Wednesday, August 30, 2006

In the Midst

The first day of orientation went fairly well with a controlled amount of me not knowing what was going on. Mistakes were minor, like me forgetting to tell the students certain things, and other people in charge totally helped me out. We seem to have a good group of incoming students who are interested in the social aspect of our community as well as the academic--it seems a little like my first year.

Brandon is gone for the next two nights, so I have the place to myself which is nice. Perhaps I'll get laundry put away that I've had in my room for about a week...

We had our final composition teacher meeting yesterday and wow, was there a lot of information. And so much of it about posting things online, making websites, using internet/communal resources. Though I love the internet (you know that don't you, Internet?) I'm not familiar with these things, but I've been told that some people at Drew are specialists at helping the tech-uneducated get educated. And ain't that what it's all about--getting educated?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Flood and Loathing

Here are the transcripts of some messages Dale left on my phone as he was evacuating on Sunday, August 28th of last year.

10:17am - "Hi, um, it's me. Well, it was a nice city and a good place to live for a little while. I am on the road with a very upset Albus going after my parents to pick them up and try get out of town. So...I'm sure we will get out of town, there's plenty of time, it's just gonna be a pain in the ass. Ok, talk to you later."

8:34pm - "Hey it me, we're in Jackson at some crappy hotel, but we're here. I'm hoping that my parents go on to Memphis tomorrow and fly home. Gavin and Alison are staying at a friends place around here somewhere so I'm gonna hopefully hook up with them tomorrow, and go play with them. But ya know, night in a crappy hotel. Albus seem to be ok. Tired, depressed, and we're all grumpy..."

It's funny how the words don't seem to clearly convey very much nervousness, but I guess that shows just how unexpected the whole disaster was. I remember hearing the first line of that first message and rolling my eyes at how dramatic it was. I guess nobody knew.

Those messages were just too important to delete at first. Too loaded with emotion and fear and horror to simply erase by pressing a button. Then they represented something that I knew I should remember and think about because a person and a city that I love were so devastated. Now, they're a little bit of history to remind me how unexpected the whole thing was and how different things are in New Orleans now.

I also remember some of Dale's more upsetting phone calls, first from the road then from Jackson, when I realized how bad things were. Waiting for gas to get out of Jackson. Reporting internet news to them when they had no radio or cable. Then realizing how lucky Dale, Gavin, and Allison were to have evacuated. However, no phone call or message could have prepared me for the next few weeks of horror on the news or the next year of incompetent recovery efforts. New Orleans still needs lots of help, but as long as people remember that, there's hope.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jesus is Coming, Look Busy!

So according to one of my earlier posts, I thought I would be working Sundays in the Kaplan office until the Second Coming. And no, not as severe as the monster slouching toward Bethlehem in my favorite Yeats poem (think Ed Hicks generic British Isles accent) kind of second coming, but office work can have its own downward spiral feel. The work isn't difficult or anything, just sometimes mindnumbingly dull or punchyouintheface annoying. Thankfully, my job teaching comp at Drew gave me the legitimate excuse to quit, so this Sunday is my LAST DAY in the office. There will be rejoicing in the streets. Much street rejoicing.

Not that this will prevent me from being in the office at least 3 days a week to tutor ESL students and teach SAT classes, but at least I don't have to put up with customer questions for a while.

Since Jesus will be coming back on the 27th, I am indeed trying to look busy. Better than that, I am actually busy.
  • There is still the theory that I'll graduate in October for which I'll need to turn in my thesis September 11th. Working furiously, no food, no sleep.
  • I'm Grad School Orientation Co-Chair this year, so I spend several hours a day emailing about various details like "Will you speak at the Q&A Lunch on Thursday?" or recording people's meal choice of London Broil with Mushroom Gravy or Grilled Portabello Mushrooms.
  • Housesitting for some friends, but I totally don't mind this one 'cause there's kitties, a huge house and a fantastic kitchen where I can be totally alone and roam around half naked (I don't do the latter out of courtesy for my roommate who is generally not ok with naked girl parts)
  • Oh, and planning my first syllabus. My labor of love. Finally, I get to cut through all the crap that professors made me do and plan a commonsensical and hopefully useful approach to a comp class. Though my students will surely hate me for it. Perhaps they won't be as annoyed by the class requirements though...
  • Then there's babysitting for the "new" twins/family. They're six months old and absolutely precious. All soft and smiley. Alex has blond hair and blue eyes and his sister Julia has dark hair and eyes--they're a cute pair. Their older brother Andrew is a good kid too and their mom is supernice. Really, this part is just about the time constraint of having class on Monday and Friday then going to babysit.
  • There's more odds and ends like random tutoring set up through Drew and planning and the English Back to School Party, but I won't go further.
Now that I think about it, I'm doing all this in case Jesus doesn't come back so I'll have some rent money. But if he does, I'll have made a good show there at the end.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I Should Have Gone To Cooking School

So amid questioning life in general, I'm trying to get my thesis finished by September 5th. This month is a big transition for me with jobs ending and starting and all the thesis work, so I'm just going a little crazy. However, I have decided that I don't need to work as much as I have been because my school work has suffered over the past year (mainly because of Kaplan). I'm rethinking my whole career path at the moment and wondering just how I got deterred from my dream job of being a chef, or a music video choreographer, or a celebrity personal assistant, but somehow it happened. I suppose I'm just tired of school and working stupid hours to try to make money.

On a different note, I need all new electronics. I want a Treo, a new ipod, and a new computer. Is that really too much to ask?

Lauren and I went to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert in Brooklyn on Friday night and had a great time. They were crazy and the lead singer wore spectacularly 80's clothing with rainbow metallics, knee boots and ruffles. We've also seen Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby since she's been here and it was pretty funny. Warning-If you're from the South, you'll laugh at times when no one else does. (That's of course assuming that you're seeing it in an area that is not the American South.) Lauren leaves tomorrow and I'm sad about it. We've had a really good time over the past month, and I will miss her even though she hogs that bed and wakes me up a lot.

For now I'm back to the thesis grind which makes me think about how easy cooking school would be right now....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Jobs, Brand New Jobs

Hello All (the few people that actually read this)! Well, it's been a month, so it's time for me to write again. I've been generally unproductive this summer with all my big plans abandoned as usual. My two weeks in Alabama were good but busy with lots of parties and showers. Or it seemed like a lot even though there were only two--Lauren's graduation (from Medical Assistant school) and party and my cousin Paige's wedding shower. The latter was kinda fun because it's the only wedding shower I've ever been to where the bride was publically acknowledged as a slut. Ahh, my family. Paige is the second of my cousins to be married this summer; Paige is my age and we were apparently close as small children but before that my cousin Sandi, who is a year younger than me, got married. Yes, The Marriage has officially passed me over.

So the job...Kate! You and I will be teachers this fall! I heard the news while at home and am terribly excited. This means I won't be working in the office for Kaplan anymore which also makes me happy. I'll still keep teaching and tutoring with them some, but I have yet another job lined up through the people I babysit for. I'll be taking care of a set of 4 month old twins--Alex and Julia--for a few days a week. No matter that I haven't been around babies that small since, ok...well, maybe never in my adult life. That's actually not true, but I haven't been around babies in a long time and I'm actually really looking forward to it. I'm sure that will lead to plenty of stories.

Aside from that I'm working on my thesis for September 5th and entertaining my sister who came up to visit for two weeks. She, surprisingly, is asleep right now on the couch behind me. Oh, and I'm trying to get in shape for graduation in October for which I've just decided to get my hair professionaly done and for the fabulous vacation that I'll hopefully be taking around the first of the year. Now this is the life I much prefer. Hair stylists and Caribbean vacations.