I'm almost jumping-out-of-my-skin excited to be going to New Orleans with my architecture and ed class next Friday. We're going to be touring the city, but focusing particularly on the public schools. The agenda is still being pieced together, though it'll also include a couple of lectures on the history of the city and environmental sustainability. We're also hoping to be able to talk to some educators and students as well. In the meantime, I'm prepping by reading as much as I can about schools in post-Katrina New Orleans. (If you know of something I should be reading, lemme know - or better yet, if you're a del.icio.us user, tag it with ArchEd)
The trip does raise a little conflict within me though, that I think is typical of a tug-of-war that my insides have been having since I started grad school - theory vs. practice. I feel a little guilty for going down there to survey the damage, without actually putting on a pair of gloves and helping clean and build. At the same time, the goal of this class is to put together some sort of publication with creative yet practical ideas for rebuilding the New Orleans school system... and if it's read by the right people, that'll be worth something for sure.