May 27, 2006


The other day, on one of the last days of the semester,
as I was busily grading, I was interrupted by our principal.
For some reason, when I looked up at her, I knew it wasn't good.
"Did you hear about Sabrina?" she asked.
I was confused. I had a student named Sabrina this year, but certainly hadn't heard anything about her.
"No" I said, confused.
She handed me a piece of paper. It was a news report from Mississippi.
Then it all registered. It was my former student that she meant.

"She died Friday in a traffic accident."
I couldn't speak. I didn't know what to say. Stupidly, the most I could say was "Oh my God. Oh my God. I was just thinking about her!" Which I had been, for some reason, a few weeks before...wondering how she was doing.

She went on, explaining, "She and her friend were going back to Texas. That's where her parents had relocated after the hurricane, to visit from college and that's when it happened"

I glanced at the paper. It was a freakish, fiery, horrific accident. I couldn't bear to read it. I didn't need or want to read it.
I couldn't bear to rest my eyes on the photo enough to let it to come into focus.

I had helped her get into that college. She and I had worked every day after school for nearly a month on her application essays. She was dogged in her determination to get it better and I was harder on her than usual. She and I had a closer relationship than most of my students......maybe any of them. She wanted to major in history. She was good with it too. She loved the history part of my class. She irritated the other girls with her answering correctly all the time, but she tutored them unselfishly too. I had actually helped convince her to become a teacher.
She hadn't thought of it before she told me. She would have been a wonderful one.

She's not the first student (or last I'm sure) of mine that has died.

No. In fact, the during the very first months I ever taught at a high school a student of mine committed suicide.

But Sabrina was different. I think anyone who taught her, who knew her, would say the same. I know they would.

She was 20 years old, and believe me, the world is a sadder place for her loss.

May 22, 2006

Pomp and Circumstance

Saturday was the mayoral election day for New Orleans,
and our graduation day too.
The Mayor made a stop by on the day to say a few words, dressed in a polo shirt and running as if on a sprint. I thought it was nice of him to drop by.

All in all, this year's graduation was a very nice affair...there was no AC or anything, and it lasted nearly 3 hours....but very dignified.

It was in very sharp contrast to last year's graduation, however.
Last year, at the Mahalia Jackson Theater, all of 10 feet away from me a 200 pound woman and her date, he in a navy suit, she in a light yellow chiffon summer dress, were violently wrestled to the ground by two NOPD officers, cuffed and dragged off screaming through the aisles. (They resisted arrest, she bit the police officer...etc.)

Then the ceremony resumed.
The incident had occured right at the P's, so we had the rest of the alphabet to go.

May 17, 2006


Today I was reminded of two random things that I'd all but forgotten about.
One is Michel'le. Does anyone else remember her? This afternoon I heard "No More Lies" on the radio and was transported back to the early 90's...not altogether a bad thing.
VH1's page on Michel'le

My favorite Michel'le song however, has to be "Nicety." She gives full range to her vocal...ummm...powers there. Somewhere lost in the flood was a cassette version of that, the extended remix, no less!

Random thing number two is Spree, the candy I mean.

I found a treasure trove of them at Dollar Tree. I was on the way to Dollar Tree when I heard Michel'le in fact. They are like candy coated sweet tarts, what's not to love about that? I bought 4 boxes and feel a binge coming on. Too bad I don't have that cassette.

May 9, 2006

So Notorious I Can't Get a Date.

I've been watching a lot of Vh1 as you can see.

I never watched Beverly Hills 90210, I'm sorry (proud?) to say, but I've always kind of liked Tori Spelling actually. I don't know why. I'm sure I shouldn't.

I remember one night years ago at a friend's house watching "The House of Yes," only after what seemed to me an unnecessarily long apology from the hostess about Miss Spelling's appearance in the movie. I didn't understand the giggling and apologizing about poor Tori's acting then. I still don't.
I mean, I liked her. But then what do I know?

I like her new show too, "So Notorious." Yes,it's a bit self conscious, but what show isn't nowadays? And I like that it seems to be getting funnier with each episode.
I especially like Ruthie, her agent.

Another show I've found (also on VH1) is "Can't Get a Date." I really like the format, especially the comforting, yet brutally honest omniscient voice of the "Narrator."

It's like God is giving dating advice (and sometimes I wish He just would, you know?)

May 3, 2006

"a query once left to go quiet"

In a fit of insanity, I spent money on a membership several weeks ago. Don't ask me why. I'm pathetic? I'm an optimist? I'm a masochist? All of the above?
I don't know.
Embarassingly, it's not the first time I've wasted money and time on this sort of thing, and, of course, it's never worked.

Anyway, the stagnant pool of available men in this town grew by one the other day. While browsing around aimlessly one night, I happened upon an ad that, although pictureless, was actually well written. Pretty hard to believe.
So, excitedly, I sent an email with these words:

wow....I have to say, yours is the most well written ad here. Just thought you should know that. I really enjoyed reading your ad. I'm a fan of.........too......
(insert general banter here)

A week goes by with no response, but I notice that he has at least looked at my profile ( has an addictive feature that allows this).
And night before last I notice that he and I are online at the same time. Against my better judgement, I send him a "wink" (another feature of the service)....all meant in good nature.

Finally I get a response from him. It seems he did get my first email. He simply ignored it:
>I see you have succumbed to the temptation which sometimes overtakes me, which is >to wink
>after an email, or email after a wink, hopeful that a query once left to go quiet >will, upon repitition, arrive at a happier result.
>Thank you for perseverance and for appreciating writing. I love writing.
>I don't know that wé're a match to date, however. But thank you.

Ah...well....touche, I guess.
I mean what does one say to that?
I was pretty mortified. Of course he's right, it's pretty sad, my shamelessness.

Now, added to the literally countless (I honestly can't count them all) such rejections I've endured over the past, say, 10 years, this one is pretty tame...very tame actually.
In fact, I've been ignored, dropped, stood up, and
told point blank that I'm not "attractive enough" or young enough
(from, by the way, someone older than I am)...and that's just in the past few months or so.

But still, no matter how polite, it stings...especially when it is polite....and well written, for some reason.
Somehow that makes it worse, though I'm not sure why.