Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina--Pictures, Thoughts and Rants on a Deadly Killer!

These are pictures I've taken out and about in Ocean Springs, MS. No pictures are "borrowed" from the web. I have sent some pics in to the local newspaper via e-mail for publication, but all of these photos were TAKEN BY ME PERSONALLY, unless otherwise noted. I've lived in OS all of my life, and these are the first scenes I captured when I returned from Tallahassee, FL after Fleeing Hurricane Katrina. Come back often, as I have over 70 photos, that need to be uploaded!!!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

THE "NEW" NORMALCY...back to work

Well, things are getting somewhat back to normal. We're back in school...and for anyone who doesn't know, I teach college at MS Gulf Coast Community College, Jefferson Davis Campus. We started classes back on Sept. 14th, and at first, I have to say I thought it was a bit premature...that folks were not going to be ready to go back, or even be able to focus on going back to school...We are a commuter campus that sits on the Biloxi/Gulfport line, and I had heard from many of my students that did not have homes left. When you stop and think about it, if you don't have a home to commute from, what's the point of continuing classes....well, that's what my first thoughts were when I heard we were starting back just two short weeks after the Hurricane..

However, that having been said, I'm happy to say that I couldn't have been MORE WRONG!!! My students were ANXIOUS to get back into class and get things going again. They NEEDED some structure in their crazy mixed up world. They expressed gratitude at having something "NORMAL" in their lives. Some "PRE-KATRINA". In one particular class that I teach, I was very humbled when NOT ONE STUDENT had a home, a car, clothes, NOTHING left, yet they came to class in borrowed cars. I was also amazed that none of my students had to have books replaced, even though the college offered the service of book replacement (at no fee to students) for those books lost due to storm damage. Most admitted that they took their books thinking they would study while under evacuation, never dreaming that along with the clothes on their backs, these books would be some of their only possessions left! Many didn't even take treasured photos, again, not imagining the terrible damage that Katrina would leave in her wake. One student, whose home was particularly hard hit in Waveland, lost a vast treasury of Sign Language Video tapes due to Katrina's miserable flood waters, but she has her books!!!

After initial meetings in my classes, and rounds of "how'd you come out?", "how's your home?" and "did you stay or did you leave?", and after a few tears were shed, classes are now back on track....YAY!!! Right now it's what is keeping the students sane, and what is keeping me sane (most days!) !!!!

I am very grateful to have a wonderful institution like MS Gulf Coast Community College in our Community, and better yet, to be part of the MGCCC family. The College has done so much for the employees, many of whom have lost their homes, and for the students as well. On our campus, counselors are available to discuss the stress of Katrina, funds have been set up for victims, (both student and employees) and our campus has even provided a shelter for employees.

Our College mission "We make a positive difference in people's lives everyday" continues to ring true even in the aftermath of such a horrible event!! And for that, I'm truely grateful to the leadership of the College President and the Board of Trustees to have the wherewithall to know that it WAS a smart and logical idea to get back to the business of NORMAL as soon as possible. THANK YOU!!!


Blogger st.bernardparishgirl said...

The picture with the water flowing over "Beachfront Drive" is false. The picture was taken in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The "Gulf of Mexico" is actually just a small body of water, the MRGO, that opens up into the Gulf many many miles further. The photographer who took it was in a building. It was taken under the Paris Road Bridge, hence the reason why the bridge pilings are in the picture. FYI.

11:29 AM  

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