Saturday, December 10, 2005


The View From Above
(Chicago from the Hancock Tower)

I have no idea what sounds a gannet makes. I am guessing that the title hereof works, though, as a sound of triumph: my final exam is done!

What would you like to know about Ignatian spirituality? Just ask. No jokes about Dominicans in lieu of will be entertained.

We have written about 80 pages for this class this past semester. That's a lot of pages -- five or six pages a week which, when you think that each page represents two or three hours of work -- well, that's a lot of reading and thinking and writing for people who have actual lives outside the classroom. All behind me now, though, so I feel quite sanguine about the whole enterprise.

And actually kind of bubbly -- no, not my usual MO -- but now I can think about Christmas! One of my friends "did" her house last week-end -- cleaned for two days and then put up the tree -- and commented how she didn't mind the work at all because it all looks and smells so wonderful. Well, I will miss out on the smells, since I am lacking that sense (makes having pets so much more tolerable) but I am for sure looking forward to how things will look. And just in time to enjoy, since son numero uno arrives from Chicago tonight, if he remembers to get on his plane which, if you know anything about University of Chicago students, you understand is not guaranteed.

And yes, feeling a little sad and troubled, too. When is there NOT sadness in the air? The news out of Tulane University, my daughter's erstwhile and we hope continuing college, yesterday was all bad, in the short-run sense -- undergraduate college reorganization, faculty terminations, the med school closed for the rest of the year, several majors and Ph.D. programs getting the axe. I retain the utmost respect for Scott Cowen, the indefatiguably optimistic and driven president of the university, but he and his board have had to make some tough, tough decisions that have left many young people reeling yet again.

I happened to be on a parents' message board yesterday when another mom mentioned that her daughter was down there and IN my daughter's dorm as we were posting. I had high hopes that she might be able to take a peek and see whether the lovely daughter's possessions are still there, but in the end she couldn't make any headway; the first floor of the dorm is completely torn up. Not the most comforting news for a mother whose child will be moving in in 32 days.

Most of the country has no idea what is and is not going on in New Orleans. The President and Congress have turned their backs; it is up to the private sector and the individuals who want to make something happen to see that it does. We will be trying, however unexpectedly, to do our part, when we settle our tiny, self-possessed, and determined offspring into her dorm on what we hope is high ground above Lake Ponchetrain. The Tulane student population will increase the population of NOLA by twenty percent; I have a feeling some people down there will be happy to see those kids return.

First, however, I will be glad to see one of them back here in another week.


Lisa :-] said...

I have been dealing with Christmas since the week before Thanksgiving. I'm almost tired of it already. You have time to catch up, now.

I know it must be hard to let your daughter go into the possibly dangerous unknowns of re-building New Orleans, but what an undertaking for her!

Virginia said...

You daughter will have unique college stories to tell for a lifetime.

Peace, Virginia

Paul said...

Sccrreeeeeekkkkkk!? That's pretty accurate...a lot like the sound made by a victim of Torquemada during the Dominican Inquisition.