Face the Challenge
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. http://tulane.spatang.com/view.php
Another post coming soon,