Shelter from the storm.

September 15, 2008 § Leave a comment

Just a brief update, while my pirated internet flies its proverbial three-bar flag, to give y’all the skinny on what’s going on in our digs, & ’round our town.

A. & I went driving briefly yesterday, just to see the damage.  It’s incredible.  Just two houses down, a mammoth tree cracked at its base & fell into the road.  The big stone houses on our block haven’t sustained much structural damage; it’s all the smaller, wooden ones that have.  Debris is everywhere.

We drove our normal circuit — Richmond, Montrose, Westheimer, Kirby — & the news ain’t lying: Shit’s fucked up.  From as far away as the end of our block, we can squint into the skyline & make out busted windows, skyscrapers with giant wind-made holes.  Almost nothing is open, & everything that is has a line wagging out the door or into the street, mainly a few grocery stores & gas stations, with a supply significantly less than the demand.  The city has set up locations to give out ice, water, & food to folks without.  Even though we stocked up, we’re getting low on rations, & plan to hit one of the Krogers tomorrow.  We’re almost out of coffee, & that will not do.

Driving around here is more interesting than usual: Most of the traffic lights are out, & the city has instructed everyone to treat those situations like a 4-way stop, which seemed to be working yesterday, & today, there are more cars & fewer with patience.  There’s a city-wide curfew in effect until this coming Saturday; everyone’s got to be in by 9pm.

The university has decided to reopen tomorrow, but has designated this week a “nonmandatory” attendance week, & instructed all courses not to give any exams or large projects, so that students who can’t make it won’t be penalized.  Evidently, the only reason they can’t haul off & cancel a week of school is because they’d be mandated by Texas law to make it up.  So, the burden is on us, the instructors, to make the call.  Tragically, & despite the fact that I spent a fair amount of time today making up a sweet rubric for how I’m going to grade my students’ upcoming papers, I think I’ll cancel class for Wednesday, & maybe Friday, as well.  I just can’t imagine that most of my students have electricity, & if I can’t hold my absent students accountable for the material, I’ll just have to teach it again anyway.  The last thing I want do right now is waste their gas & stress them out.

& that’s the news from Lake Woebegone, brought to you from I Couldn’t Find A Freakin’ Powder-Milk Biscuit Around Here If I Tried, Because There Ain’t The Electricity To Make One.

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