Monday, November 28, 2005

Two Reflections

As some of you already know, I am going to be spending the first eight days of my winter break in New Orleans with a group from the Sheil Catholic Center, my church on campus. We are going down to work with Catholic Charities through Project Helping Hands, a project put together after Hurricane Katrina that is working to make homes livable again so evacuees can return home. I have to observations that have risen out of this that I want to share and would welcome comments on. They are almost contradictory in some ways.

The first is that when I tell people I am going to New Orleans for the first part of my break, no one asks me what I am going to be doing or why I am going. I was telling my acupunturist/chiropractor's wife this afternoon that I was going and her response was "Thank you for going down there to help for all of us" essentially. I'm realizing that even though it seems that the country has forgotton about the Gulf coast and the issues of poverty and the distruction that was caused by the storm, heightening the awareness of the poverty, most people remember the tragedy enough to know that if you are going down to New Orleans this holiday season, it is probably not to hear some blues or eat some Cajun home cooking.

However, that reflection brought me to another observation which actually makes me angry. I noticed this summer that certain "news" stations would have hours devoted to this missing girl in Aruba. These "news specials" continued for up to six months after she disappeared and I stumbled across one again the other day. However, it is hard to find images and news about New Orleans and the Gulf coast that was devastated less than three months ago in the newspaper or on any news channel. Occasionally they might have a two minute segment but it apparently is not as riviting as the search for a white girl who disappeared half a year ago in Aruba. Thousands of people lost their lives or disappeared in the hurricane tragedies but it is not enough for the mainstream media to devote valuable airtime.

So even though everyone knows what I'll be doing in New Orleans this Christmas, the things I experience and see will be hard to transfer to them because of how little is being shared with the world three months later. Our campus minister gave us a statistic the other day that out of the 450,000 people who evacuated fro New Orleans, only about 150,000 have returned. We will be cleaning out fridges that have been left since people evacuated. We will be clearing debris from houses and yard, coming into contact with the devastation of massive flooding, and doing the bare minimum in some cases to make the roof keep out the rain or the walls keep out the wind. But we have no idea really what is will look like or feel like because our news networks and media outlets have abandoned us. I am certainly planning on doing some online searches for information because I feel that may be the only place I can go to prepare myself mentally.

Keep the Gulf Coast in your thoughts and prayers. The hardships suffered in the South deserve more thought and attention by the whole nation. How can we even begin to help those outside our borders when we have so many in need on our doorsteps.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. The biggest thing is that my dad is visiting for the holiday and it has been really wonderful. I love having people visit me from home because it reminds me that there is more to life than school, which I am apt to forget quite frequently.

It is really nice to be done with classes for a few days. I only have theater classes meeting next week and then the following week, finals week, I have one paper and one exam so I've lucked out with that this quarter. It's nice when the most intense and difficult quarters end so smoothly and easily. Please don't hate me for it, other NU people, I have had my share of horrible reading and finals weeks...

Anyways, next week we hope to have another meeting of Spectrum to revise and finalize our constitution! I worked on it for many hours last weekend, trying to get the wording right and make it so this group will succeed where others haven't. It's really hard for me to slow down the process though but it is inevitable. I wanted to have an executive board and a plan for projects done by the end of this quarter but I would only be able to accomplish that if I was a dictator and hand picked everything myself. Now, I would very much like to do that because it means putting my friends in the positions I want to and picking shows I want to direct or work with but that would defeat the whole purpose of the group in many ways. So I'm resigned to waiting until next quarter to do those things so that next week we can really make the constitution viable and agreeable to the group. I think it will make things work better in the future.

Last thing for tonight, it snowed! I know it has snowed already but it doesn't count because it didn't really stick. This time it started as my dad and I were leaving the movie theater (where we saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!!!) and less than an hour later, the whole world out my window (on the 16th floor...) was white and beautiful!! So this counts as the first sticking snow. My dad went out and said it was only about a half inch but you really can't tell from this far up. It just looks beautiful. And peaceful. I love snow.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Check it out! I made a blog for the new theatre company! Instead of repeating all the info here, go read about the company there! Thanks!

Oh dear...

I think I have left my blogging behind for so long I probably have lost all my readers! Oh well, I will write anyways. I don't need an audience necessarily.

A lot has happened since I last updated. I'll write about a few of the bigger things and then elaborate later when I have more time on ideas, opinions, etc.

I started a Theater company!!!!!!!! It already has 50 members!!! Now I just have to draft a constitution so we have something to talk about next week at our Constitution revising meeting!! Blog for Spectrum, our awesome new group, coming soon!!!

My back is still doing a lot better! I still have a lot of trouble with the pain some days and now that the pain comes and goes, it is clear that my posture when sitting for long periods (ie classes and plays) is what aggravates the injury. I know that having good posture just seems like common sense to some people, and I have always thought I had better posture than most, but the kind of detailed posture work I am doing now is amazing and I have never thought about it this much. I sit in classes and performances now squeezing my shoulder blades together over and over so that I don't slump them forward or jut out my head. It is the only way to stave off the pain. On Monday, my PT did something really cool though! She taped my shoulders back into the correct position! She used this heavy duty medical tape and put a "V" type shap on either shoulder, coming to a point at the shoulder blade. If I started to pull the shoulders up and forward, the tape would be a little uncomfortable, reminding my muscles to pull down and back. It was amazing.

Next news - my dad is visiting for Thanksgiving! We are going to have a great time and I just wish I had more people to feed because there is so much i want to cook! It is a good thing Erica and I have such a big freezer because I'll probably have to freeze half of everything I make (like cranberry bread, pies, etc). I'm also looking forward to ending a few of my classes after next week (except for the finals/papers) because sometimes the quarter system is a little long. For example, I am getting really tired of taking about artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization and not relating it to religion like the class was advertized to do (Religion 379 - Feminism and Fertility).

I have registered for classes! Yay! Unfortunately the psychopathology class I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to take is already FULL!!! I am NINETEENTH on the WAITING LIST!!! It really upset me because it filled up during preregistration. I need this class for drama therapy grad schools and it is a prereq for Clinical Psych which is being offered in the spring. So I will just have to wait, I suppose. They are offering psychopathology spring quarter as well so I guess I'm stuck with it that quarter. The five classes I have registered for (because I am being ambitious this quarter) are: Acting (Shakespeare!), Children's Theater, Statistical Methods in Psych, "Buddhist, Hindu, and Jainist Ethics", and Beginning Painting Composition. I signed up for the last one on a whim because I was mad about Psychopathology. The class meets 1 hour for lecture and then 4 hours for lab/studio work in the afternoon so I think it will actually be a lot of fun and very relaxing. I also going to "P/N" that class which means "Pass/No pass" which means "Pass/Fail," but that is too harsh on people, using the word "fail."