Off the TV, Out of Thought - 2005/2006

Students from a school in Michigan that donated much needed supplies to Chapelle after Hurricane Katrina are coming to visit our school. They are coming to see the sites and experience life at our school in the aftermath of Katrina. As a member of the Student Council, I am one of the students assigned to accompany them around the city. As we prepare for their coming, I wonder what they will think when they arrive. Will the degree of normalcy we have now achieved cause them to think that their donations to us were unnecessary or undeserved? After working to try and get things back to the way they were, you become scared that people only care when you are in the midst of destruction. We still have a long way to go, but history proves that once you’re off the TV screen, you’re out of the thoughts of people. If your distress is not apparent, you lose their sympathy and their support. I think the people of Louisiana believe the effort to rebuild is still an important cause. It is a struggle many seem to overlook.

On Wednesday, the moment came and twelve Chapelle girls stood on the airport waiting deck with signs to welcome our out of state visitors. Though our excited cheers seemed to make them a little apprehensive at first, in less then 15 minutes we were sharing stories about things that had nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina. Topics ranged from our favorite movies to their favorite things to do in the snow. Though we are from different schools in different states in completely different conditions, I found these students were just like us.