Tuesday, October 1, 2013

OCTOBER 2013: Autumn, Where Are You?

Supposedly the autumnal equinox began on Sunday, September 22nd, but we continued with 90 degree days for most of last week.  Our neighbor, Glen Lirette, pruned the roses on Constance Street which reminded John to trim the roses around the statue of the Blessed Mother and the hibiscus at the gate.  We have had rain so that everything is coming back; cooler weather means flowers will blossom again; the summer heat stifles flowering in a lot of plants.  Bob has been working on the grounds; filling in cavities that develop with sand and trimming back encroaching vines on the wall facing the parking areas as well as pruning the crape myrtles on the Milan Street side of the property.  We try to be good neighbors.  Charles continues his valiant efforts to feed those with a multitude of allergies--the constant cry is: "You can't eat that, either?"

The end of the 1st Quarter in Louisiana approaches for schools; Lauren Zanfardino has a three day break this week.  She had planned some museum hopping—the ones the government has not shut down!   She has long hours; on Wednesday evenings she stays into the evening to participate in a reading program for her children and their parents.

St. Joseph's Church has the longest main aisle in NOLA.  It is a 'city' parish with few residents but a faithful following.
Travis Wain and Erika Enlund are busy at Lantern Light; 200 guests for lunch is not unusual.  On Sunday, the 29th, Br. John, Travis and Erika attended a Mass in honor of St. Vincent De Paul at St. Joseph’s Church on Tulane Avenue.  Lantern Light Ministries is located on that property.  The Mass celebrated the work of the Vincentians, who serve the parish, their related religious communities, Daughters of Charity and Sisters of Charity, and co-workers.    The Presentation Sisters and many of the volunteers from Lantern Light were there and Fr. Tom, the Pastor, mentioned Travis and Erika, among others, during the homily!  That is now referred to as “gave a shout out.” http://www.stjosephchurch-no.org/

Top left:  Eggs Pontchartrain [where the crawfish swim]
 After Mass, Br. John introduced Travis and Erika to Riccobono’s Panola Street Café, a small neighborhood place, for Sunday brunch.  [John was starving after a LONG liturgy].  The unadventurous chose a grilled chicken sandwich [TJ], a well-done [?] three cheese omelet [EE] but the ‘brunch’ ideal was saved by the more epicurean selection of ‘Eggs Pontchartrain’ [poached eggs on a bed of grilled sautéed crawfish, mushrooms and green onions on an English muffin with hollandaise sauce on top,] [JWC].  It will take months and much effort to help the volunteers experience more authentically the food culture of New Orleans and move beyond selections more appropriate to a diner on Long Island.  We shall persevere.  http://www.riccobonos.com/Panola/saturday_sunday.html
John attended a three day workshop on what is known as “the Common Core,” a set of standards to define what all students are expected to know and be able to do.  They focus only on what is most essential that a child be able to do, not all that can or should be taught.  They are meant to assess how children can use what they learn, not define a curriculum!   The standards help assess if students know how to think and use what they have learned.  The aim is to educate life-long learners able to work independently and collaboratively and make judgments based on fact based data.  The standards ask students to think and explain their thinking; one word answers are not enough.  The standards aim at helping educators guide students to answer questions like: “How did you arrive at that conclusion?” and “Why do you think that is a correct conclusion?”  The presentations were sponsored by the School Leadership Center which John has worked with in their Discovery Walk Program.

Our New Orleans Saints have won their first four games.  “Geaux Saints!”

Sadly, crime statistics are dismal. Despite better economic news, an increase in tourism, more job opportunities, and many local community initiatives, the murder rate is depressing.   The number of murders in 2013 now stands at 108.  The city is devoting resources and developing strategies to combat crime; the media report it, but the numbers continue to climb.  http://www.nola.com/crime/murders/

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