on where we wanted to sleep, Lisa kindly showed us around the church. She told us they were blessed in that the only room damaged by the storm was the one we were staying in, but that they had it fully redone so that mission groups like ourselves could stay and help. I thought we were going to be staying in a half destroyed church with one shower and no hot water. It was at this point that I realized all of my inhibitions were wrong. These two weeks were going to be something totally unpredictable and I was ready to see what was in store for us.
What actually was in store for us was something that I had never imagined I would be a part of in my entire life. We knew we were going to be working on people’s houses that had been destroyed by Katrina, but we had no idea we would be rebuilding their homes, throwing away all their memories while hearing their remarkable stories and really touching their lives just as they were touching ours. These twenty-nine classmates and three professors that I used to call strangers I soon learned to call my family.
* * *
We spent our days waking up to the mixed sound of phone alarms going off and to the clang of one of our professors banging a metal pot above our air mattresses at about 7:00 in the morning. We stumbled out of bed sore and exhausted from the day before. We put on our work boots, stocked our tool belts, and made sure not to forget our respirator masks and safety goggles that were ever so important during the course of the day.
We were eager to get the chance to help the families that had fallen victim to Katrina. Our initial arrival at each house was often the most intense. Intense with appreciation from the homeowner that they were finally getting help, with images of waterlogged moldy walls and saturated belongings, and with our own overwhelming emotions for these innocent families, so undeserving of such devastation.
The inside of the houses looked the way boats do when they have sunk and are later washed up on to shore. Everything was misplaced and rusted. Refrigerators were turned on their sides and water still filled bowls and glasses in kitchen cabinets. Mold had covered everything from the floor to the ceiling and a putrid smell surrounded us as if to push us away. Dark green water lines clearly marked the walls often as high as ten to twelve feet from the ground. Pictures hanging on the walls were faded and the colors all ran together. Beautiful white wedding dresses, now green and brown, their necklines rusted from where they were once hung on metal hangers. Photo albums now clumps of paper and color residue. The treasured memories of others, exposed and ravaged by stagnant pools or soupy waste.
This was often the hardest part, taking wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of possessions outside and throwing them into a pile that eventually reached well over ten feet in height. Our safety goggles shielded us not only from debris, but hid the tears that fell for these families. Flashes of my own life kept popping up in my head. I couldn’t imagine everything I owned sitting in a pile in front of my house waiting to be scooped up and thrown into huge garbage trucks. We worked for hours emptying out the houses, ripping up carpet and linoleum and tearing down walls and remnants of insulation leaving only the concrete floor and wooden beams that stood beneath it all. As we emptied out their homes of the evident of their lives, the families stood strong and their appreciation and optimistic attitudes were an inspiration to us all.
The first family that we met, Jerry and Tonya, will remain with me forever. They were working members of the community, a sheriff and a nurse, and they had bought their house a year and a half ago as their retirement home. When Katrina hit, Tonya was notified at work that a levee had breeched and that the area was flooding. She picked up her three children and they waded through the water to her car, which was parked on a high level in the parking garage at her work. She carried her son on her back and they left with nothing but the clothes on their back. For four days she could not get in contact with her husband, and didn’t even know if he was alive. Since he is a sheriff in the area he stayed to help the city and make sure as many people were being helped as possible. Everything in their house was destroyed but they say it will always be there home. When we asked how they felt they said,

“We haven’t had the time to consume it just yet”, Jeffrey said.
“We are taking it one day at a time and staying close to the Lord
along the way. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and
the hurricane has made our family much closer. We are no
longer looking in the rear view mirror but ahead, through the
windshield. It’s a beginning and we are excited about it. It’s
really not depressing at all, it’s a journey to a better future and
a start for rebuilding.”

They told us that their home was our home if we were ever in New Orleans again. Tonya, who was quiet at first, started telling us she wanted to have a bigger kitchen and the husband showed us where he was going to make the family room bigger. The way that they could go through so much and yet still feel so blessed made my classmates and I realize that we were doing more than rebuilding houses; we were giving people a new a chance and rebuilding lives.
Other families had stories even more tragic. One woman, Sharon, went through more than I could ever imagine anyone going through in one lifetime. She lost far more than her home and her possessions. Her mother died from brain trauma in a car accident trying to evacuate. Her husband was already suffering from congested heart failure and colon cancer and is now diagnosed with malignant bone cancer and will more than likely die soon. They didn’t have full flood insurance or full homeowners insurance and therefore didn’t receive enough money to repair their home because they had to spend their savings on funeral arrangements for her mother.

“I just don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’ve lived here all our life, and my family, they’re all gone; all scattered all over. I don’t know where they are. It’s so devastating, you lose so much. I’m gonna lose my husband as well and I lost my mother, my house, my neighbor, my neighborhood, everything.”
Hurricane Katrina affected Sharon in a way that none of us could truly understand. Her life is not turned upside down and on top of everything she has to worry about whether or not she is going to be able to keep her house.

It’s overwhelming, you try and get help but everyone tells you something different. What are we gonna do, where are we gonna
live? I know there are others who have stories harder and sadder
than mine. I am just disappointed in my government. I’ve never
asked my government for anything. I’m a good citizen, I pay my taxes. They are not giving us any help with the levees. The best they said they could do by June is make them withstand the same strength as they did before Katrina, that’s not good enough. That’s my story, I don’t know what that is and where it leads us
but that’s it.”

Her story highlighted the sad truth that not everyone had the same support system after the storm and some were affected far more than others. Some people faced things far worse than we had anticipated. After hearing Sharon’s story, I started to feel a little depressed the next couple days because I knew that there were more people who had stories even worse than hers. Was helping fifteen families really going to have an impact on the city when there are thousands of other families that need help too?
But then we met the Cline’s sisters. We worked on three of their homes, all located in the same neighborhood. Two of the homes belonged to Joy and Meredith and the other belonged to their mother, Greta. These ladies were already in the houses getting their hands dirty when we arrived, which was something we weren’t used to seeing. They weren’t able to salvage anything but were smiling and laughing the entire time we were with them, finding ways to make our job easier. They brought us fried chicken and kool-aid at lunch time one day as a break from the peanut butter sandwiches we were growing so tired of.
To show us their appreciation, they also rented out an entire restaurant and paid for us to have a full New Orleans style dinner with them before we left. We were greeted by the aroma of true New Orleans cuisine and many smiling faces. It felt so nice to see the family outside of the drywall blurred vision that we had become used to seeing them in. We were all so overwhelmed with the kindness that they showed us and it made our weeks of hard work so worthwhile. I couldn’t believe that they were paying for all of us and buying us gifts when they were the ones who lost everything in Katrina.
Their display of appreciation was completely unnecessary. Through such tragic losses they still found ways to make our stay more comfortable. One of the sisters even sang “Let There Be Peace On Earth” a capella as we sat there realizing that peace is a much bigger idea than we had thought before coming on the trip. Meredith said that she and her husband, Robert, were going to come to Randolph-Macon for the next four years to see our graduations. We couldn’t believe that they would do something like this and it really meant a lot to us all. I couldn’t hold back the tears at that point and I wasn’t the only one. We gave hugs and took pictures and headed back to Gretna UMC to prepare for one more day of work. This was by far the best night in New Orleans and probably one of the best of my life. That family will stay in my heart forever and I hope that they, as well as all the other families, get their lives back together and never have to experience this again.
Before the trip I valued things that could be taken away in the blink of an eye. I bought pink gloves and a matching pink hammer as I prepared for this trip into the unknown. I was nervous at the fact we were going to be getting really dirty while we were there. I thought that because the families that we were going to help lived in lower income areas they would be lazy and unappreciative. What I learned in New Orleans was much more than the destructive nature of nature, more than the incredible fortitude of the human spirit, and more than anything I had ever expected to gain from these two weeks. All of my inhibitions were wrong. My pink hammer turned grey as much of my skin and hair did every day, and I loved it. The families that we helped were families that would live on my street, not the lazy or unappreciative characters that I saw on the evening news. I went into this trip thinking I was going to be helping other people when the reality of it is that they helped me. They gave me what I needed to realize that everyone in this country is the same and deserves the same chances as everyone else. My twenty-nine classmates, three professors, and I left, not only as a family with each other, but with an extended family that is proud to call their home, New Orleans.
* * *
After being back home for over two months I have realized just how big of a role my trip to New Orleans plays in my life. I no longer look at myself as someone who only watches things get done. I do them. I no longer look at the news and become disinterested with things happening in poverty stricken areas because in order for the world to continue to grow, we all have to help each other. It shouldn’t matter what color our skin is, what our yearly income is, or how many square feet our houses are. This trip helped me, as well as many of my classmates realize this and the experience is something I will never forget.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

major peer review

Shannon –

I really liked your paper. I think you took the two papers that you have previously written and connected them quite nicely. The introduction paragraph was very strong. The beginning was captivating in how you described literature as a sort of enemy and then went on to show how you were, in a way, going to battle it throughout the rest of your paper. I think that the purpose for your writing was to show that the options for printing a book hard copy were not very good options and that you wanted to explore a way that would be better for yourself, through the internet. I am a little confused at what you are wanting to put as your second paragraph because I think the first paragraph transitions to the third quite well, you can take out that little second one I think. You seem to be informative on the publishing process yet are also trying to persuade the reader that it is our constitutional right to free speech so keeping some books hidden should not be allow and we shouldn’t stand for it. Writing for “The Internet Writing Journal” I feel is a good choice because these readers would probably already have some kind of thoughts on the subject matter and your piece would probably have an affect on them and maybe cause some sort of change within the community if more people that read your article felt the same way. I think that you show your credibility in your paper, however, one part talks about how you cannot get a job at a magazine or a newspaper because you only have a high school education. This makes it seem that you are currently only holding this high school education. I know that you say you are a college student at the end of the first paragraph but you may want to reiterate the fact so you make your readers see that you are an English major and a credible source. Also, you write sometimes as though you are writing to your best friend or a group of people that need do not need to be addressed with any formality. Remember that you are trying to persuade people to do something so you need to write to them in a manner that makes them respect what you have to say. For example, words like crappy and thing make you sound as though you don’t have any better words to say and you definitely do. I knew what your article was about after reading the first paragraph, your organization was written out well and your transitions worked to make the paper flow nicely. I don’t think you realized that you had made such nice transitions. Some of your sentence structure needs to be change because it becomes confusing for the reader, but I marked where I found this to be a problem and tried to change a few to ways I could understand but you don’t have to change them, I just thought I would give you my opinion. Some of your word choice I feel is redundant, after you type your paper go up to the find button, control f, and type in a few words like primitive for instance and see how many times you used it because that was one I remember reading a few times and not really understanding it. Overall I thought you did a very nice job on the paper, one of your strongest so far in my opinion.

Good luck with the revisions!
Brenna Wade

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

lesson plan for science class

Brenna Wade
April 24, 2006
Science Methods
Lesson Plan

Objectives:
1. The student will be able to explore and comprehend the basic characteristics of solids, liquids, and gases.
2. The student will be able to understand processes needed to change matter from one state to another (condensation, evaporation, melting, and freezing)

SOL Correlation: SOL 2.3 Matter

Materials:
In groups of four the students will need three plastic ziploc bags, a small block of wood or other solid item, one cup of water, one bottle of soda, and one balloon.

Type of Lesson/Format: Interactive

Introduction:
First I will ask the student what matter is and write a KWL chart on the board. I will fill in what they know already about it. Then I will read them the book, “Matter: Touch it, Taste It, Smell It”, while asking them the questions presented in the book. I will read all the fun facts to them so that they become engaged because they are interesting. Then I will take them outside and have them find things in that we read in the book that are each state of matter.

Body:
I will then tell them that we will be doing an experiment and write what they want to know on the KWL chart. I will put the students in groups of four and give each group all of the materials above. I will designate each student a different role so that they all feel that they have a responsibility in the experiment. Then I will help them fill one bag with a cup of water and close it tightly, put the block or other solid object in another bag, and then blow air into the last bag. I will have them make observations about each bag and then differentiate among them which is a solid, liquid, and a gas. Then I will have them take a soda bottle and put a balloon on the top very tightly and quickly and observe what happens for the remainder of the class lesson, to show how the gas travels from the soda and fills the balloon.

Conclusion:


































Stille, Darlene R. “Matter: See It, Touch It, Taste It, Smell It.” Minneapolis, Minnesota: Picture Window Books, 2004.
This book gives the different states of matter through the use of colorful pages and pictures so that the students can see the states of matter in their daily lives. It also gives an experiment showing different solids and whether they are hard of soft, whether the items tear, break, or float.

Tocci, Salvatore. “Experiments with Solids, Liquids, and Gases”. New York: Children’s Press, 2001.

This book gives a description of solids, liquids, and gases. It gives experiments that can be implemented in the classroom in order to make the students see the different states of matter. My favorite experiment is in putting a glass on top of a few books and another glass on the table beside it. Then put a cloth in the cup with the mud and have it fall into the empty glass on the table. Leave it overnight and the cups with eventually separate into the mud in one and clean water in the other.

Fleisher, Paul. “Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics.” Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lerner Publications Company, 2002.

This book gives a more detailed look at the laws of conservation of matter. It is a book that I think it would consult before teaching the lesson to the students to make sure that I had the proper knowledge for the subject in case they had any questions to ask about it. It is not a young children’s book. It gives biographies of a few scientists and a spot for further reading.

Monday, April 24, 2006

completed paper

Brenna Wade
April 24, 2006
Prof. Malesh
Rough Draft Journal Article
Written for New Orleans Magazine


It is as if we are in a third world country, or a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. I feel around for my glasses and quickly put them on. I can’t believe what I see when I peer out of the lightly tinted bus windows. I feel like we have been traveling for days not hours. There are rows among rows of cars covered in a white residue on the sides of the main roads. Road signs fallen or non-existent; buildings reduced to roofs held up by wooden beams. I looked to my professors for input but they simply tell me the worst is yet to come. My mind begins to race, filling with questions in anticipation of what the next two weeks has in store for me and the other student volunteers from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia as we embark on a journey to help rebuild New Orleans. “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” I am quickly interrupted by a high pitched squeal so loud that it makes my whole face flinch. It is one of my professors trying to use the loudspeaker on the bus to tell us that we are about to reach our destination. By the time he figures out how to use the loudspeaker, the bus has stopped at what seems to be an abandoned church parking lot that, in my best judgment, seems to have escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. As I step off the bus it hits me. We are actually in New Orleans. There’s no turning back. I am overwhelmed with the images from the media of looters stealing things and the words of my father telling me to be careful of alligators and snakes. I wonder if I have gotten myself into something that I can’t handle. The only people I really know on the trip are my ex-boyfriend, of who I am not speaking to, two of his good friends, and two girls that live upstairs from me. But I didn’t sign up for this trip to make friends. I don’t think any of us did.
I signed up to spend two weeks in January rebuilding New Orleans. I did this because I remember sitting in a frat house the weekend before school started watching a football game, while news banners were reeling at the bottom of the screen telling us that a hurricane was predicted to strike the Gulf Coast early the next morning. It came and destroyed virtually all in its path and for weeks afterward, that same television screen was filled with images of people walking through oil filled waters up to their shoulders, people standing on their roofs desperate to be rescued; thousands of people crammed into the superdome in seek of food, of family members, of help. Of our help. My twenty-nine classmates, three professors, and I were here in this church parking lot for that very reason. Hurricane Katrina struck land on August 28th 2005, totally wiping out the city of New Orleans. Although the entire city was affected by the storm, the hardest hit area was the Lower Ninth Ward, found in the south eastern part of the city. It has been eight months since Katrina’s wrath but residents are still waiting for answers. Its residents were predominately lower class African Americans but the neighborhood was rich in culture and history, “a remarkable human community woven together by a network rich in family history, social connections, and proximity to relatives and friends” (Gratz). The community has what “many Americans wish they were a part of,” the residents realize the “importance of a close-knit community where everyone works together” (Frank). Katrina has devastated this community and it is quite possible that it will never be built as it once was. A rather controversial issue concerning the Lower Ninth Ward is whether the neighborhood should be rebuilt for its residents or whether it should be turned into the natural wetlands that existed before the development of the Ninth Ward to protect the rest of the city from future Hurricanes. As much as I would like for us to rebuild the Ward for these deserving residents, in doing so would only put them, as well as New Orleans as a whole, back into harm’s way. We need to come up with a solution that will relocate these families into higher standing ground and turn the area back into the wetlands once served to protect the city.
The Lower Ninth Ward was originally a cypress swamp that later became the home to African Americans and immigrants who were previously laborers in Ireland, Germany, and Italy. These immigrants moved here because it was an inexpensive location for them to settle. Because the land originally served as a swamp for runoff from the Mississippi River, it had a very poor drainage problem. Because of this, the area developed very slowly. A series of canals were built around the ward in 1910 and were completed in 1923, fixing the draining problem, but also causing the area to be entirely isolated from the rest of the city (Greater New Orleans Community Data Center). With time the Lower Ninth Ward grew and according to a 2002 census, before Katrina the population was 14,008 with about 98% being African American. The current population has yet to be determined. The average household income was less than half of the United States’ average income at $27,499 and as much as 36% of the population lived in poverty. Many of the homes, however, were handed down through family members and therefore mortgage free for the residents. Cars were not a necessity because friends and family members usually lived down the street from one another as the Ward was only a two mile stretch of land. Resident of the area, Betty Lewis lives in the Ward with twelve of her aunts and uncles and nineteen of their children. She describes the community as a place where “You couldn’t get in trouble without someone telling your mom,” and that “in front of whoever’s house you were at at lunch time is where you went to eat” (Gratz). The people that live in the Ninth Ward may have been poverty stricken but they were wealthy in ways that many people do not understand. For instance, many jazz musicians including Fats Domino come from the area and chose to move back after experiencing wealth and fame. This shows how much people love the area and are not forced or constrained to it but choose to live there (Gratz). To residents, the community is as cultural and historic a district as the French Quarter. However, because the community is almost entirely African American, the affluent fail to recognize its significance. My twenty-nine classmates and I got the privilege of seeing this firsthand. When the bus door finally opened in the church parking lot, we began our journey. We made our way through the big doors of the Gretna United Methodist Church and were introduced to a brown haired woman with a great warmth about her. Her name was Lisa* and gave us a tour of the church and showed us to the room that we would be sleeping in. She told us they were blessed in that the only room damaged by the storm was the one we were staying in, but that they had it fully redone so that mission groups like ourselves could stay and help in the efforts to rebuild the city. The two weeks ahead turned out to be something that I had never imagined I would be a part of in my entire life. I knew we were going to be working on people’s houses that had been destroyed by Katrina, but had no idea that we would be rebuilding their homes, throwing away all of their memories while hearing their remarkable stories and touching their lives just as they were touching ours. These twenty-nine classmates and three professors that I used to call strangers, I soon learned to call family. We spent our days waking up to the mixed sound of phone alarms going off and to the clang of one of our professors banging a metal pot above our air mattresses at about 7:00 in the morning. We stumbled out of bed sore and exhausted from the day before. We put on our work boots, stocked our tool belts, and made sure not to forget our respirator masks and safety goggles that were ever so important during the course of the day. We were eager to get the chance to help the families that had fallen victim to Katrina. Our initial arrival at each house was often the most intense. Intense with appreciation from the homeowner that they were finally getting help, with images of waterlogged moldy walls and saturated belongings, and most of all with our own overwhelming emotions for these innocent families that did not deserve such devastation. The inside of their houses looked the way boats do when they have sunk and are later washed up on to shore. Everything was misplaced and rusted. Refrigerators were turned on their sides and water still filled bowls and glasses in kitchen cabinets. Mold had covered everything from the floor to the ceiling and a putrid smell surrounded us as if to push us away. Dark green water lines clearly marked the walls often as high as ten to twelve feet from the ground. Pictures hanging on the walls were faded and the colors all ran together. Beautiful white wedding dresses, now green and brown, their necklines rusted from where they once hung on metal hangers. Photo albums now clumps of paper and color residue. The treasured memories of others, exposed and ravaged by stagnant pools of soupy waste. This was often the hardest part, taking wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of possessions outside and throwing them into a pile that eventually reached well over ten feet in height. Our safety goggles shielded us not only from debris, but hid the tears that fell for these families. Flashes of my own life kept popping up in my head. I couldn’t imagine everything I owned sitting in a pile in front of my house waiting to be scooped up and thrown into huge garbage trucks. We worked for hours emptying out the houses, ripping up carpet and linoleum and tearing down walls and remnants of insulation leaving only the concrete floor and wooden beams that stood beneath it all. As we emptied out their homes of the evidence of their lives, the families stood strong and their appreciation and optimistic attitudes were an inspiration to us all. The first family that we met, Tonya* and Jerry* were working members of the community. Jerry is a sheriff and Tonya a nurse. They resided in an area just outside of the Lower Ninth Ward and had bought their house a year and a half ago as their retirement home. When Katrina hit, Tonya was notified at work that a levee had breeched and that the area was flooding. She picked up her three children and they waded through the water to her car, which was parked on a high level in the parking garage at her work. She carried her son on her back and they left with nothing but the clothes on their back. For four days she could not get in contact with her husband, and didn’t even know if he was alive. Since he is a sheriff in the area he stayed to help the city and make sure as many people were being helped as possible. Everything in their house was destroyed but they say it will always be their home. When we asked how they felt they said,
“We haven’t had the time to consume it just yet, said
Jeffrey. We are taking it one day at a time and staying
close to the Lord along the way. What doesn’t kill you
makes you stronger, and the hurricane has made our
family much closer. We are no longer looking in the
rear view mirror but ahead, through the windshield. It’s
a beginning and we are excited about it. It’s really not
depressing at all, it’s a journey to a better future and a
start for rebuilding.” They told us that their home was our home if we were ever in New Orleans again. Tonya, who was quiet at first, started telling us she wanted to have a bigger kitchen and the husband showed us where he was going to make the family room bigger. The way that they could go through so much and yet still feel so blessed made my classmates and I realize that we were doing more than rebuilding houses; we were giving people a new a chance and rebuilding lives.
Other families had stories even more tragic. One woman, Sharon lost far more than her home and her possessions. Her mother died from brain trauma in a car accident trying to evacuate. Her husband was already suffering from congested heart failure and colon cancer and is now diagnosed with malignant bone cancer and will more than likely die soon. They didn’t have full flood insurance or full homeowners insurance and therefore didn’t receive enough money to repair their home because they had to spend their savings on funeral arrangements for her mother.
“I just don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’ve lived here
all our life, and my family, they’re all gone; all scattered all
over. I don’t know where they are. It’s so devastating, you
lose so much. I’m gonna lose my husband as well and I lost
my mother, my house, my neighbor, my neighborhood,
everything.” Hurricane Katrina affected Sharon in a way that none of us could truly understand. Her life is not turned upside down and on top of everything she has to worry about whether or not she is going to be able to keep her house. “It’s overwhelming, you try and get help but everyone tells
you something different. What are we gonna do, where are
we gonna live? I know there are others who have stories
harder and sadder than mine. I am just disappointed in my
government. I’ve never asked my government for anything.
I’m a good citizen, I pay my taxes. They are not giving us any
help with the levees. The best they said they could do by June
is make them withstand the same strength as they did before
Katrina, that’s not good enough. That’s my story, I don’t know
what that is and where it leads us but that’s it.” Her story highlighted the sad truth that not everyone had the same support system after the storm and some were affected far more than others. Some people faced things far worse than we had anticipated. All the residents want are answers. Why can no one give them to them? The people who want to preserve the culture and history of New Orleans think that rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward is necessary. This group consists primarily of the homeowners and people who are actually a part of the community. Many of the residents see the city’s desire to bulldoze their homes as a racial tactic, as “ethnic cleansing” (Klein) which would force out much of the culture that has been instilled in the area out. The residents believe this because in 1927 the levees were purposely destroyed as a way to save the wealthier neighborhoods from flooding (Azulay). The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 had a similar impact on the area of New Oreans as Katrina has. The city decided that the only way they could save the city was by flooding the southern areas because it was mostly rural and poor (Slivka). There was false speculation among the homeowners in the Lower Ninth that the levees were destroyed again to save the wealthier areas. They think that the government is purposely trying to shut them out of the reconstruction process because many families are disbursed around the country and have no way of coming back to be a part of the process (Chen)
Those opposed to reconstruction, including myself, see the issue much differently. We argue that rebuilding the area is unsafe and a waste of money. Officials dealing with the matter say that they are keeping the residents best interests and opinions in mind. The director of Homeland Security, Terry Ebbert, said that most houses in the Lower Ninth Ward “will not be able to be restored” and other officials say that “it would be a mistake to rebuild the Ninth Ward”. It is said to be a mistake because the area is very prone to flooding again in the near future. The Lower Ninth was devastated by Hurricane Betsy forty years ago. This shows that putting money into rebuilding is pointless because another hurricane is likely to destroy it again (Connolly). Russel Henderson, who formed the Rebuilding Louisiana Coalition says “It would be negligent homicide to put people in the Lower Ninth… If you put people back in there, they’re going to die”. A geography professor at LSU states that putting homes in the Lower Ninth back for sale would be to “put them back in harm’s way” (Connolly).
The city claims that the houses are simply unsalvageable and have to be torn down for safety reasons (Chen). Others say that the cost of levees capable of withstanding another category 5 strength hurricane would cost too much, with estimates at over 32 billion dollars (Death of an American City). The United States government, however, had no problem with spending money on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. When that was devastated by terrorists in 2001 seven different plans were created for the site. They chose the design to best represent the twin towers and refer to it as the “Freedom Tower”, the tallest building in the world at 1,776 feet. The skyscraper itself will cost $1.5 billion dollars (Johnson and Ross). This shows how money is no object when rebuilding situations concerning the wealthy and affluent, yet when it comes to rebuilding areas concerning the poor it is matters immensely. We need to use the money that it would take to rebuild the community and find ways to relocate these families into different areas. They should have the biggest voice in the matter since it is they who had lost everything and are having to leave it and start somewhere else. It is clear that building houses on stilts and meeting other such requirements is a costly matter. We need to delegate these funds in a timely matter to ensure these families a place to live when hurricane season comes around again.
Environmentalists also have an opinion on whether or not to rebuild. Rather than rebuilding these people want to restore the natural wetlands that used to be in its place. Louisiana has “the highest rate of coastal land loss in North America. An area the size of the Wembley stadium is lost to the sea every 20 minutes” (Lambourne). This has been a problem for environmentalists for a while and Katrina only made it worse. Before the canal and levee systems were put around the Mississippi River, sediments were brought down to replenish the land. When the levees and damns were built it blocked the sediments from falling, which led to an extremely high rate of subsidence. Because most of the city is below sea level, the sediments are needed to build the land back up and if the Lower Ninth is bulldozed, the land will have a chance to repair itself and start protecting the city again. Geologist Professor, Shea Penland says “If you want New Orleans back… you’re going to have to bring the land back that protects the city from the raves of hurricanes. If we don’t incorporate that then the city will be faced with extinction”. According to Penland, sacrificing the Lower Ninth Ward would be saving the rest of the city. In order to protect New Orleans from a category 5 hurricane, this barrier system would have to stretch from Mississippi to Texas which, although time consuming, would guarantee the city’s survival (Lambourne).
Interestingly, some locals of the area do not want to stay there anymore. Many homeowners feel as though they have been betrayed by their own city. They “don’t have any use for New Orleans” and “don’t trust New Orleans anymore” (Harden). These people suggest that things could be done, such as providing compensation for property owners in order to achieve a median between all parties (Connolly). Joan Howard, a resident of The Lower Ninth Ward says “I know they are going to have to tear my house down…but I believe it’s only right that they build me another house—if I decide to go back. I know it’s like a war zone down there, mister. Everything is destroyed. But I got the flood insurance” (Harden). There are many other residents that feel the same way as Joan. They realize that their homes are going to have to be destroyed but they just want to know that they are going to be given a different house when the time comes. Lolita Glass, who also grew up in the Lower Ninth said “This is a natural disaster, it’s nobody’s fault” but “you’re not giving us anything. What we rightfully deserve as citizens of this country is the same protection we give to other countries” (Connolly). In the instance of September 11th, all victims were given adequate compensation so why can’t we provide the same to those victims of the hurricane? They are angered that the Mayor pleaded for the city to return home, however, gave them no place to stay when they did find the means to come back (Azulay).
Visiting New Orleans for two weeks and rebuilding the city has made me change perspective on the people who live there as well as for the government. These families, although they might not be the wealthiest, deserve the chance to rebuild. Although building in the same area that they used to live in is an impossible task, they need to be given funds to build new homes on higher ground. The city should be changed into a mixed array of all income levels, rather than be sanctioned off according to socio-economic status.
Before the trip I valued things that could be taken away in the blink of an eye. I bought pink gloves and a matching pink hammer as I prepared for this trip into the unknown. I was nervous at the fact we were going to be getting really dirty while we were there. I thought that because the families that we were going to help lived in lower income areas they would be lazy and unappreciative. What I learned in New Orleans was much more than the destructive nature of nature, more than the incredible fortitude of the human spirit, and more than anything I had ever expected to gain from these two weeks. All of my inhibitions were wrong. My pink hammer turned grey as much of my skin and hair did every day, and I loved it. The families that we helped were families that would live on my street, not the lazy or unappreciative characters that I saw on the evening news. I went into this trip thinking I was going to be helping other people when the reality of it is that they helped me. They gave me what I needed to realize that everyone in this country is the same and deserves the same chances as everyone else. My twenty-nine classmates, three professors, and I left, not only as a family with each other, but with an extended family that is proud to call their home, New Orleans.
* * *
After being back home for over two months I have realized just how big of a role my trip to New Orleans plays in my life. I no longer look at myself as someone who only watches things get done. I do them. I no longer look at the news and become disinterested with things happening in poverty stricken areas because in order for the world to continue to grow, we all have to help each other. It shouldn’t matter what color our skin is, what our yearly income is, or how many square feet our houses are. This trip helped me, as well as many of my classmates realize this and the experience is something I will never forget. I will strive to help these families rebuild their lives in other areas of the city. Too much time has passed with no action being taken. In order to protect these people in the future we need to start now. We need to restore the natural wetlands that are so crucial in protecting the city and we need to house these displaced residents that are giving up their community to save the city as a whole.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

more

moreeeeeeeeee

It is as if we are in a third world country, or a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. I feel around for my glasses and quickly put them on. I can’t believe what I see when I peer out of the lightly tinted bus windows. I feel like we have been traveling for days not hours. There are rows among rows of cars covered in a white residue on the sides of the main roads. Road signs fallen or non-existent; buildings reduced to roofs held up by wooden beams. I looked to my professors for input but they simply tell me the worst is yet to come. My mind begins to race, filling with questions in anticipation of what the next two weeks has in store for me and the other student volunteers from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia as we embark on a journey to help rebuild New Orleans.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” I am quickly interrupted by a high pitched squeal so loud that it makes my whole face flinch. It is one of my professors trying to use the loudspeaker on the bus to tell us that we are about to reach our destination. By the time he figures out how to use the loudspeaker, the bus has stopped at what seems to be an abandoned church parking lot that, in my best judgment, seems to have escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. As I step off the bus it hits me. We are actually in New Orleans. There’s no turning back. I am overwhelmed with the images from the media of looters stealing things and the words of my father telling me to be careful of alligators and snakes. I wonder if I have gotten myself into something that I can’t handle. The only people I really know on the trip are my ex-boyfriend, of who I am not speaking to, two of his good friends, and two girls that live upstairs from me. But I didn’t sign up for this trip to make friends. I don’t think any of us did. I signed up to spend two weeks in January rebuilding New Orleans. I did this because I remember sitting in a frat house the weekend before school started watching a football game, while news banners were reeling at the bottom of the screen telling us that a hurricane was predicted to strike the Gulf Coast early the next morning. It came and destroyed virtually all in its path and for weeks afterward, that same television screen was filled with images of people walking through oil filled waters up to their shoulders, people standing on their roofs desperate to be rescued; thousands of people crammed into the superdome in seek of food, of family members, of help. Of our help. My twenty-nine classmates, three professors, and I were here in this church parking lot for that very reason.
Hurricane Katrina struck land on August 28th 2005, totally wiping out the city of New Orleans. Although the entire city was affected by the storm, the hardest hit area was the Lower Ninth Ward, found in the south eastern part of the city. It has been eight months since Katrina’s wrath but the residents are still waiting for answers. Its residents were predominately lower class African Americans but the neighborhood was rich in culture and history, “a remarkable human community woven together by a network rich in family history, social connections, and proximity to relatives and friends” (Gratz). The community has what “many Americans wish they were a part of,” the residents realize the “importance of a close-knit community where everyone works together” (Frank). Katrina has devastated this community and it is quite possible that it will never be built as it once was. A rather controversial issue concerning the Lower Ninth Ward is whether the neighborhood should be rebuilt for its residents or whether it should be turned into the natural wetlands that existed before the development of the Ninth Ward to protect the rest of the city from future Hurricanes.
* * *

The Lower Ninth Ward was originally a cypress swamp that later became the home to African Americans and immigrants who were previously laborers in Ireland, Germany, and Italy. These immigrants moved here because it was an inexpensive location for them to settle. Because the land originally served as a swamp for runoff from the Mississippi River, it had a very poor drainage problem. Because of this, the area developed very slowly. A series of canals were built around the ward in 1910 and were completed in 1923, fixing the draining problem, but also causing the area to be entirely isolated from the rest of the city (Greater New Orleans Community Data Center).
With time the Lower Ninth Ward grew and according to a 2002 census, before Katrina the population was 14,008 with about 98% being African American. The current population has yet to be determined. The average household income was less than half of the United States’ average income at $27,499 and as much as 36% of the population lived in poverty. Many of the homes, however, were handed down through family members and therefore mortgage free for the residents. Cars were not a necessity because friends and family members usually lived down the street from one another as the Ward was only a two mile stretch of land. Resident of the area, Betty Lewis lives in the Ward with twelve of her aunts and uncles and nineteen of their children. She describes the community as a place where “You couldn’t get in trouble without someone telling your mom,” and that “in front of whoever’s house you were at at lunch time is where you went to eat” (Gratz).
The people that live in the Ninth Ward may have been poverty stricken but they were wealthy in ways that many people do not understand. For instance, many jazz musicians including Fats Domino come from the area and chose to move back after experiencing wealth and fame. This shows how much people love the area and are not forced or constrained to it but choose to live there (Gratz). To residents, the community is as cultural and historic a district as the French Quarter. However, because the community is almost entirely African American, the affluent fail to recognize its significance.
My twenty-nine classmates and I got the privilege of seeing this firsthand. When the bus door finally opened in the church parking lot, we began our journey. We made our way through the big doors of the Gretna United Methodist Church and were introduced to a brown haired woman with a great warmth about her. Her name was Lisa* and gave us a tour of the church and showed us to the room that we would be sleeping in. She told us they were blessed in that the only room damaged by the storm was the one we were staying in, but that they had it fully redone so that mission groups like ourselves could stay and help in the efforts to rebuild the city.
The two weeks ahead turned out to be something that I had never imagined I would be a part of in my entire life. I knew we were going to be working on people’s houses that had been destroyed by Katrina, but had no idea that we would be rebuilding their homes, throwing away all of their memories while hearing their remarkable stories and touching their lives just as they were touching ours. These twenty-nine classmates and three professors that I used to call strangers, I soon learned to call family.
We spent our days waking up to the mixed sound of phone alarms going off and to the clang of one of our professors banging a metal pot above our air mattresses at about 7:00 in the morning. We stumbled out of bed sore and exhausted from the day before. We put on our work boots, stocked our tool belts, and made sure not to forget our respirator masks and safety goggles that were ever so important during the course of the day. We were eager to get the chance to help the families that had fallen victim to Katrina. Our initial arrival at each house was often the most intense. Intense with appreciation from the homeowner that they were finally getting help, with images of waterlogged moldy walls and saturated belongings, and most of all with our own overwhelming emotions for these innocent families that did not deserve such devastation.
The inside of their houses looked the way boats do when they have sunk and are later washed up on to shore. Everything was misplaced and rusted. Refrigerators were turned on their sides and water still filled bowls and glasses in kitchen cabinets. Mold had covered everything from the floor to the ceiling and a putrid smell surrounded us as if to push us away. Dark green water lines clearly marked the walls often as high as ten to twelve feet from the ground. Pictures hanging on the walls were faded and the colors all ran together. Beautiful white wedding dresses, now green and brown, their necklines rusted from where they once hung on metal hangers. Photo albums now clumps of paper and color residue. The treasured memories of others, exposed and ravaged by stagnant pools of soupy waste.
This was often the hardest part, taking wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of possessions outside and throwing them into a pile that eventually reached well over ten feet in height. Our safety goggles shielded us not only from debris, but hid the tears that fell for these families. Flashes of my own life kept popping up in my head. I couldn’t imagine everything I owned sitting in a pile in front of my house waiting to be scooped up and thrown into huge garbage trucks. We worked for hours emptying out the houses, ripping up carpet and linoleum and tearing down walls and remnants of insulation leaving only the concrete floor and wooden beams that stood beneath it all.
As we emptied out their homes of the evidence of their lives, the families stood strong and their appreciation and optimistic attitudes were an inspiration to us all. The first family that we met, Tonya* and Jerry* were working members of the community. Jerry is a sheriff and Tonya a nurse. They resided in an area just outside of the Lower Ninth Ward and had bought their house a year and a half ago as their retirement home. When Katrina hit, Tonya was notified at work that a levee had breeched and that the area was flooding. She picked up her three children and they waded through the water to her car, which was parked on a high level in the parking garage at her work. She carried her son on her back and they left with nothing but the clothes on their back. For four days she could not get in contact with her husband, and didn’t even know if he was alive. Since he is a sheriff in the area he stayed to help the city and make sure as many people were being helped as possible.
Everything in their house was destroyed but they say it will always be there home. When we asked how they felt they said,
“We haven’t had the time to consume it just yet, said Jeffrey.
We are taking it one day at a time and staying close to the
Lord along the way. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,
and the hurricane has made our family much closer. We are no
longer looking in the rear view mirror but ahead, through the
windshield. It’s a beginning and we are excited about it.
It’s really not depressing at all, it’s a journey to a better future
and a start for rebuilding.”
They told us that their home was our home if we were ever in New Orleans again. Tonya, who was quiet at first, started telling us she wanted to have a bigger kitchen and the husband showed us where he was going to make the family room bigger. The way that they could go through so much and yet still feel so blessed made my classmates and I realize that we were doing more than rebuilding houses; we were giving people a new a chance and rebuilding lives.
Other families had stories even more tragic. One woman, Sharon lost far more than her home and her possessions. Her mother died from brain trauma in a car accident trying to evacuate. Her husband was already suffering from congested heart failure and colon cancer and is now diagnosed with malignant bone cancer and will more than likely die soon. They didn’t have full flood insurance or full homeowners insurance and therefore didn’t receive enough money to repair their home because they had to spend their savings on funeral arrangements for her mother.
“I just don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’ve lived here all our life, and my family, they’re all gone; all scattered all over. I don’t know where they are. It’s so devastating, you lose so much. I’m gonna lose my husband as well and I lost my mother, my house, my neighbor, my neighborhood, everything.”
Hurricane Katrina affected Sharon in a way that none of us could truly understand. Her life is not turned upside down and on top of everything she has to worry about whether or not she is going to be able to keep her house.
“It’s overwhelming, you try and get help but everyone tells you something different. What are we gonna do, where are we gonna
live? I know there are others who have stories harder and sadder
than mine. I am just disappointed in my government. I’ve never
asked my government for anything. I’m a good citizen, I pay my taxes. They are not giving us any help with the levees. The best they said they could do by June is make them withstand the same strength as they did before Katrina, that’s not good enough. That’s my story, I don’t know what that is and where it leads us
but that’s it.”

Her story highlighted the sad truth that not everyone had the same support system after the storm and some were affected far more than others. Some people faced things far worse than we had anticipated. All the residents want are answers. Why can no one give them to them?
It is apparent that these families want to move back into their houses and in working with them and hearing their stories I want for them to be able to build their houses back and resume their normal lives. However, I don’t think that this would be the best solution to the problem. The reality of it is that in building these houses back up we would be putting them back into the same danger. Hurricane season will come back again this June and the chances that the same situation could occur are very high.
The people who want to preserve the culture and history of New Orleans think that rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward is necessary. This group consists primarily of the homeowners and people who are actually a part of the community. Many of the residents see the city’s desire to bulldoze their homes as a racial tactic, as “ethnic cleansing” (Klein) which would force out much of the culture that has been instilled in the area out. The residents believe this because in 1927 the levees were purposely destroyed as a way to save the wealthier neighborhoods (Azulay). The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 had a similar impact on the area of New Oreans as Katrina has. The city decided that the only way they could save the city was by flooding the southern areas because it was mostly rural and poor (Slivka). There was false speculation among the homeowners in the Lower Ninth that the levees were destroyed again to save the wealthier areas. They think that the government is purposely trying to shut them out of the reconstruction process because many families are disbursed around the country and have no way of coming back to be a part of the process (Chen).

Saturday, April 22, 2006

still working on paper but im beginning to think im not doing it right because it is too much narrative and i cant make it flow with the first paper. im getting annoyed

It is as if we are in a third world country, or a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. I feel around for my glasses and quickly put them on. I can’t believe what I see when I peer out of the lightly tinted bus windows. I feel like we have been traveling for days not hours. There are rows among rows of cars covered in a white residue on the sides of the main roads. Road signs fallen or non-existent; buildings reduced to roofs held up by wooden beams. I looked to my professors for input but they simply tell me the worst is yet to come. My mind begins to race, filling with questions in anticipation of what the next two weeks has in store for me and the other student volunteers from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia as we embark on a journey to help rebuild New Orleans.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” I am quickly interrupted by a high pitched squeal so loud that it makes my whole face flinch. It is one of my professors trying to use the loudspeaker on the bus to tell us that we are about to reach our destination. By the time he figures out how to use the loudspeaker, the bus has stopped at what seems to be an abandoned church parking lot that, in my best judgment, seems to have escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. As I step off the bus it hits me. We are actually in New Orleans. There’s no turning back. I am overwhelmed with the images from the media of looters stealing things and the words of my father telling me to be careful of alligators and snakes. I wonder if I have gotten myself into something that I can’t handle. The only people I really know on the trip are my ex-boyfriend, of who I am not speaking to, two of his good friends, and two girls that live upstairs from me. But I didn’t sign up for this trip to make friends. I don’t think any of us did. I signed up to spend two weeks in January rebuilding New Orleans. I did this because I remember sitting in a frat house the weekend before school started watching a football game, while news banners were reeling at the bottom of the screen telling us that a hurricane was predicted to strike the Gulf Coast early the next morning. It came and destroyed virtually all in its path and for weeks afterward, that same television screen was filled with images of people walking through oil filled waters up to their shoulders, people standing on their roofs desperate to be rescued; thousands of people crammed into the superdome in seek of food, of family members, of help. Of our help. My twenty-nine classmates, three professors, and I were here in this church parking lot for that very reason.
Hurricane Katrina struck land on August 28th 2005, totally wiping out the city of New Orleans. Although the entire city was affected by the storm, the hardest hit area was the Lower Ninth Ward, found in the south eastern part of the city. It has been eight months since Katrina’s wrath but the residents are still waiting for answers. Its residents were predominately lower class African Americans but the neighborhood was rich in culture and history, “a remarkable human community woven together by a network rich in family history, social connections, and proximity to relatives and friends” (Gratz). The community has what “many Americans wish they were a part of,” the residents realize the “importance of a close-knit community where everyone works together” (Frank). Katrina has devastated this community and it is quite possible that it will never be built as it once was. A rather controversial issue concerning the Lower Ninth Ward is whether the neighborhood should be rebuilt for its residents or whether it should be turned into the natural wetlands that existed before the development of the Ninth Ward to protect the rest of the city from future Hurricanes.
* * *

The Lower Ninth Ward was originally a cypress swamp that later became the home to African Americans and immigrants who were previously laborers in Ireland, Germany, and Italy. These immigrants moved here because it was an inexpensive location for them to settle. Because the land originally served as a swamp for runoff from the Mississippi River, it had a very poor drainage problem. Because of this, the area developed very slowly. A series of canals were built around the ward in 1910 and were completed in 1923, fixing the draining problem, but also causing the area to be entirely isolated from the rest of the city (Greater New Orleans Community Data Center).
With time the Lower Ninth Ward grew and according to a 2002 census, before Katrina the population was 14,008 with about 98% being African American. The current population has yet to be determined. The average household income was less than half of the United States’ average income at $27,499 and as much as 36% of the population lived in poverty. Many of the homes, however, were handed down through family members and therefore mortgage free for the residents. Cars were not a necessity because friends and family members usually lived down the street from one another as the Ward was only a two mile stretch of land. Resident of the area, Betty Lewis lives in the Ward with twelve of her aunts and uncles and nineteen of their children. She describes the community as a place where “You couldn’t get in trouble without someone telling your mom,” and that “in front of whoever’s house you were at at lunch time is where you went to eat” (Gratz).
The people that live in the Ninth Ward may have been poverty stricken but they were wealthy in ways that many people do not understand. For instance, many jazz musicians including Fats Domino come from the area and chose to move back after experiencing wealth and fame. This shows how much people love the area and are not forced or constrained to it but choose to live there (Gratz). To residents, the community is as cultural and historic a district as the French Quarter. However, because the community is almost entirely African American, the affluent fail to recognize its significance.
My twenty-nine classmates and I got the privilege of seeing this firsthand. When the bus door finally opened in the church parking lot, we began our journey. We made our way through the big doors of the Gretna United Methodist Church and were introduced to a brown haired woman with a great warmth about her. Her name was Lisa* and gave us a tour of the church and showed us to the room that we would be sleeping in. She told us they were blessed in that the only room damaged by the storm was the one we were staying in, but that they had it fully redone so that mission groups like ourselves could stay and help in the efforts to rebuild the city.
The two weeks ahead turned out to be something that I had never imagined I would be a part of in my entire life. I knew we were going to be working on people’s houses that had been destroyed by Katrina, but had no idea that we would be rebuilding their homes, throwing away all of their memories while hearing their remarkable stories and touching their lives just as they were touching ours. These twenty-nine classmates and three professors that I used to call strangers, I soon learned to call family.
We spent our days waking up to the mixed sound of phone alarms going off and to the clang of one of our professors banging a metal pot above our air mattresses at about 7:00 in the morning. We stumbled out of bed sore and exhausted from the day before. We put on our work boots, stocked our tool belts, and made sure not to forget our respirator masks and safety goggles that were ever so important during the course of the day. We were eager to get the chance to help the families that had fallen victim to Katrina. Our initial arrival at each house was often the most intense. Intense with appreciation from the homeowner that they were finally getting help, with images of waterlogged moldy walls and saturated belongings, and most of all with our own overwhelming emotions for these innocent families that did not deserve such devastation.
The inside of their houses looked the way boats do when they have sunk and are later washed up on to shore. Everything was misplaced and rusted. Refrigerators were turned on their sides and water still filled bowls and glasses in kitchen cabinets. Mold had covered everything from the floor to the ceiling and a putrid smell surrounded us as if to push us away. Dark green water lines clearly marked the walls often as high as ten to twelve feet from the ground. Pictures hanging on the walls were faded and the colors all ran together. Beautiful white wedding dresses, now green and brown, their necklines rusted from where they once hung on metal hangers. Photo albums now clumps of paper and color residue. The treasured memories of others, exposed and ravaged by stagnant pools of soupy waste.
This was often the hardest part, taking wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of possessions outside and throwing them into a pile that eventually reached well over ten feet in height. Our safety goggles shielded us not only from debris, but hid the tears that fell for these families. Flashes of my own life kept popping up in my head. I couldn’t imagine everything I owned sitting in a pile in front of my house waiting to be scooped up and thrown into huge garbage trucks. We worked for hours emptying out the houses, ripping up carpet and linoleum and tearing down walls and remnants of insulation leaving only the concrete floor and wooden beams that stood beneath it all.
As we emptied out their homes of the evidence of their lives, the families stood strong and their appreciation and optimistic attitudes were an inspiration to us all. The first family that we met, Tonya* and Jerry* were working members of the community. Jerry is a sheriff and Tonya a nurse. They resided in an area just outside of the Lower Ninth Ward and had bought their house a year and a half ago as their retirement home. When Katrina hit, Tonya was notified at work that a levee had breeched and that the area was flooding. She picked up her three children and they waded through the water to her car, which was parked on a high level in the parking garage at her work. She carried her son on her back and they left with nothing but the clothes on their back. For four days she could not get in contact with her husband, and didn’t even know if he was alive. Since he is a sheriff in the area he stayed to help the city and make sure as many people were being helped as possible.
Everything in their house was destroyed but they say it will always be there home. When we asked how they felt they said,
“We haven’t had the time to consume it just yet. We are taking
it one day at a time and staying close to the Lord along the way.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and the hurricane has
made our family much closer. We are no longer looking in the
rear view mirror but ahead, through the windshield. It’s a
beginning and we are excited about it. It’s really not depressing
at all, it’s a journey to a better future and a start for rebuilding.”

They told us that their home was our home if we were ever in New Orleans again. The wife, who was quiet at first, started telling us she wanted to have a bigger kitchen and the husband showed us where he was going to make the family room bigger. The way that they could go through so much and yet still feel so blessed made my classmates and I realize that we were doing more than rebuilding houses; we were giving people a new a chance and rebuilding lives.
Other families were affected much more and had stories even more tragic. One woman went through more than I could ever imagine anyone going through in one lifetime. She lost far more than her home and her possessions. Her mother died from brain trauma in a car accident trying to evacuate. Her husband was already suffering from congested heart failure and colon cancer and is now diagnosed with malignant bone cancer and will more than likely die soon. They didn’t have full flood insurance or full homeowners insurance and therefore didn’t receive enough money to repair their home because they had to spend their savings on funeral arrangements for her mother.

“I just don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’ve lived here all our life, and my family, they’re all gone; all scattered all over. I don’t know where they are. It’s so devastating, you lose so much. I’m gonna lose my husband as well and I lost my mother, my house, my neighbor, my neighborhood, everything. It’s overwhelming, you try and get help but everyone tells you something different. What are we gonna do, where are we gonna
live? I know there are others who have stories harder and sadder
than mine. I am just disappointed in my government. I’ve never
asked my government for anything. I’m a good citizen, I pay my taxes. They are not giving us any help with the levees. The best they said they could do by June is make them withstand the same strength as they did before Katrina, that’s not good enough. That’s my story, I don’t know what that is and where it leads us
but that’s it.”

Her story stuck with us throughout the rest of our time working. We saw that not everyone had the same support system after the storm and some were affected far more than others. Some people faced things far worse than we had anticipated.

Friday, April 21, 2006

more on paper

It is as if we are in a third world country, or a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. I feel around for my glasses and quickly put them on. I can’t believe what I see when I peer out of the lightly tinted bus windows. I feel like we have been traveling for days not hours. There are rows among rows of cars covered in a white residue on the sides of the main roads. Road signs fallen or non-existent; buildings reduced to roofs held up by wooden beams. I looked to my professors for input but they simply tell me the worst is yet to come. My mind begins to race, filling with questions in anticipation of what the next two weeks has in store for me and the other student volunteers from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia as we embark on a journey to help rebuild New Orleans.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” I am quickly interrupted by a high pitched squeal so loud that it makes my whole face flinch. It is one of my professors trying to use the loudspeaker on the bus to tell us that we are about to reach our destination. By the time he figures out how to use the loudspeaker, the bus has stopped at what seems to be an abandoned church parking lot that, in my best judgment, seems to have escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. As I step off the bus it hits me. We are actually in New Orleans. There’s no turning back. I am overwhelmed with the images from the media of looters stealing things and the words of my father telling me to be careful of alligators and snakes. I wonder if I have gotten myself into something that I can’t handle. The only people I really know on the trip are my ex-boyfriend, of who I am not speaking to, two of his good friends, and two girls that live upstairs from me. But I didn’t sign up for this trip to make friends. I don’t think any of us did. I signed up to spend two weeks in January rebuilding New Orleans. I did this because I remember sitting in a frat house the weekend before school started watching a football game, while news banners were reeling at the bottom of the screen telling us that a hurricane was predicted to strike the Gulf Coast early the next morning. It came and destroyed virtually all in its path and for weeks afterward, that same television screen was filled with images of people walking through oil filled waters up to their shoulders, people standing on their roofs desperate to be rescued; thousands of people crammed into the superdome in seek of food, of family members, of help. Of our help. My twenty-nine classmates, three professors, and I were here in this church parking lot for that very reason.
Hurricane Katrina struck land on August 28th 2005, totally wiping out the city of New Orleans. Although the entire city was affected by the storm, the hardest hit area was the Lower Ninth Ward, found in the south eastern part of the city. It has been eight months since Katrina’s wrath but the residents are still waiting for answers. Its residents were predominately lower class African Americans but the neighborhood was rich in culture and history, “a remarkable human community woven together by a network rich in family history, social connections, and proximity to relatives and friends” (Gratz). The community has what “many Americans wish they were a part of,” the residents realize the “importance of a close-knit community where everyone works together” (Frank). Katrina has devastated this community and it is quite possible that it will never be built as it once was. A rather controversial issue concerning the Lower Ninth Ward is whether the neighborhood should be rebuilt for its residents or whether it should be turned into the natural wetlands that existed before the development of the Ninth Ward to protect the rest of the city from future Hurricanes.
* * *

The Lower Ninth Ward was originally a cypress swamp that later became the home to African Americans and immigrants who were previously laborers in Ireland, Germany, and Italy. These immigrants moved here because it was an inexpensive location for them to settle. Because the land originally served as a swamp for runoff from the Mississippi River, it had a very poor drainage problem. Because of this, the area developed very slowly. A series of canals were built around the ward in 1910 and were completed in 1923, fixing the draining problem, but also causing the area to be entirely isolated from the rest of the city (Greater New Orleans Community Data Center).
With time the Lower Ninth Ward grew and according to a 2002 census, before Katrina the population was 14,008 with about 98% being African American. The current population has yet to be determined. The average household income was less than half of the United States’ average income at $27,499 and as much as 36% of the population lived in poverty. Many of the homes, however, were handed down through family members and therefore mortgage free for the residents. Cars were not a necessity because friends and family members usually lived down the street from one another as the Ward was only a two mile stretch of land. Resident of the area, Betty Lewis lives in the Ward with twelve of her aunts and uncles and nineteen of their children. She describes the community as a place where “You couldn’t get in trouble without someone telling your mom,” and that no matter where you wereof whoever’s house you were at lunch time is where you went to eat.”

Thursday, April 20, 2006

start on paper

It is as if we are in a third world country, or a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. I feel around for my glasses and quickly put them on. I can’t believe what I see when I peer out of the lightly tinted bus windows. I feel like we have been traveling for days not hours. There are rows among rows of cars covered in a white residue on the sides of the main roads. Road signs fallen or non-existent; buildings reduced to roofs held up by wooden beams. I looked to my professors for input but they simply tell me the worst is yet to come. My mind begins to race, filling with questions in anticipation of what the next two weeks has in store for me and the other student volunteers from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia as we embark on a journey to help rebuild New Orleans.

On August 28th 2005 the entire Gulf Coast was struck by Hurricane Katrina. The category 5 hurricane caused total devastation in many parts of New Orleans, especially to the Lower Ninth Ward which was hardest hit. The residents who used to call this two mile stretch of land their home are still waiting for answers eight months later. The Lower Ninth Ward is located in the southeast part of the city. Its residents were predominately lower class African Americans but the neighborhood was rich in culture and history, “a remarkable human community woven together by a network rich in family history, social connections, and proximity to relatives and friends” (Gratz). The community has what “many Americans wish they were a part of,” the residents realize the “importance of a close-knit community where everyone works together” (Frank).

Katrina has devastated this community and it is quite possible that it will never be built as it once was. The accurate death toll has yet to be determined at this day. Many Americans see race as playing a role in both their response to Katrina and now in the reconstruction efforts. A rather controversial issue concerning the Lower Ninth Ward is whether the neighborhood should be rebuilt for its residents or whether it should be turned into the natural wetlands that existed before the development of the Ninth Ward to protect the rest of the city from future Hurricanes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

style # 9

This lesson deals with the style of elegance in writing. What makes sentences most graceful is the use of balance and symmetry. It is based on coordination where the clases and phrases echo one another in order and sound which gives it symmetry. It is also possible to balance sentences that are not grammatically coordinated where the subordinate clause can balance the main clause. It says to make the first element shorter than the following ones. Coordination is easily mastered with the use of and, or, not, but and yet. In order to make sentences clear and elegant you should use nominalizations at the end of the sentence becuase they are not light like adjectives and adverbs or heavy like nouns. Nominalizations give a climactic edge to the sentence and an emphasis. Three ways to end a sentence with this emphasis are to use of + nominalization as I just said, to use a word at the end of a sentence that sort of echose an earlier word as to reinforce it, and to use chiasmus which is used by makign the second part of the sentence reverse the first part. It is also important to keep the length of your sentences in mind when writing. Sentences that are too long or too short make the flow off balanced. If you have a tendency to make all sentences more than thirty words, or all less than fifteen you really need to change them. Variety is key.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Annotated Bibliography

Azulay, Jessica. “New Orleans Neighborhoods Struggling to Rebuild.” The NewStandard 26 Nov. 2005. 21 Feb. 2006 < http://www.alternet.org/katrina/28679/>

This article is about how homeowners are finding that they have no place to live after their homes were destroyed. There are problems with the FEMA trailers that were promised are not being brought and that they are very important in keeping New Orleans alive. Those who live in the Lower Ninth, where there is a high property ownership rate, feels as though they are being pushed to move into other neighborhoods to rebuild. They bring up the issue of why the government is paying for people to be displaced around the country when they should be putting that money towards rebuilding their homes in the city while they live in a FEMA trailer. If everyone were back in the city then rebuilding could happen a lot faster. In the Lower Ninth Ward they can’t be trailers in because many of the houses do not have power and therefore they couldn’t connect the trailer to anything.


Burdeau, Cain. “’Big Easy’ Thinking Big in Rebuilding Plan.” Northwest Herald 11 Jan. 2006. 23 Feb. 2006 <http://www.nwherald.com/MainSection/other/159393834754286.php>

This article gives different possibilities of how the city of New Orleans could be reconstructed. It gives ideas that seem to be extreme like building a network of bike paths and establishing a top flight school system. The residents of the city are allowed to play a big role in this. There are committees and subcommittees that will meet in order to figure out the best plan for the city. The process is allowing people to speak up about what their dream for their city is. It shows that many dreams for the city include the rebuilding of low lying areas like the Lower Ninth. Ideas have also been propose concerning businesses and tax credits to those who build their businesses back up. Homeowners are concerned with people coming and making decisions concerning their city that are not from the area and really don’t know what they are talking about. They are worried that all these proposals are being made about many different aspects of life but that no one is concerned about the big picture and protecting them on a larger scale.


Chen, Michelle. “New Orleans Homeowners Fight to Save Homes from Bulldozers.” The New Standard 06 Jan. 2006. 25 Feb. 2006 <http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/2731 >

This gives an account of a family that lived in the Lower Ninth Ward and how it left them and many other families displaced. It talks about how the demolitions plan reflect the idea that officials want the city to be whiter and more affluent by closing the door on minority communities of lower socio economic statuses. Many activists and public interest lawyers are fighting for these families saying that for them to destroy the properties without notifying the homeowners and getting their approval would be violating their due process rights. Brings the antipoverty group ACORN up and discusses their role in helping the families of the Lower Ninth. Some homeowners involved say that they do not object to their homes being bulldozed because it is necessary but they want some sort of closure and a plan about their future.


Connolly, Ceci. “9th Ward: History, Yes, but a Future?” Washington Post 3 Oct. 2005. 25 Feb. 2006 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/02/AR2005100201320_pf.html>

This article is all about the history of the Lower Ninth Ward and how it is known for its poverty, its jazz artists, its bad luck, but most of all its resilience. It talks about the probability of it being bulldozed and the process of the firefighters marking houses with red tags if they were going to be demolished. It gives a vivid description of what it looked like in New Orleans and in the Lower Ninth. It brings up the issue of whether or not the hurricane will expose underlying tension over race and social class. Officials say that in letting people live in the area again we are putting them in harms way. It talks about the Mississippi River Floods and how the government paid to relocate homes damaged by it in 1993. Tells there are over 160,000 buildings in Louisiana that are unsalvageable. States that the Lower Ninth Ward is the only area of the city that will not be rebuilt.


Cotton, Deborah. “From the Ground Up: Attorneys Advise Residents Regarding ‘Bulldozing Campaign’ in the Lower Ninth Ward.” Katrina Help Center Feb. 2006. 25 Feb. 2006 <http://www.thebeehive.org/Templates/HurricaneKatrina/Level3NoFrills.aspx?PageId=1.5369.6532.6887>

This article talks about how a group of attorneys met to discuss the issue of the Lower Ninth Ward being bulldozed. The lawyers won a settlement in favor of the property owners. They are allowed to have a week or more to react in the event that their home is in the line to be bulldozed. It is all about giving the homeowners an opportunity to come back and save their homes sine many of them are displaced around the country and have not even seen what has happened to their homes.


“Death of and American City” New York Times 11 Dec. 2005. 23 Feb. 2006 <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/opinion/11sun1.html?ei=5090&en=4b8c42aa8c1afdad&ex=1291957200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print>

This tells how Bush talked about how it is not possible to imagine America without New Orleans and how he has not stuck to his word because months have gone by without some areas like the Lower Ninth being rebuilt yet. It brings up all the unanswered questions about the levee systems, the garbage situation, etc. It talks about how the reconstruction process has no real plan and bad leadership. It brings up the scare of the next hurricane season and what the costs that building back up the levee system by the time it arrives will be. It compares this sum to the amount of money we have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as to show what our government values. The whole article makes the reader see that they need to be a part of this change because it is going to take a lot more than we think to rebuild the city.

Dreier, Peter. “Katrina in Perspective.” Common Dreams News Center 15 Sept. 2005. 28 Feb. 2006 <http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0915-27.htm>

Tells that conservatists, like the president, are posing strategies that aren’t working and how we need to reduce the role of the government because the events have left it “paralyzed”. Tells that Katrina has shown us how much we really need the government and how we need it to work fairly and efficiently. It is important that plans are made in this kind of event and tells that we don’t only need a strong federal government, but strong local governments as well. It states the apparent class and race faults that were in place in the city and how they caused the effects of Katrina to be so biased. It states that New Orleans is one of the nations poorest country and points out that the government expected everyone to evacuate including those who had no means to. It sums up with the idea of reconstruction and its costs to do so. It compares relief efforts that are given to earthquakes and such and also raises questions as to what kind of reconstruction efforts should be made, including concerns about employment.


Frank, Thomas. “Rootedness May Save Lower Ninth.” USA Today. 05 Dec. 2005. 23 Feb. 2006. <http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-12-05-new-orleans-lower-ninth_x.htm>

This article talks about the Lower Ninth Ward had become an icon for the city soon after the storm came. It tells of volunteers who come to rebuild and homeowners visions and dreams for the area after the rebuilding process. It gives a few demographics of the neighborhoods like income and diversity rates. It tells how those who grow up in the Ninth Ward want to stay in the area when they grow up and gives quotes of owners saying so. It tells that the area is two square miles and it was among the most damaged in the city.


Gratz, Roberta Brandes. “In New Orleans’ Mud, A Ward Determined Not To Slip Away.” Common Dreams News Center 7 Nov. 2005. 23 Feb. 2006
<http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1107-28.htm>

This tells of the Lower Ninth Ward’s historic values and sense of community. It says that the neighborhood is very close in family history, social connections, etc. It shows concern with how the area may be bulldozed. It tells that many of the people who live in the Lower Ninth Ward feel as though they are not being fairly represented and how they mistrust the leaders. It talks about how the homeowners that live in the Lower Ninth are rich in things that aren’t material. It also gives accounts of people who live in the area and tells how people like Fats Domino lived in the area, not because he was restricted their but because he loved it.


Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. Copyright 2000-2005. 23 Nov. 2005. Knowledge Works. 23 Feb. 2006. < www.gnocdc.org >

This gives the statistics for the New Orleans area and more specifically the area of the Lower Ninth Ward. It gives statistics of income to home ownership to number of single mothers.


Harden, Blaine. “The Economics of Return.” Washington Post 19 Oct. 2005. 23 Feb. 2006 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-/content/article/2005/10/18/AR2005101801910.html

This begins as a narrative of a middle income family affected by the hurricane whose home had over seven feet of water in it. It tells how they struggled through losing their home and cars and how they had to deal with the insurance company. It gets into the way that the city has affluent families and poor families living side by side in some areas and how when the city is rebuilt, the demographics are going to change. He thinks its going to be smaller, richer, and whiter than it was before the storm. It gives many quotes and stories on the way homeowners feel about the rebuilding process. The families all say that they just need to go with the flow of everything that has happened. Lastly, it brings Hurricane Betsey into our minds with comparing its affects to that of Katrina.


Hirschkorn, Phil. “New WTC Tower Design Made Public.” CNN.com 29 June 2005. 12 March 2006 http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/06/29/wtc.tower.redesign/index.html

This article is about the latest designs for the World Trade Center. It tells what it is going to be made of as well as its new location. It gives quotes from the police and other officials concerning the rebuilding process and they comment on the protection it is going to offer.

Johnson, David and Shmuel Ross. “World Trade Center History.” Pearson Education Inc. 12 March 2006. http://www.infoplease.com/spot/wtc1.html

This is a short article on the World Trade Center and the extravagant rebuilding plans for it after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. It talks about how the towers were going to rebuilt into a memorial for the victims of the attacks and even about making a Freedom Tower that would make it the highest building currently standing in the world. It also gives the costs of making the new building.

Klein, Naomi. “Purging the Poor.” Common Dreams News Center 23 Sept. 2005. 23 Feb. 2006 < http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0923-24.htm >

This article talks about how many people are worried that New Orleans isn’t going to get fixed like everyone is promising. The writer believes that many of the African Americans who live in New Orleans are not going to be welcomed back to rebuild their city because there is an “ethnic cleansing” that is happening in the city. He states how the white areas of the city are higher above sea level and are being rebuilt faster than the predominately African American neighborhoods. Tells that the city now has a chance for “21st century thinking” and that rather than rebuilding poor areas of town there needs to be a variety of income level houses spread all over the city.


Lambourne, Helen. “New Orleans ‘Risks Extinction’”. BBC News 2 Feb. 2006. 23 Feb. 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4673586.stm

This article is about how there is a possibility that New Orleans could be only the first of many cities to “face extinction” around the world. It talks about how New Orleans was lucky that it lasted as long as it did because the natural wetlands that protected the area are all gone now. It talks about how the levees aren’t the best solution to protecting the area, the wetlands are. It also talks about the Mississippi river and the sedimentary process that occurs with annual flooding to wetlands. It states that Louisiana has the highest rate of coastal land loss and has sunk 4.6 meters since 1878. Lastly, it talks about how officials believe that it would take over twenty years to build back the barrier reefs need to protect the city but it is our only real way of saving the city in the future.

Slivka, Judd. “Another Flood that Stunned America.” U.S. News and World Report 12 Sept. 2005 23 Feb 2006 http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050912/12leadall.b.htm

This article talks about the flooding that occurred from the Hurricane due to the levees breaching. It relates the flood to that of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and how that was one of the most catastrophic events that happened to the South. It didn’t hit New Orleans and thus compare Katrina’s flooding and devastation to its own. It told about how the flooding in each incident caused the levees to break. During the Great Mississippi Flood a plan was made to save New Orleans by blowing up levees thirteen miles south of New Orleans, diverting the waters to a different area in which the homeowners there never received promised reimbursement.