For new readers...

Welcome! Please do a search with the Google box to the right if you have a question and pick a name if posting a comment. Remember to come back and read the comments if you post a question. Please ask permission before republishing my work.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Feeling less helpless...UVA's response to Hurricane Katrina



All day long, I kept MS-NBC streaming at work, listening to what was happening down on the Gulf Coast. Just a few months ago, I was scurrying around NOLA with my friends during JazzFest, looking for a distant relative's art in French Quarter galleries, and letting my crisp, formal French get sanded and smoothed by its looser, tropical cousin. It was probably one of the best trips I've made in the last few years and I was certain that I'd be returning to NOLA each year for JazzFest.

Well, now I'm listening to the reporters saying that the Hyatt has no windows, that tourists are holed up in the Sheraton and the Ritz, that the Superdome is in horrible shape. Friends from the area are slowly checking in via text messages because for some reason, cell phones aren't working, but text messaging is. A friend who works as a DJ at a radio station in Baton Rouge has been on the air for 18 hours, comforting callers and also broadcasting pleas for help. When one local hospital was dangerously low on formula, she announced this on the air and Baton Rouge residents, who weren't affected as badly as those near the water, arrived with supplies within an hour.

Being so far away while watching this [sometimes] live footage and hearing these calls for help, the feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. Of course my first reaction was to send money to one of the relief agencies, but while that made many of us feel better after the tsunami, that didn't make me feel like I had made an immediate impact. By the end of the day, that changed.

At 5 PM, our Dean gathered all of us who were around and said that we were going to help in the way we were best suited to: giving NOLA students a temporary home.

Tomorrow morning, we'll start taking names of Virginians who were supposed to be starting school at Loyola, Tulane, Xavier and other NOLA schools. They'll be welcome at UVA until their schools reopen. We have housing, open spots in plenty of classes, and a campus full of people ready to welcome them.

It doesn't fix the massive, gaping wound down in New Orleans, but it feels so good to be doing something at this point.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gypsies afoot in Charlottesville

My second laugh of the day comes close on the heels of the first, once again courtesy of The Cavalier Daily.

An off-campus bookstore was robbed yesterday by a team of people who distracted employees and got money out of a safe in an office off the sales floor. Shoppers were able to give excellent descriptions of the assailents.
Those who witnessed the robbery said the group looked like gypsies, Durrette added. -The Cavalier Daily, 8/24/2005

If anyone knows what gypsies look like, let me know. The only image I'm getting is Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

What are fraternities all about?

According to one student, fraternities are about exactly what the stereotype indicates.

The Beta Theta Pi International Fraternity, Inc. had its charter revoked early in the summer by the General Fraternity, the fraternity's international governing body, for failing to comply with the General Fraternity's regulations.

The chapter subsequently lost its membership in the University's Inter-Fraternal Council.
...

Kennedy said Beta Theta Pi is dedicated to building its program called "Men of Principle."

"They want us to be a model fraternity with the best, gentlemanly guys with the most class and the least amount of drinking," Kennedy said. "It's almost like taking away what fraternities are about -- People getting together and having a good time, and most times it involves drinking."-The Cavalier Daily, 8/24/2005

Being new around here, I wasn't sure what to make of that quote, but I'm liking UVA's student newspaper for printing it!

They definitely gave me my first laugh of the day

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Here's how we get over 730 clubs at UVA


I started browsing the list of student clubs and organizations today and came across one that completely shocked me. The UVA Cornhole Club. Anyone with friends or family in Ohio knows what Cornhole is...it's an obsession there! Ohio's stadium parking lots are littered with games of Cornhole before concerts and sporting events (notice multiple games going on in this photo from a Bengals game). I've been known to play a game or two when I'm in the Buckeye state (note that photo was taken two weeks before my last Locks of Love cut)!

I started wondering how such a random club could exist (look at the membership page...only a couple members). I tried to see how easy it was to start a club at UVA. It looks like as long as you have two people willing to be officers, you have a club. There's a form to fill out that gets approved by the student organizations group and then the Office of Student Life. From there, a club can apply for funding and be officially recognized. Pretty sweet! Maybe I'll start a...Displaced Bostonian Club! A Jersey Girls Without Accents club! A Flip Flops in Winter Club!


By the way, someone at The Today Show must be from Ohio because they did a story about the game. Perhaps Cornhole is going to travel now? Perhaps between The Today Show and our students, games will be popping up in other states? I'm crossing my fingers!