Monday, December 26, 2005

Face the Challenge

First of all happy holidays to everyone who reads my site....

Has the media forgotten about the help New Orleans will still need? Has the federal government ever paid attention to New Orleans? Have the people of the United States forgotten what has happened?

Sometimes I feel like they have.

Clearly, the media attention has dissolved. We would expect nothing less. One reason it has begun to disappear is because the federal government (mainly the executive branch) has ignored the rebuilding effort in its entirety. When was the last time Bush was in New Orleans? When was the last time he mentioned some ideas about what the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should do to PREVENT future disasters? We know something needs to radically change. Is he waiting until one more disaster happens before we make those changes? This criticism isn’t ringing loudly enough with the American people. It’s not that they don’t care about the future of New Orleans, it’s that they don’t recognize the lack of attention being paid to the rebuilding effort. I want to get these issues into the limelight. I am contemplating the concept of creating some type of political action committee that can raise money to put pressure on politicians of that sort. Wanna help? Join the N.O.L.A.- New Orleans Lives Again facebook group.

Let’s talk about the city for a minute. The city is bouncing back rapidly and not everyone is able to appreciate that. Still, a lot of work needs to be done. But the city is going to become radically different, relatively quickly. The rich people are going to come back right away. The poorer people will be forced to stay in their current situations until their neighborhoods are restored. Many of these neighborhoods are being rebuilt to be much higher class. Thus, we will see these areas improve socially. The poorer people may not come back. This would of course upset me, as I believe they play an equally important role in the culture of New Orleans. But I know that New Orleans will be a better place. There will be room for everyone to come back one day, and the city will flourish with a larger population.

But how can I prove this will happen? If you happen to be watching the news or reading magazines like the Economist or Newsweek, then you probably know how I’ll support these claims. New Orleans is receiving a ton of federal money (not enough but still a lot). They will not go broke. Politicians can’t afford to let them go broke. It’s wildly unpopular for a politician to be against relief for New Orleans. New Orleans announced it will be the FIRST fully internet wireless city. On top of that, real estate development companies are ALREADY in New Orleans, purchasing a ton of land. They know what the value will be, and many expect St. Charles to become one of the highest valued streets in the nation.

Will this happen right away? NOPE. Don’t expect it to. It will, however, BE happening while we are there. We have a chance to be a part of the biggest rebuilding effort in the world. We will watch as people flood into the city, as areas are restored, and as new structures are created. We have a chance to witness it all and learn from it. This disaster will inspire many to learn what went wrong. When we graduate, people will know that Tulane students have had the most unique experience in the world. And no, they won’t think Tulane’s academic reputation fell apart, because Tulane will make itself better known.

With all this said, I spoke with one of my favorite freshmen yesterday, and she told me how the chances of her going back were almost non-existent. She said she absolutely wanted to (she had just been down in New Orleans earlier this week) but her father said absolutely not. Her father said he didn’t like the way it looked and it appears he didn’t approve of her going back. I just don’t understand how a parent could completely negate their child’s wishes. Why would any parent want to make their son or daughter unhappy? Why would they want to make a decision against his or her wishes? It doesn’t make sense. I’m old enough to make my own decisions. If I didn’t want to go back, I wouldn’t. Anyone who goes to college makes much more life altering decisions than whether to return to Tulane. These parents act like their child isn’t returning to Tulane, but is going to live in a shack on the street. In fact, it makes me furious to believe that some people won’t be able to experience the magic of New Orleans and the love of the Tulane family, just because their parent wants them to stay a school that is “coincidentally” closer to home. For the love of God, let her make her own decision!

I have gained new introspect into the issue regarding people returning to New Orleans. I know that inevitably people won’t return. I know that the resilient ones will. I know that those who have the strongest bond with New Orleans couldn’t bear to miss out on the upcoming semester. I know that those who don’t have this bond won’t come back. I just wish that all of those who wish to experience the magic of Tulane won’t be stopped by anything other than their own free will.

Up until very recently, I refused to accept that New Orleans would be any different when we got back. How ridiculous, of course it will be different. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. In fact, it could present a multitude of opportunity that will enhance the experience that I have articulated in previous posts. We are all wary of change; we are all scared of going back to New Orleans and finding a deserted wasteland. I don’t run away from adversity. I don’t blame those that do. But I don’t. I face it and challengeit; ultimately defeating it or learning from my own mistakes. Returning to New Orleans is the biggest challenge that some of us may ever face, coping with our emotions from this tragedy may be a close second. Regardless, I look forward to it. But that’s me. And I guess have to accept the fact that some people view this challenge as a risk, and they would rather not risk their education. And that’s where I think I differ from those that aren’t returning. I view this as something that we can overcome with perseverance and persistence. But those that aren’t up to it, I’ll just say farewell. To be part of our community, it’s going to take a lot of work. You are going to have to care. In fact, you are going to have to take a lot of action. Those of us who will be in New Orleans for spring semester know this, and we are ready to face the challenge.

People who aren't coming back are still in a massive minority. Most of us Tulane students are the type who want to experience the rebulding of New Orleans and assist in some way. We are those who will look at the return as a CHALLENGE and not a RISK. But if you are wondering about how many people will return to New Orleans, I refer you to the following site, where about almost every single person has said that they will, in fact, be back.

Another post coming soon,


Blogger tillatumom said...

My daughter came home for two weeks, and flew back to Nola last night. At first being here was a novelty, with the electricity and running hot water and all, but in no way could it compare with life in new Orleans. She checked in frequently with her people there and was pleased when her blue roof had been restored (it blew off in a recent storm and stuff got a bit wet due to the tree that fell on the roof during katrina). She has been having a great time in post k new orleans. It is different, but it is still special. I am visiting in February. I can hardly wait.

12:31 AM  
Blogger tcsenior said...

Brett is not alone. I love Tulane for all of its ups and downs. And people like us far outnumber the defeatists, we jost don't post as often. For most of us, these blogs have just become to depressing to read, as we watch uninformed parents and undevoted students rip apart their institution and peers. The recent cuts are deep and painful, but I maintain my full allegiance to Tulane and Cowen. If you want a different diploma, go get it. But the real Tulane students will be back this spring to work harder than ever. It takes a lot more than this to bring us down. If you want to go to school somewhere else, then do it. And I sincerely wish you the best of luck. But go post on your new school's blog. If you don't need Tulane, then Tulane doesn't need you. It's people like Brett who make Tulane great. I'm proud to be one. Why aren't you?

9:10 AM  
Blogger TUGrad96 said...


I imagine that your parents pay for your college like most people. When you stop living off of mommy and daddy, you will realize what it is like to be a responsible adult. Parents who pay have the choice to tell their kids what to do or not do when it comes to college. If your friend doesn't like, tell her to pay the $25K+ herself. I have talked to a number of friends in New Orleans and the city is coming back. Enjoy the city while you are there and know that it will always have a great place in your heart. If you are like me and so many others, New Orleans will never be your permanent home.

11:35 AM  
Blogger D said...

Just so you know, the information on that spatang site is from immediately after the hurricane, when all of the timetables (as well as the reconstruction plan) were still in the air.

And please lay off the "only us REAL Tulanians won't give up" attitude. I'm sure there are people who'd love to not give up on Tulane (I'm one of them), but some of us just can't throw our money and/or education away for the sake of pride.

4:03 PM  
Blogger BootNRally said...

I wore shorts today as I chugged beers outside the Boot.

I know youre all jealous.

2:46 PM  
Blogger TulaneSnr said...

"There's talk of a Clinton visit to Bush's College Station, Texas, library in the spring, and both men may address the May 2006 graduating class of Tulane University in New Orleans, which is set to reopen next month."

Found in Time Magazine, just a little FYI,10987,1142266,00.html

go all the way to the end, it is like the second to last sentence in the entire thing

4:43 PM  
Blogger TulaneSnr said...,10987,1

sorry about the link hope this is better

4:44 PM  
Blogger katiewave said...

tcsenior you are right, anyone who disagrees with you is WRONG! (Well not right about getting a diploma, I think we all got those in high school. LOL!) Brett and you and bootnrally and me are not alone. Almost everyone I know is proud of Dr. Cowen and maintains full loyalty to him. Just not everyone wants to write on the blog. Still, why do people feel the need to question Dr. Cowens decisions? If someone is truly loyal to our school they should not second guess him.

Why do the naysayers feel the need to the bash Brett, his blog, and his party planning? I agree with tcsenior again, Brett is one of the people who make Tulane GREAT. He's not trying to make money for himself. He has already said that he is donating all the money earned to rebuilding efforts. (Right Brett? Tell them again!) Hello naysayers? By bashing the parties, you are bashing CHARITY!! Would you talk this way about FEMA or the Red Cross?!? I know his events in the past have had troubles, but I think more people will go since all pro-Tulane people do read the blog. When is the first one??

I hope everyone changes their mind when they come back in January and everyone is happy. We have so much to look forward to. I miss Tulane so much that I am even looking forward to RUSH and eating at Bruff this year. Happy new year guys!

9:59 AM  
Blogger patty said...

I've got it Katiewave is Scott Cowen!!! It makes perfect sense.

9:42 PM  
Blogger TUGrad96 said...

I have never seen so many people suck up to someone who has absolutely nothing to do with your future life, like everyone on this blog is doing about Scott Cowen. He has done what any other person that was put in his position would do. He has done nothing special.

6:33 AM  
Blogger yes said...

Oh yeah, Challenge or Risk ?somepeople might call it idiotic or getting arm twisted or getting misled.

Loyalty to Tulane or downfall of MY education.

Dr. scott cowen = scottthemoron

7:57 AM  
Blogger said...

I think you are a good person and a good poster. I agree with you. Brett has done a great job with this blog, and I also agree with all of the posters about getting to go to his sweet parties. Scott Cowen is a great man. Continue to stand up for Brett and Scott. I will too. I think Brett has great opinions. I can't wait to be back in New Orleans. Long live Tulane.

12:07 AM  
Blogger jon said...

Hi, As part of a social science degree, I'm doing some research into some Parenting related search 'keywords' e.g. 'lone parent benefit'. I've used lone parent benefit to contact single parents but I need more input. Any suggestions on where to look?

11:35 AM  
Blogger jon said...

Hi, As part of a social science degree, I'm doing some research into some Parenting related search 'keywords' e.g. 'lone parent benefit'. I've used lone parent benefit to contact single parents but I need more input. Any suggestions on where to look?

11:35 AM  
Blogger jon said...

Hi, As part of a social science degree, I'm doing some research into some Parenting related search 'keywords' e.g. 'lone parent benefit'. I've used lone parent benefit to contact single parents but I need more input. Any suggestions on where to look?

11:35 AM  

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