Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Carden Teachers Watch a Training DVDWhile not entirely unaware of hurricane Katrina, my coworkers (Americans from California, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas) haven't had much of a chance to follow the events in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. I'm sure they would all feel as terrible as I do about the disaster there.

My coworkers, pictured here, moved to Beijing a few weeks ago, started training recently, and haven't fully outfitted their apartments with internet connections yet and haven't completely located other English resources from which to keep informed. When they have had a chance to use the computer, it has been predominantly to contact their friends and family. Some of them have mentioned suffering from news deprivation. The demands of relocating to a new country, developing new friendships, learning to navigate a city the size of Beijing and adjusting to a new job are quite enough to make anyone temporarily distracted.

I couldn't help thinking of the Superdome last night, where so many thousands of people were trying to live, as my silly e-mail fantasy football draft comes to a close and how the events there would affect the start of football season. Our minds lead us to strange things in unusual situations. This morning, Angela asked me how many people had died and waited while I loaded CNN.com. I had read an unrealistically small number and didn't tell her. I read a number of e-mails, a growing list actually, about poets who were looking for other poets from those devastated areas, and a wonderful (that's not quite the right word) message from Camille Martin about her escape to safer climes and the continuing chaos around her. Things are getting worse there and I will be thinking about all the people suffering tonight as I head out to host another edition of The Bookworm's open mic...

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