Thursday, March 23, 2006

peer review

Shannon-

After reading your paper I thought that it was overall really good. You are really good at writing and reflecting your own personal views but there are a few instances that you sound too personal, I tried to note on the draft itself where you did so.

All throughout the first paragraph I was intrigued to read on. You did well at presenting us a paragraph that allowed us to imagine it in our heads vividly. You showed in the second paragraph that you have experience in the field and that we should listen to what you are saying in the paper because you know what you are talking about.

The whole paper is about the idea of writing and how becoming published is not an easy process. You bring in your other paper of e-books as a means to show that the publishing process holds different views by different people. To people like you it is a good thing because you want to get your writing out there but on the other hand many companies and writers feel as though their writing is being stolen and they cannot keep accurate tabs on their work. I think the paper emphasizes the fact that what is good to one person might not be good to all people and you explain this all throughout the paper.

The last page where you have written a story that goes back to the first paragraph is something that stood out to me. At first I was confused as to why it was put in there but I think that it does well in showing how much you are embedded in the community yourself. This was engaging to me because I am not a part of the community and it was interesting to see how much it really belongs in the piece. However, I don’t know if others will be confused by it as I was at first.

You did well with your use of narration and character development. It became a little confusing when talking about the publishers and whatnot but I think that with correct wording it will sound a lot better. Try not to sound so informal. Even though this is an informal assignment some of the sentences would come across better if spoken a little bit more formal and put together, it wouldn’t sound as disorganized.

You bred familiarity between the narrator and the reader by showing your role in it as well as relating it to ways that the reader, who might not be as involved as you are, can understand. For example the way that you described the publishing process.

There are a few areas in the paper that don’t seem to transition well but all that is needed are transitional, topic sentences. You have headings so maybe you are waiting until last to do the topic sentences. My only other suggestions are that you tell the readers what the story is at the end, rather than just attaching it because it is kind of confusing to figure out how it relates to the paper as a whole.

But it looks really good, I think that with a few changes it will be really good.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

science methods question 6

Science Methods Question #6

Is it important to require all students to answer aloud during class?

Sternberg says that one of the most important things that we can do in order to make sure that students understand what they are learning is by the way we, as teachers, answer their questions. He says that children are “natural question askers”. Taking children out for hands on learning like to a museum or something is a good way to make them learn but what you have to make sure that they are asking questions and you are answering them properly. In order to make children feel comfortable with asking questions it is good to say something like “that’s a good question” or I’m glad you asked that” after their questions. He sums up the article by saying that “he believes the single most helpful thing we can do to help children develop their intelligence is a simple one: take their questions into golden opportunities to think and learn.” Wilcox gives techniques that help teachers make sure that their students are grasping the information they are telling them. For example, he says that getting students to write down answers as you ask the question, as well as having them raise their hands if they agree or disagree with an answer said aloud. Letting students choose from a few different questions to answer is also a good idea because not all children think the same way. In reading these two articles I think that it is good to make students answer questions aloud in class at least once a day. I realize that some students are shy and might not like to answer in class but at the same time, in doing so, they will become more outspoken and confident with their answers. I think that Sternberg had a good idea with the positive reinforcements given to students after they ask a question and I liked Wilcox’s idea of letting them have a variety of questions to answer. Since kids have so many different learning preferences, giving a variety is a big deal. Pressuring children to answer too many questions, however, might make them intimidated to ever do it in the future if they aren’t required to.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

my revised rough draft

After twenty hours on a crowded bus, I awoke to sound of my fellow classmates gasping “ooh’s” and “oh my God’s”. 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. It is as though we have been traveling for days not hours. It is as if we were in a third world country or a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. There were rows among rows of cars on the sides of the main roads, covered in a white residue. Road signs were fallen and some non-existent, buildings now only roofs with woods beams. We looked to our professors for input and the only thing they told us was that we hadn’t even got to the bad parts yet. We kept both our eyes and our hearts wide open for the next two weeks and were in great anticipation of what was to come on our journey to help rebuild New Orleans.
This past January, I signed up for a class to aid in Katrina Relief. I remember when Hurricane Isabel came through the areas of my hometown and the flooding and devastation that it caused. Hurricane Katrina was much larger and stronger than Isabel and there are many people that need help in so many ways. I watched the news and I realized that I wanted to do something more than just give money. I wanted to be more than an outsider on this natural disaster and decided to take the bus ride down and help out in any way that I could. In my case it was by gutting houses of families that had signed up for disaster relief through UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). My three professors, thirty classmates, and I stayed in a local church in Gretna where we spent our days meeting homeowners who lived in low lying areas whose houses have been totally destroyed due to the hurricane. Over the course of two weeks I kept a journal each day and we also had a video camera to capture footage of the devastation, as well as personal interviews with the homeowners.
We spent our days waking up at about 7:00 am and arriving at the worksite at about 9:00 am. The bus ride was usually spent anticipating how the day was going to turn out. When you first entered the home it looked like a boat does that had sank but a while later, washed ashore. Everything was thrown about and mold had taken over practically everything. Many of the families had not seen their houses until we came down to help because they have evacuated to places many hours away. We didn’t get a chance to meet all of the homeowners but those that we met had such amazing stories. These stories need to be shared and passed on so that we can see a change come about for them faster. I am going to focus on the stories presented by three of the many families that we helped.
The first house that we went to was owned by a family with three children. The homeowner is a Sheriff in the area and they bought the home in April of 2004 as their retirement home. The day the storm arrived, both homeowners were at work. The wife was notified that a levee had broke and that everyone needed to evacuate. She got her three children and they walked together 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 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 still call it their “home”. Jeffrey’s story is one of great hope and an incredible attitude, in a personal interview he 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.

He thanked our group many times for coming out to help him and his family calling us “miracle workers”. They told that their home was our home if we were ever in New Orleans again and that once they finish their house they will send pictures. Before we left he told us to remember that many people were not going to be as positive about their stories but to keep our mission in our minds because although 15 houses might not sound like a lot, we were really helping in a big way.
Over the next few days we worked on more houses and heard many wonderful stories. One woman, who was born and raised in New Orleans, went away to nursing school but “realized how precious it was and came back”. Her neighborhood was completely surrounded by water but had never had a problem with flooding before. She lost everything except her positive outlook saying that “We might have lost everything, but we still got each other. Who knows why it happened, only God knows why, but we just gotta move on”. At the end of the first week we worked on a lady’s house who has an incredible story that will remain with me forever.
The homeowner had been living in her home for twenty years with her husband who has congested heart failure and colon cancer. They evacuated that Saturday to avoid the traffic and went to her son’s house out west. Her son was hosting several families in his home that he did not even know and at one point there were four additional families living with him. They left their son’s house to go to their sister’s two days later and she lived in Texas. She said that “two days later I started bleeding out of my breasts. I went to four or five doctors before one would see me because they couldn’t verify my insurance.” They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her but it seemed to go away after about 10 days. Her sister saw that FEMA was paying for people to stay at hotels and she found one near the doctor’s office in Texas City. They stayed there for three and a half weeks and then had to evacuate for a few days due to Hurricane Rita.
When they returned, she found out that her sister and mother had not evacuated on Saturday as she had, but on Sunday. There was a lot more traffic on Sunday and they ended up getting into a bad car accident. Her mother had “severe damages to her head” and needed brain surgery. The lady flew up to see her mother, who never regained consciousness and died a few days later. When she went back home to the hotel, her husband had to go to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing since he wasn’t taking proper medication for his illnesses. At the same time she was having trouble with her mother’s funeral arrangements. Her mother had prepaid for the arrangements but the building in which she did it with was no longer there and was moved to Baton Rouge. They said they would honor the arrangement but they were not going to pay to have her body moved to their location. They brought her back and also found out that they were entitled to $2,300 for rent purposes from FEMA so they found an apartment that cost $700 a month and are currently living there. She said she took it “because we didn’t have anything, we couldn’t do anything else. We had no beds, chairs, dishes; we didn’t have anything.” After moving in, her husband had to go to the hospital again, where he was diagnosed with having bone cancer that had spread throughout his body. The nurses helped the family a lot and gave them a recliner and a pull out couch among other things. The landlord also noticed that they weren’t carrying anything in and donated dishes and towels and such. Because they were underinsured, they only received $50,000 dollars to repair their home, which clearly is not enough. She looked for houses to buy but had no luck and is scared because she can only live for four years with the money if she continued renting the apartment that she is currently residing in. Her view towards the rebuilding process is as follows:
“I just don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’ve lived here all our life, and my family, their all gone- all scattered all over. I don’t know where they are. My sister’s in Tennessee and my brother’s in Baton Rouge but I don’t know where my cousins are and everyone else is far away. The lady across the street drowned. 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? FEMA says they’re gonna stop giving aid. I thought they would have had something for the elderly in this type of situation. I know there are others who have stories harder and sadder than mine. I am just disappointed in my government. I have been fortunate, blessed I guess, in that I never needed and aid. I’ve never asked my government for anything…I’m a good citizen, I pay my taxes. We’re getting help but its so wishy washy…They told us we have to raise our houses and it costs $60-70,000, where are we gonna get that? If you had more than three and a half feet of water you have to raise it. They give you the option of not raising it but if you don’t you can’t get insurance and who is gonna do all that rebuilding if they can’t get insured? They are not giving us any help with the levees. The best they said they could do by June, which is when hurricane season starts again, 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.”

Over the weekend, we took a break from working and went to see the French Quarter. It was crazy to see how different the area looked and I didn’t understand how the city could be putting so much money into the rebuilding of this area, when other areas still looked as though the hurricane just hit. It bothered me a little, to see such a big difference just because this area is where money is made and tourists come to stay. Tourists need to see the real picture and the French Quarter and Bourbon Street are a far cry from the real deal. On Sunday we traveled to Buloxi, Mississippi, and the vast difference was again unbelievable. The houses were totally gone and nothing was left but the concrete slab on which it was built and in many instances a lone American Flag standing tall in the middle of what they once called their home. The trees in the distance looked as though they had snow on them but when you looked closer they were filled with clothes and debris that flew during the storm and there were people on ladders trying to clean it up, little but little. “This used to be our home,” and other words from the homeowners in spray paint was a common sight as well. There was a hotel that was missing the entire wall facing the street and you could see inside each of the little square rooms. Parts of the casinos fell into the Gulf and other parts wound up across lanes of highway. One highway itself was completely torn in half by the storm. Trash piles on the side of the roads reached at least 10 to 12 feet. Seeing this area made us all want to get back to work the next day and help these families because little by little, New Orleans and other areas that were hit, will rebuild.
Over the next week of work we met a family that can only be described as a _________ and _____________. Three sisters and their mother all lived in the same neighborhood, as many families in New Orleans tend to do. We split up and worked on two of the sisters’ homes and the mother’s home because the other house had trees fall on it and was unsalvageable. When we arrived at the houses we were greeted with big smiling faces and the homeowners were already in the houses helping to take stuff out. I worked on the mother’s home and she wasn’t able to keep anything really. I found a certificate of some sort that one of her children must have made for their dad and brought it out to her and she was really happy that something sentimental like that was able to be saved. At lunch time, the family brought us all fried chicken and kool-aid, which was very nice because we were growing rather sick of the peanut butter sandwiches that we usually have. She asked the boy beside me to pick up a heavy piece of a table but he wasn’t done eating so I did it for her and it was really funny because she told me I wasn’t going to be able to have kids if I kept that up.
The family was just very warm and appreciative while being incredibly strong. One of the sisters even made it a point to learn each of our names. She and her husband said “We’re trying as hard as we can and doing the best that we can. It’s gonna be a long process but slowly we will achieve our goals. We’re just trying to stay alive while we get through it.” They are currently living on one of the Carnival Cruise Ships and were really excited about it because they had always wanted to take a cruise together. They were very positive about everything that has occurred and really believe it to be more of a blessing than tragedy. They continued with their generosity by renting out a local restaurant for us to have dinner with all of their family.
When we got there we were greeted by the aroma of true New Orleans cuisine and many smiling faces. It was nice to see the family outside of the drywall blurred vision that we had become used to seeing them in. After eating both dinner and desert, including gumbo, jerked chicken, red beans and rice, ribs, pasta, and many other items. Then the family played a fun gift exchange game so that we could all have a souveneir from the trip and they also gave us all a picture frame to put their picture 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 be more comfortable and if I would not have met this family, I wouldn’t know that the people who live in New Orleans are actually as loving and compassionate as I read that they were in class the week before coming. Before leaving, one of the sisters sang “Let There Be Peace On Earth” a capella while telling us thank you one more time. She said that she and her husband were going to come to Randolph-Macon for the next four years to see our graduations which 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.

Monday, March 20, 2006

finished rough draft for personal essay

This past January I signed up for a class to aid in Katrina Relief. I remember when Hurricane Isabel came through the areas of my hometown and the flooding and devastation that it caused. Hurricane Katrina was much larger and stronger than Isabel and there are many people that need help in so many ways. I watched the news and I realized that I wanted to do something more than just give money. I wanted to be more than an outsider on this natural disaster and decided to take the bus ride down and help out in any way that I could. In my case it was by gutting houses of families that had signed up for disaster relief through UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). My three professors, thirty classmates, and I stayed in a local church in Gretna where we spent our days meeting homeowners who lived in low lying areas whose houses have been totally destroyed due to the hurricane. Over the course of two weeks I kept a journal each day and we also had a video camera to capture footage of the devastation, as well as personal interviews with the homeowners. We arrived in New Orleans on January 8th, at about nine in the morning and the entire city looked as though it was struck by Hurricane Katrina days ago. The images that we saw outside of the bus windows woke us up immediately and everything around us sort of seemed surreal, all you could really hear was the “wow’s”, “oh’s”, and “look’s” in the background. There were cars on the sides of the main roads that were covered in residue from when they were submerged in the flood waters and left behind when people evacuated. It looked as though we were in a foreign country or better yet a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. We spent our days waking up at about 7:00 am and arriving at the worksite at about 9:00 am. The bus ride was usually spent anticipating how the day was going to turn out. When you first entered the home it looked like a boat does that had sank but a while later, washed ashore. Everything was thrown about and mold had taken over practically everything. Many of the families had not seen their houses until we came down to help because they have evacuated to places many hours away. We didn’t get a chance to meet all of the homeowners but those that we met had such amazing stories. These stories need to be shared and passed on so that we can see a change come about for them faster. I am going to focus on the stories presented by three of the many families that we helped. The first house that we went to was owned by a family with three children. The homeowner is a Sheriff in the area and they bought the home in April of 2004 as their retirement home. The day the storm arrived, both homeowners were at work. The wife was notified that a levee had broke and that everyone needed to evacuate. She got her three children and they walked together 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 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 still call it their “home”. Jeffrey’s story is one of great hope and an incredible attitude, in a personal interview he 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. He thanked our group many times for coming out to help him and his family calling us “miracle workers”. They told that their home was our home if we were ever in New Orleans again and that once they finish their house they will send pictures. Before we left he told us to remember that many people were not going to be as positive about their stories but to keep our mission in our minds because although 15 houses might not sound like a lot, we were really helping in a big way. Over the next few days we worked on more houses and heard many wonderful stories. One woman, who was born and raised in New Orleans, went away to nursing school but “realized how precious it was and came back”. Her neighborhood was completely surrounded by water but had never had a problem with flooding before. She lost everything except her positive outlook saying that “We might have lost everything, but we still got each other. Who knows why it happened, only God knows why, but we just gotta move on”. At the end of the first week we worked on a lady’s house who has an incredible story that will remain with me forever. The homeowner had been living in her home for twenty years with her husband who has congested heart failure and colon cancer. They evacuated that Saturday to avoid the traffic and went to her son’s house out west. Her son was hosting several families in his home that he did not even know and at one point there were four additional families living with him. They left their son’s house to go to their sister’s two days later and she lived in Texas. She said that “two days later I started bleeding out of my breasts. I went to four or five doctors before one would see me because they couldn’t verify my insurance.” They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her but it seemed to go away after about 10 days. Her sister saw that FEMA was paying for people to stay at hotels and she found one near the doctor’s office in Texas City. They stayed there for three and a half weeks and then had to evacuate for a few days due to Hurricane Rita. When they returned, she found out that her sister and mother had not evacuated on Saturday as she had, but on Sunday. There was a lot more traffic on Sunday and they ended up getting into a bad car accident. Her mother had “severe damages to her head” and needed brain surgery. The lady flew up to see her mother, who never regained consciousness and died a few days later. When she went back home to the hotel, her husband had to go to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing since he wasn’t taking proper medication for his illnesses. At the same time she was having trouble with her mother’s funeral arrangements. Her mother had prepaid for the arrangements but the building in which she did it with was no longer there and was moved to Baton Rouge. They said they would honor the arrangement but they were not going to pay to have her body moved to their location. They brought her back and also found out that they were entitled to $2,300 for rent purposes from FEMA so they found an apartment that cost $700 a month and are currently living there. She said she took it “because we didn’t have anything, we couldn’t do anything else. We had no beds, chairs, dishes; we didn’t have anything.” After moving in, her husband had to go to the hospital again, where he was diagnosed with having bone cancer that had spread throughout his body. The nurses helped the family a lot and gave them a recliner and a pull out couch among other things. The landlord also noticed that they weren’t carrying anything in and donated dishes and towels and such. Because they were underinsured, they only received $50,000 dollars to repair their home, which clearly is not enough. She looked for houses to buy but had no luck and is scared because she can only live for four years with the money if she continued renting the apartment that she is currently residing in. Her view towards the rebuilding process is as follows: “I just don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’ve lived here all our life, and my family, their all gone- all scattered all over. I don’t know where they are. My sister’s in Tennessee and my brother’s in Baton Rouge but I don’t know where my cousins are and everyone else is far away. The lady across the street drowned. 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? FEMA says they’re gonna stop giving aid. I thought they would have had something for the elderly in this type of situation. I know there are others who have stories harder and sadder than mine. I am just disappointed in my government. I have been fortunate, blessed I guess, in that I never needed and aid. I’ve never asked my government for anything…I’m a good citizen, I pay my taxes. We’re getting help but its so wishy washy…They told us we have to raise our houses and it costs $60-70,000, where are we gonna get that? If you had more than three and a half feet of water you have to raise it. They give you the option of not raising it but if you don’t you can’t get insurance and who is gonna do all that rebuilding if they can’t get insured? They are not giving us any help with the levees. The best they said they could do by June, which is when hurricane season starts again, 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.” Over the weekend, we took a break from working and went to see the French Quarter. It was crazy to see how different the area looked and I didn’t understand how the city could be putting so much money into the rebuilding of this area, when other areas still looked as though the hurricane just hit. It bothered me a little, to see such a big difference just because this area is where money is made and tourists come to stay. Tourists need to see the real picture and the French Quarter and Bourbon Street are a far cry from the real deal. On Sunday we traveled to Buloxi, Mississippi, and the vast difference was again unbelievable. The houses were totally gone and nothing was left but the concrete slab on which it was built and in many instances a lone American Flag standing tall in the middle of what they once called their home. The trees in the distance looked as though they had snow on them but when you looked closer they were filled with clothes and debris that flew during the storm and there were people on ladders trying to clean it up, little but little. “This used to be our home,” and other words from the homeowners in spray paint was a common sight as well. There was a hotel that was missing the entire wall facing the street and you could see inside each of the little square rooms. Parts of the casinos fell into the Gulf and other parts wound up across lanes of highway. One highway itself was completely torn in half by the storm. Trash piles on the side of the roads reached at least 10 to 12 feet. Seeing this area made us all want to get back to work the next day and help these families because little by little, New Orleans and other areas that were hit, will rebuild. Over the next week of work we met a family that can only be described as a _________ and _____________. Three sisters and their mother all lived in the same neighborhood, as many families in New Orleans tend to do. We split up and worked on two of the sisters’ homes and the mother’s home because the other house had trees fall on it and was unsalvageable. When we arrived at the houses we were greeted with big smiling faces and the homeowners were already in the houses helping to take stuff out. I worked on the mother’s home and she wasn’t able to keep anything really. I found a certificate of some sort that one of her children must have made for their dad and brought it out to her and she was really happy that something sentimental like that was able to be saved. At lunch time, the family brought us all fried chicken and kool-aid, which was very nice because we were growing rather sick of the peanut butter sandwiches that we usually have. She asked the boy beside me to pick up a heavy piece of a table but he wasn’t done eating so I did it for her and it was really funny because she told me I wasn’t going to be able to have kids if I kept that up. The family was just very warm and appreciative while being incredibly strong. One of the sisters even made it a point to learn each of our names. She and her husband said “We’re trying as hard as we can and doing the best that we can. It’s gonna be a long process but slowly we will achieve our goals. We’re just trying to stay alive while we get through it.” They are currently living on one of the Carnival Cruise Ships and were really excited about it because they had always wanted to take a cruise together. They were very positive about everything that has occurred and really believe it to be more of a blessing than tragedy. They continued with their generosity by renting out a local restaurant for us to have dinner with all of their family. When we got there we were greeted by the aroma of true New Orleans cuisine and many smiling faces. It was nice to see the family outside of the drywall blurred vision that we had become used to seeing them in. After eating both dinner and desert, including gumbo, jerked chicken, red beans and rice, ribs, pasta, and many other items. Then the family played a fun gift exchange game so that we could all have a souveneir from the trip and they also gave us all a picture frame to put their picture 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 be more comfortable and if I would not have met this family, I wouldn’t know that the people who live in New Orleans are actually as loving and compassionate as I read that they were in class the week before coming. Before leaving, one of the sisters sang “Let There Be Peace On Earth” a capella while telling us thank you one more time. She said that she and her husband were going to come to Randolph-Macon for the next four years to see our graduations which 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.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

first half of personal narrative

This past January I signed up for a class to aid in Katrina Relief. I remember when Hurricane Isabel came through the areas of my hometown and the flooding and devastation that it caused. Hurricane Katrina was much larger and stronger than Isabel and there are many people that need help in so many ways. I watched the news and I realized that I wanted to do something more than just give money. I wanted to be more than an outsider on this natural disaster and decided to take the bus ride down and help out in any way that I could. In my case it was by gutting houses of families that had signed up for disaster relief through UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). My three professors, thirty classmates, and I stayed in a local church in Gretna where we spent our days meeting homeowners who lived in low lying areas whose houses have been totally destroyed due to the hurricane. Over the course of two weeks I kept a journal each day and we also had a video camera to capture footage of the devastation, as well as personal interviews with the homeowners. We arrived in New Orleans on January 8th, at about nine in the morning and the entire city looked as though it was struck by Hurricane Katrina days ago. The images that we saw outside of the bus windows woke us up immediately and everything around us sort of seemed surreal, all you could really hear was the “wow’s”, “oh’s”, and “look’s” in the background. There were cars on the sides of the main roads that were covered in residue from when they were submerged in the flood waters and left behind when people evacuated. It looked as though we were in a foreign country or better yet a ghost town, with desolate streets and dilapidated buildings. We spent our days waking up at about 7:00 am and arriving at the worksite at about 9:00 am. The bus ride was usually spent anticipating how the day was going to turn out. When you first entered the home it looked like a boat does that had sank but a while later, washed ashore. Everything was thrown about and mold had taken over practically everything. Many of the families had not seen their houses until we came down to help because they have evacuated to places many hours away. We didn’t get a chance to meet all of the homeowners but those that we met had such amazing stories. These stories need to be shared and passed on so that we can see a change come about for them faster. I am going to focus on the stories presented by three of the many families that we helped. The first house that we went to was owned by a family with three children. The homeowner is a Sheriff in the area and they bought the home in April of 2004 as their retirement home. The day the storm arrived, both homeowners were at work. The wife was notified that a levee had broke and that everyone needed to evacuate. She got her three children and they walked together 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 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 still call it their “home”. Jeffrey’s story is one of great hope and an incredible attitude, in a personal interview he 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. He thanked our group many times for coming out to help him and his family calling us “miracle workers”. They told that their home was our home if we were ever in New Orleans again and that once they finish their house they will send pictures. Before we left he told us to remember that many people were not going to be as positive about their stories but to keep our mission in our minds because although 15 houses might not sound like a lot, we were really helping in a big way. Over the next few days we worked on more houses and heard many wonderful stories. One woman, who was born and raised in New Orleans, went away to nursing school but “realized how precious it was and came back”. Her neighborhood was completely surrounded by water but had never had a problem with flooding before. She lost everything except her positive outlook saying that “We might have lost everything, but we still got each other. Who knows why it happened, only God knows why, but we just gotta move on”. At the end of the first week we worked on a lady’s house who has an incredible story that will remain with me forever. The homeowner had been living in her home for twenty years with her husband who has congested heart failure and colon cancer. They evacuated that Saturday to avoid the traffic and went to her son’s house out west. Her son was hosting several families in his home that he did not even know and at one point there were four additional families living with him. They left their son’s house to go to their sister’s two days later and she lived in Texas. She said that “two days later I started bleeding out of my breasts. I went to four or five doctors before one would see me because they couldn’t verify my insurance.” They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her but it seemed to go away after about 10 days. Her sister saw that FEMA was paying for people to stay at hotels and she found one near the doctor’s office in Texas City. They stayed there for three and a half weeks and then had to evacuate for a few days due to Hurricane Rita. When they returned, she found out that her sister and mother had not evacuated on Saturday as she had, but on Sunday. There was a lot more traffic on Sunday and they ended up getting into a bad car accident. Her mother had “severe damages to her head” and needed brain surgery. The lady flew up to see her mother, who never regained consciousness and died a few days later. When she went back home to the hotel, her husband had to go to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing since he wasn’t taking proper medication for his illnesses. At the same time she was having trouble with her mother’s funeral arrangements. Her mother had prepaid for the arrangements but the building in which she did it with was no longer there and was moved to Baton Rouge. They said they would honor the arrangement but they were not going to pay to have her body moved to their location. They brought her back and also found out that they were entitled to $2,300 for rent purposes from FEMA so they found an apartment that cost $700 a month and are currently living there. She said she took it “because we didn’t have anything, we couldn’t do anything else. We had no beds, chairs, dishes; we didn’t have anything.” After moving in, her husband had to go to the hospital again, where he was diagnosed with having bone cancer that had spread throughout his body. The nurses helped the family a lot and gave them a recliner and a pull out couch among other things. The landlord also noticed that they weren’t carrying anything in and donated dishes and towels and such. Because they were underinsured, they only received $50,000 dollars to repair their home, which clearly is not enough. She looked for houses to buy but had no luck and is scared because she can only live for four years with the money if she continued renting the apartment that she is currently residing in. Her view towards the rebuilding process is as follows: “I just don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’ve lived here all our life, and my family, their all gone- all scattered all over. I don’t know where they are. My sister’s in Tennessee and my brother’s in Baton Rouge but I don’t know where my cousins are and everyone else is far away. The lady across the street drowned. 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? FEMA says they’re gonna stop giving aid. I thought they would have had something for the elderly in this type of situation. I know there are others who have stories harder and sadder than mine. I am just disappointed in my government. I have been fortunate, blessed I guess, in that I never needed and aid. I’ve never asked my government for anything…I’m a good citizen, I pay my taxes. We’re getting help but its so wishy washy…They told us we have to raise our houses and it costs $60-70,000, where are we gonna get that? If you had more than three and a half feet of water you have to raise it. They give you the option of not raising it but if you don’t you can’t get insurance and who is gonna do all that rebuilding if they can’t get insured? They are not giving us any help with the levees. The best they said they could do by June, which is when hurricane season starts again, 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.”

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Style # 5

This lesson is called Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace. It says that readers need the whole passage to be clear rather than just the characters and verbs we had discussed before. Don’t make paragraphs choppy because it makes the paragraph seem disorganized. The way all sentences in the passage cumulatively begin depends on whether or not the passage is coherent. Cohesion is described as how well the connection and fluidity between sentences is. Sentences are more cohesive when you end the sentence with a few words that you reuse in the beginning of the next sentence. Coherence, on the other hand, is how well all of the sentences flow. In having cohesion and coherence, the reader is allowed to feel the piece of writing that they are reading. It is also best to begin the readers with familiar information and to leave the new information for the end of the sentence. In order to be coherent one must use good topic sentences that are short and consistent. The topic sentences aren’t suppose to refer to the grammatical sentences but just to explain what the rest of the paragraph is going to be about. Keeping them short and consistent is very important because it will allow the reader to better understand the paragraph without becoming confused or having to guess at what the overall subject is.

Friday, March 17, 2006

critique of educational website

Educational Web-site Critique Form

Web-site URL: www.childrensdefense.org

Specific subject matter addressed:
-To leave no child behind and to make sure all children have a healthy start in life

Publisher/ owner (who publishes this): Children’s Defense Fund

When last updated? 2005

Do all the links work? Yes.

User friendliness: Very friendly.


Brief Synopsis of this site:
It gives different ways of meeting children’s health, welfare, development, and education needs. It tells ways to prevent poverty by outreach programs. It shows child advocacy programs and how to engage the community to help. There is a place to donate to the organization and has data available on issues like where America stands among other industrialized countries for various things. It lists jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities that are available for the public. Lastly, it gives links for other organizations, networks, and publications for many social issues.

Who could use this information? (specific to age/grade level appropriateness)
Teachers would benefit from the site more than students because it educates mainly on child welfare, something that children themselves would not really understand. It is a good site for high school children and college students to use when researching social issues because there are many links.

How could this web-site be integrated into classroom instruction?
This site could be integrated into the classroom when discussing different socioeconomic statuses or when discussing the Unites States as a whole and how it compares to the rest of the world.

Would you actually use the recommend this site to teachers? Why or why not?
I would recommend this site to teachers because it offers a wide array of different acts that are trying to be passed and allows teachers to become more involved in the welfare of children. It gives many additional resources that would be of help to teachers as well.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

dont boycott breaktime

I am appalled at a flier that I just found on the floor of my hallway, Conrad 3. I don’t know who wrote it but it was entitled “Shattered Dreams: Boycott Break time”. The author began the article by presenting the argument that Break Time doesn’t appreciate the Randolph Macon students that come there on Thursday nights and that we should boycott until we get better service and recognition through something like a College Night with a cover charge and cheap alcohol. They do a pretty good job at convincing the reader that they are being taken advantage of, however, they also say that everyone who goes to break time on Thursday nights are idiots. I don’t understand how the author can stereotype everyone who goes there, when they themselves can price everything in the bar and provide details that would only be known if one went there. This person obviously wanted their point to be across that they hate break time as well as all the parties on campus, giving advice on how the fraternities could work together to make the houses rotate on parties every Friday and Saturday night. If this person really wants to see change on the campus then they need to be telling their ideas to someone in person where they could defend their argument a little better. Randolph Macon is a small liberal arts college and the students all applied fully knowing that there wasn’t going to be something to do every night of the week. The reason our school is what it is, is because we go out to dinner at Brick Over or Anna’s Italian Grill and then head back to her our dorms and houses to get ready to go to Break Time where we hear the closing time song come on all too early yet just in time. We go home, maybe get a phone call with some guy asking if “we want to watch a movie with me”, weigh the choices; but usually just go home, watch Sex and the City with the roommate, and then get some sleep; because Friday and Saturday are yet to come, but class does all too soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

what we did in class today

notes on the article so far....

Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self

Main point is that her daughter made her realize what beauty really meant.

This was so engaging because of the narrators use of detail and vocabulary.
ex: "my father, a fat, funny, man with..."
"biscuit-polished-patent-leather shoes..."
"glob of whiteish scar tissue..."

She also used the past to describe people and events like telling that she knew Miss Mey from her mom cleaning her house a long time ago, and how her "dress was handmade by her adoring sister, Ruth".

This is a personal narrative and she organized is chronologically emphasizing on important years and events.

The author bred familiarity between the reader and the narrator by telling the reader bits into her past, feelings during the story, and her perception of beauty and problems that she had with it all through her life. The story starts at when she is two and a half and ends when she is 27 and talking about her daughter. She plays with chronology by incorporating bits of her childhood as well as how it affected her adulthood with clear topic sentences stating her present age. The narrator was always the pretty girl (the only girl on her family as well) and when she gets shot in the eye by her brother she loses vision in it. She is no longer the pretty girl that stares at everyone but is the girl that looks down and gets stared at. This caused her to do poorly academically and socially and when she gets surgery to take out the white lump she becomes more self confident and does better in life. It wasnt until years later that anyone said anything about her eye and it was her daughter that brought it up. She thought it looked like the world in a show that she watched on tv and one day asked her mom how she got the world in her eye. This made the narrator see that her trying to hide it all the time and being embarrassed about it was the wrong way of thinking about it. She saw that she was beautiful the whole time and the line "you did not change" that she reiterated at different parts of the story was actually correct, she hadn't changed because she was always as beautiful on the inside.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

arguing to inquire essay

Brenna Wade
March 14, 2006
Engl 300
Arguing to Inquire

What is the Fate of the Lower Ninth Ward?
Before Hurricane Katrina hit on August 28th, the Lower Ninth Ward was an area of New Orleans consisting of predominately lower class African Americans. It is located in the eastern downriver section of the city and was among the last neighborhoods to be developed; its current fate is yet to be determined. The area can be defined as “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 devastated this community; it was the hardest area hit from the hurricane. 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.
The Lower Ninth Ward, as well as all of New Orleans, was originally a cypress swamp which served as the basis for a drainage problem. It 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 since the area was prone to flooding as well as a number of diseases. The land’s poor drainage problem was the primary reason for its slow development with the other reason being that it was predominately separated from the rest of the city. A series of canals were built around the ward in 1910 and were completed in 1923. These canals fixed the draining problem, but also caused the area to be entirely isolated (Greater New Orleans Community Data Center).
According to a 2002 census, the population of the Lower Ninth Ward was of a low socio-economic status, yet the community does not put a price on its cultural wealth. Until Katrina, The Lower Ninth Ward had a population of 14,008 and the majority of its population was African Americans (98.3%). The current population is still unknown. The average household income was $27,499 (less than half of the United States’ average of $56,644). About 36% of the population lived in poverty and over half of all children 0-5 years lived in poverty. Monthly rent was much cheaper in comparison to the city of New Orleans as a whole; $280 compared to $404. Only 30% of the population had a high school education and of that only 30% have their high school diploma or GED; another factor leading to their high rate of poverty (Greater New Orleans Community Center). Many of the homes in the area were handed down through family members and therefore mortgage free. Cars were not a necessity because friends and family members usually lived in the same neighborhood or general area. A resident of the area, Betty Lewis lives in the same neighborhood as 12 of her aunts and uncles and 19 of their children. She describes the community as a place where, “You couldn’t get in trouble without someone telling your mom. In front of whoever’s house you were at lunch time is where you went into eat”. 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 musicians came from the area including Fats Domino, who had a successful life, got married, and then later moved back to the Ninth Ward. This shows how much people love the area and are not forced or constrained to the area 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.
Hurricane Katrina hit the Lower Ninth Ward extremely hard, almost completely wiping it out, allowing many controversies the opportunity to develop. The area was on average seven feet below sea level, causing it to flood heavily which caused many of the levees surrounding the area to collapse. The residents lost not only their homes and belongings, but some lost their lives as well. The neighborhood was reopened for day visits on December 1st where many people returned to find nothing left of their homes. FEMA gave these homeowners a little over $10,000 and those whose homes had been damaged $5000, to use for rebuilding (Frank).
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).
The people in the Ninth Ward are not being fairly represented because many are still displaced around the country. A system for bulldozing houses was created stating that houses on the city sidewalks will have ten days notice that they were going to be destroyed and that homes tagged as unstable will have thirty days notice (Cotton). Some say that the bulldozing is being used as an instrument for “land grab” and is too much in the favor of business owners. The wealthy and affluent people of the community are the only one’s having a say in the city as a whole which isn’t fair to those who live in the areas like the Lower Ninth Ward. “I don’t trust people making the decisions because they’re not from down there – the Lower Ninth Ward” said the president of the Lower Ninth Ward Economic Development Association, Ruston Henry (Burdeau). The Ninth Ward is a true community and the residents will fight to keep their neighborhood alive. (Frank).
Those opposed to reconstruction see the issue much differently. They argue that rebuilding the area is unsafe and a waste of money. These officials say that they are keeping the residents best interests and opinions in mind but the homeowners themselves do not agree because none of these officials seem to be on their side. 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 so likely to be flooded again. The Lower Ninth was devastated by Hurricane Betsy forty years ago, showing 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. "The new Freedom Tower design incorporates standards the police department had sought to protect the building against bomb blasts, which our counterterrorism experts agree present one of the greatest threats to such iconic structures," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, showing how the WTC was given protection, shouldn’t we give New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward the same thing? (Hirschkorn).
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”. 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 New Orleans 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 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). 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” (Connoly). 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 come back (Azulay).
The controversy of whether or not to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward is an issue that many people hold dear to their hearts. There is plenty of reasoning to both sides of the argument and the deciding factor will depend on which side is persistent and presents the best evidence. Hurricane Katrina has shown how much the Government is needed and how necessary it is for the Government to make the right decisions based on the best interest of its people (Dreier). Whatever decision is made, the residents of New Orleans want to be informed so that their city can finally grow back into the cultural landmark that it once was.





















Works Cited

Azulay, Abid. “New Bankruptcy Law Could Sink Katrina Survivors-Lawmakers, Rights Groups.” Common Dreams News Center 15 Sept. 2005. 23 Feb. 2006 <http://www.commondreams.org/headlin05/0915-02.htm>


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


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


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


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?Pageld=1.5369.6532.6887>


“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

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

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>

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>

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

Monday, March 13, 2006

notes for teaching class tommorrow

Chapter Seven:
Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders


Discipline and behavior issues are a major concern in public schools.
- 5% of students in grades 6- 12 think they are likely to be attacked at school
- 5% of high school students are afraid to go to the restrooms because they think they will be bullied or assaulted

*Students with emotional and behavior disorders are a challenge because they need more structure and intervention which is often difficult for personnel to provide.*

- Early treatment of these disorders was very harsh, and included
- Imprisonment
- Starvation
- And the use of restraints, like chains and straightjackets.

-Humane treatments concerning mental illness for adults were addressed in the beginning of the 19th century but it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that emotional problems in children were addressed since it was thought only adults were affected.

-In the 1960’s the public school system began to take responsibility for students with emotional and behavior disorders and in 1975 it became law for these students to receive a public education.

Several factors made it such a challenge to study children with these disorders--
1. No consistent set of terms existed to describe these children
2. In many cases mental illness and mental retardation were still being confused and addressed as though a single disorder (disregarding its complexities)
3. Professionals were reluctant to openly admit that children could have mental illness because this view contradicted the long held perspective that only adults were affected


Definitions of Emotional and Behavior Disorders

There are two main definitions of emotional and behavior disorders. IDEA defines those who have the disorder to have emotional disturbance (ED) and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Special Education define it as emotional and behavior disorder (EBD).


-IDEA states that one has emotional disturbance if they have one of more of the following...

1.) an inability to learn, unexplainable by intellectual, sensory, or health factors

2.) an inability to build/maintain interpersonal relationships
3.) inappropriate behavior/feelings under normal circumstances
4.) show unhappiness or depression; and
5.) have a tendency to develop physical symptoms/ fears associates with personal or school problems

-The National Coalition on Mental Health and Special Education argues with the definition above because….
1.) the five criteria for eligibility are not supported by research
2.) the reference to educational performance too narrowly focused on academic learning, leaving out indirect social curriculum
3.) they say that it is unnecessarily confusing, with the intention to exclude only juvenile delinquents


Prevalence of Emotional and Behavior Disorders

- This group of disorders is the fourth largest disability category. It comprises more than 8% of all students receiving special education (which has remained consistent for more than a decade).

- As we learned in Chapter Three, African American students are overrepresented in the category of disability, comprising almost 27% of the students who receive special education for emotional and behavior disorders.

Does Gender Matter…yes

- Far more males than females are diagnosed as having emotional and behavioral disorders

- Researchers estimate that it happens in boys 6-9 times more often than in girls, however this could be because teachers generally see the behaviors in boys, whereas girls tend to internalize them
What other disorder does this remind you of?


Causes of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

1. Biological factors: some emotional and behavior disorders are genetic from a physiological problem, some are from brain injury such as mothers using alcohol or drugs during pregnancy, and some are caused from poor nutrition

2. Psychosocial factors: children are influenced by the people around them, the events they experience, and their living conditions. Chronic stress, stressful life events, childhood maltreatment and other factors such as parent depression can play a huge role.

*it is important to remember that children to have resilience and many students who might be at risk will not develop any disabilities whatsoever.


Characteristics of Those with Emotional & Behavioral Disorders

-The characteristics vary so much that it would be impossible to make an entire list and can be classified as either internal or external behaviors.

-Internal behaviors are those seen as withdrawn or directed inward. These students don’t disrupt class and their needs are often overlooked.

-External behaviors are directed towards others and generally bother both teachers and other students. They are aggressive and violate rules, very easily identified by teachers.

-These students also have an array of emotional characteristics and they behave according to whether they are afraid, angry, or of low self-esteem.

*Because of the presence of these characteristics, many of these students
have very weak social skills and although they have low to average
ability, they have achievement far below their expected levels*



How Are These Disorders Identified?

-These disorders are identified in two ways, through formal and informal assessment.

Formal assessment includes the use of rating scales, which are completed by teachers, which assesses the student based on the federal definition. Intelligence tests are also given to find out what level the student is on.

Informal assessment is used to identify whether students have emotional and behavior disorders, including behavior checklists: interviews with professionals, parents, and students; observations; ability and achievement testing; and medical information.




Who is Eligible?

-In order to become eligible, a team must meet to address the following questions and the student must have them…

1. Does the student have one or more of the characteristics of ED? – in order to be eligible the student must have at least one of these characteristics

2. Do the student’s characteristics as assessed adversely affect educational performance? – the concern is whether the students behavior problem is limiting their education

3. Can lack of social skills be ruled out as the sole cause of the student’s behavior? – in some states, however, this question is not used.


How Do These Students Receive Their Education?

These students are educated in many different environments from general education settings, to part time special education, and even self contained classes.

Elementary School Services: many professionals do not want to give young children labels because they usually come with a negative stigma. However, many programs have been designed to help young children who are at risk in mainly preschools or other early childhood programs to encourage appropriate behavior.

Elementary and Secondary School Services: receive their education in all the service delivery options described in IDEA, more so than almost any group with disabilities. Placements for these students vary greatly with some spending almost their entire day in self contained classes and others in general settings for most of the day.
What problems could this produce?

Inclusive practices are used for students with emotional and behavior disorders with…
1. a change in the curriculum because it could ask too much of a child with this disorder and set them up for failure
2. teachers need to learn how to support students that commonly deal with social rejection
3. Students also need comprehensive services including strong mental health components in addition to academic supports.

Transition to Adulthood: the outcome for these students has been very disappointing.
- 21-64% of students with these disorders drop out of high school
- Some later earn their GED but those who don’t usually are at risk for poor adult outcomes; unemployment during the first five years after leaving high school ranges from 42- 70%

*this research is disappointing because improving the outcomes is so easy to do*
- serving these students through family centered approaches that coordinate school and community would help
- better access to mental health services for students is also needed
- as well as transition programs that provide life skills like on the job training

Recommended Education Practices for these Students

Prevention and collaboration are very important in teaching children with behavior and emotional disorders.

Prevention: consists of early intervention and implementing school wide positive behavior supports such as school wide PBS.
Collaboration: spanning both school and non-school agencies. Sometimes it is known as wraparound services. Most collaboration is based on system of care which is an approach based on a coordinated network of service providers and guided by core values and principles.

IDEA has a system of requirements for intervention…

1. Functional behavior assessment: problem solving strategy for analyzing the students behavior within the context of the setting in which it is occurring as a means of deciding how to address it.
2. A behavior intervention plan is then made which is a set of strategies designed to address the function of the behavior in order to change it


What Are the Perspectives of Parents and Families?

Impact of having a child with an emotional or behavior disorder

-Parents and family members of students with emotional and behavioral disorders face many challenges.

-The families are more likely to be of low income and by headed by a single parent with a less than average amount of education

-They often see a negative set of interactions regarding their children since teachers could become frustrated with them.

Build positive relationships; through parent education, support groups, and collaboration with the family as the focus.

*One of the more serious issues concerning these students is the lack of mental health services available and how necessary they are for creating a promising future*

Sunday, March 12, 2006

lesson four: characters

Lesson Four: Characters

Lesson four is about understanding the importance of characters. Readers want to see a clear action in verbs but also want to see a strong character as their subjects. It is best to make the subkects specific and concrete. In order to find and relocate chracters you have to skim the first seven or eight words, find the main characters, find actions involving the character and then make them verbs and the characters their subjects. Readers are said to have the biggest problem with sentences that lack characters all togehter. The reason that this is done sometimes is because the writer knows what he is trying to say but the reader does not follow it. The lesson also talked about characters that are not so concrete. The problem with writing about abstractions as characters is that the wording often becomes dense and uncleare since you write about more abstractions on these abstractions that are acting as characters. Writing in the active voice, rather than the passive voice is generally a good thing to do. There are exceptions but generally passive sentences feel flat, yet some critics argue that passive is the best way to go. Choosing can be hard but having your readers know who is responsible for the action when in most cases we use passive form. The example is given "the president was rumored to have considered resigning." Asking which kind of verb would help readers move more smoothly among sentences, and which would give readers a more consistent and appropriate point of fview are also important in choosing. Writers often choose to write passively because they don't want to use the first person, therefore they generalize. An understanding of three things is necessary if the style seems complex. "It may be necessary to express complet ideas precisely, it may needlessly complicate simple ideas, and it may needlessly complicate already complex ideas".

Saturday, March 11, 2006

changes on paper so far

i havent gone through the whole thing yet but here is what i have so far, im going to finish it tommorrow

The Lower Ninth Ward: Should It Be Rebuilt?

Before Hurricane Katrina hit on August 28th, the Lower Ninth Ward was an area of New Orleans consisting of predominately lower class African Americans. It is located in the eastern downriver section of the city and was among the last neighborhoods to be developed, and its current fate is yet to be determined. The area can be defined as “a remarkable human community woven together by a network rich in family history, social connections, and proximity to relatives and friends” (Gerta). 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 caused this community to be completely devastated; the hardest area hit from the hurricane. 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.
Lower Ninth Ward, as well as all of New Orleans, 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 due to it being prone to flooding as well as a number of diseases. The land’s poor drainage problem was the primary reason for its slow development, with the other reason being the fact that it was predominately separated from the rest of the city. A series of canals were built around the ward in 1910 and were completed in 1923. These canals fixed the draining problem, but also caused the area to be entirely isolated (Greater New Orleans Community Data Center).
Until Katrina, The Lower Ninth Ward had a population of 14,008 and the majority of its population is African Americans (98.3%), the current population is still unknown. The average household income was $27,499 (less than half of the United States’ average of $56,644). About 36% of the population lived in poverty and over half of all children 0-5 years lived in poverty. Monthly rent was much cheaper in comparison to the city of New Orleans as a whole; $280 compared to $404. Only 30% of the population had a high school education and of that only 30% have their high school diploma or GED, another factor leading to their high rate of poverty (Greater New Orleans Community Center). Many of the homes in the area were handed down through family members and therefore mortgage free. Cars were not a necessity because friends and family members usually lived in the same neighborhood or general area (Brandes). 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 (Gerta). For instance, many musicians came from the area including Fats Domino, who had a successful life, got married, and then later moved back to the Ninth Ward. This shows how much people love the area and are not forced or constrained to the area but choose to live there (Gerta). The community is a cultural and historic district, similar to that of the French Quarter, however, because the community is almost entirely African American, the affluent fail to recognize its significance.
Hurricane Katrina hit the Lower Ninth Ward extremely hard, almost completely wiping it out which allowed this, as well as many other controversies the opportunity to develop. The area was on average seven feet below sea level, causing it to flood heavily which caused many of the levees surrounding the area to collapse. The residents lost not only their homes and belongings, but some lost their lives as well. The neighborhood was reopened for day visits on December 1st where many people returned to find nothing left of their homes. FEMA gave these homeowners a little over $10,000 and those whose homes had been damaged $5000, to use for rebuilding (Frank).
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). They are angered that the Mayor pleaded for the city to return home, however, gave them no place to stay when they did come back (Azulay). A system for bulldozing houses was created stating that houses on the city sidewalks will have ten days notice that they were going to be destroyed and that homes tagged as unstable will have thirty days notice (Cotton). Some say that the bulldozing is being used as an instrument for “land grab” and is too much in the favor of business owners. The wealthy and affluent people of the community are the only one’s having a say in the city as a whole which isn’t fair to those who live in the areas like the Lower Ninth Ward. “I don’t trust people making the decisions because they’re not from down there – the Lower Ninth Ward” said the president of the Lower Ninth Ward Economic Development Association, Ruston Henry (Burdeau). The Ninth Ward is a true community and the residents will fight to keep their neighborhood alive. (Frank).
Those opposed to reconstruction see the issue much differently. They argue that rebuilding the area is unsafe and a waste of money. These officials 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 so likely to be flooded again. 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 Lower Ninth was devastated by Hurricane Betsy forty years ago, showing that putting money into rebuilding is pointless because another hurricane is likely to destroy it again (Connolly). People that are not a part of the community tend to agree with the city and these professionals. Mary Adrian of Michigan says “No New Orleans should not be rebuilt. We the taxpayers should not have to continue to pay for rebuilding in areas prone to hurricanes just so people can enjoy life near water” (Your e-mails: Rebuild New Orleans?).
Another reason as to why people do not want to rebuild is because they want to restore the natural wetlands that used to be in its place. Susan Randolph thinks “Man needs to respect God’s plan—he made the land to be a buffer between the land and ocean. Let nature reclaim the swamp and relocate the residents to a safer area” (Your e-mails: Rebuild New Orleans?). 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”. 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 New Orleans area do not want to stay there anymore. They “don’t have any use for New Orleans” and “don’t trust New Orleans anymore” (harden). These people suggest that things could be 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). 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” (Connoly).
The controversy of whether or not to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward is an issue that many people hold dear to their hearts. There is plenty of reasoning to both sides of the argument and the deciding factor will depend on which side is persistent and presents the best evidence. Hurricane Katrina has shown how much the Government is needed and how necessary it is for the Government to make the right decisions based on the best interest of its people (Dreier). Whatever decision is made, the residents of New Orleans want to be informed so that their city can finally grow back into the cultural landmark that it once was.

Friday, March 10, 2006

So one of my friends that I have known for quite a while decided around New Years that she was going to get married. Granted, she has been with the guy for six years and he is nice and all that but the main reasonfor this sudden marriage, which is ocurring tommorrow at two, isn't because she has known him for six years or that he is really nice, but because she found out that she was three months pregnant. This whole situation really made me stop and think about things. She was a sophomore at Virginia Wesleyn on a softball scholarship and he has been working in the shipyard for quite a while being he is a few years older than us. They both had a life planned out, as many of us do pretty much, and were taking the right precautions about anything changing that plan. I know that getting married is something that is expected if one is to become pregnant but it made me think about what I would do in that situation. I lived a very similar life to hers, except for the six year long relationship but I mean getting pregnant is something that can totally happen in that .01% chance that it has. If you don't find out until three months into it, there not really much action that can be done (im not saying my opinion on abortion) but it would certainly be too late to do so. Now she has to drop out of school for the rest of the year and take a community college course and then transfer to ODU next spring. Her mom has been really supportive about it but when I think about it happening to me I know my father would not be quite so pleased. And another big part that I keep thinking about is how when you are a little girl, you think about your wedding and how perfect its going to be, for instance I want to get married on a roof and it to be at sunset and it will be all nice and for her I know she musth ave had some big thing planned but because of the situation has to change it all and rush it. And then I feel bad for wanting to do something so weird but fun and nice, when the whole point of getting married isn't really about that. My blog is kind of weird tonite I just wanted to write about what I was feeling about someone my age in such a situation.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

"i am a promise"

thie is a reflection on the movie "i am a promise"

I learned a lot by watching the movie I am a Promise. I know that we have always talked about kids that attend schools in the inner city and how they are not given a fair advantage when compared to other children but I never realized how disadvantaged they were. I knew that kids that were in schools like in the movie were brought up by parents who were considered poor. However, I didn’t think that it meant that the majority of the parents were on drugs and behaved the same way that the kids did. It was apparent that the kids’ behavior stemmed from their parents and if that is the case then there is really no way to change it.
Cornelius, for example, got into behavioral trouble often and hit people and disrespected people. The school called his mom and when she mom came to the school it was surprising to see that she acted worse than her son had. She told everyone that he was going to have to go home because she needed to punish him and flat out said that she was going to punch him in the face. If the boy is receiving that kind of attention from his own family, of course he is going to exhibit the same behavior at school to other kids. The part where the police were around the area of the school when the kids were dismissed and how the rumor was started that a little girl got picked up in a car and raped was also something I would have never really though about happening at the schools. I have never seen a school in an area surrounded by crime like that and now I can see that there are probably even worse places than the one in the movie.
After watching the movie I feel that things need to be done about inner city schools like this. It is like they are not on the same level at all as any school I have ever seen. Parenting programs would help a lot but I don’t even know how they would fix it since it seems that every single parent would need the help. Maybe a program that would allow kids to come to school earlier than normal so that they don’t have to sit outside alone waiting to come in would be useful because at least the kids would be safer. Also new ways of funding need to be dealt with before anything else.
It seems to be a continuous circle in the way that more funds are produced in districts with higher SES’s therefore more money going into the schools and thus their schools performing and looking better than those schools in districts of low SES’s. I don’t think that it is fair, the way that the money is distributed. Since that extra money given to the school in the wealthier districts of town show actual differences with that of their lower districts, it should make policymakers and delegates to work harder to put money into these lower school systems since it would guarantee results.
The movie allowed us to see that there are people who are dedicated to kids in all places, as seen with the principal’s interaction with the students of her school. She loved the kids and tried everything she could think of to make them succeed. I was really shocked that she did not stay with the school the following year. I think that the only reason she did not stay at the school was because she knew that no matter what her efforts were, they would not be enough to make the school succeed with the funding that they were receiving.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Brenna Wade
March 8, 2006
Engl 212
Oroonoko Essay

“Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave” is persuasive as an abolitionist document in a number of ways. Page 2217 shows the treatment of slave’s during the time period, “it was not for days, months, years, but for eternity; there was no end to be of their misfortunes. They suffered not like men… but like dogs that loved the whip and bell and fawned the more they were beaten”. These slaves were dehumanized from the regular qualities that men possessed and thought of as animals whose main purpose is to work for the white men. They “suffered the infamous…till blood trickled from all parts of their body…” showing how much they were put through. Caesar tried to tell the slaves that “there was no faith in the white man” (2320) but they liked and looked up to them, showing the way that white men were perceived as ideal and the norm. Caesar was beat “in a most deplorable and inhuman manner, rending the very flesh of his bones” he almost fainted “with loss of blood from a thousand wounds all over his body”. Behn is using the book as a means for people to learn more about the way that slaves were treated during the time and also does so in a way to make the readers feel as though they were there.
This book reinforced traditional stereotypes of Africans being treated as “the Other” because in every instance they are shown as inferior to the white man. The white people show power and rule the slaves, dictating every part of their lives. They have their own alternative culture as Caesar saw and compared their nakedness with his clothed body and when he spoke on their behalf and they thought of him as a great leader. The white men show their quality of showing discipline by beating the slaves until they bleed. The way that they view the Africans is similar to that of how America views the Oriental. America has the mindset that it is superior to these other cultures and therefore Americans believe they can control the Africans and use them as a means to make their own lives better.