succumbing to peer pressure

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I sort of tuned out the hurricane coverage after learning that the Superdome weathered the brunt of the storm ok (I figured if the next morning headline wasn't "thousands dead as superdome collapses" then the rest of the city must be pretty much ok). Silly me. The water keeps pouring it, the death toll keeps rising, and there doesn't seem to be much we can do. The vast majority of those stuck in the city are poor, staggeringly poor, stuck there precisely because they don't have a car, couldn't afford a bus ticket, a hotel room somewhere else for days, etc. etc. These people didn't choose to stay. 25% of New Orleans lives below the poverty level. 25%! How does that happen?

A former student of mine popped her head in my office doorway today. She's a 'refugee,' back in her old apartment, just days after moving to New Orleans, planning to start a PhD program at Tulane. A program that won't even start now until the spring semester. She's fairly ok. Got out a day ahead of the most frenzied evacuation rush, managed to pack a change of clothes, a pair of shoes, her dog. Now she plans to go back to her mother's house in NY, wallow, as she put it, for a while, then go work overseas until the new year.

The first of the energy effects hit Atlanta today - starting at noon gas prices started creeping up over $3 a gallon, by the end of the work day there were lines at most gas stations, rumors of shortages, and price-gouging. Supposedly the Gov has passed an emergency petrol bill, temporarily freezing prices.

I just want my bike back.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where overseas? And how does she propose to get this short-term job? I didn't know it was that easy...

1:34 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

She's already pretty plugged in to various ongoing projects, in Uganda and somewhere else, so she knows people that can use her help for short periods of time and on relatively short notice (she's shooting for October)...also, it probably won't be paid, that's still up in the air.

4:35 PM  

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