Sunday, January 7, 2007
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
At the just-concluded AALS annual meeting in Washington, D.C., one of the great benefits of wearing a badge that identified me as being from Tulane University was that I got to answer on elevators, in hallways, or gabbing before a session started, or at the bar, some variant of the following question: "so, has Tulane restarted classes yet?"
My friend and co-editor Alan Childress has already expounded at length on the topic: YES! TULANE IS UP AND RUNNING AND HAS BEEN FOR A FULL YEAR NOW.
This is not to minimize at all the social, political, and environmental problems facing New Orleans. This is a city that had significant issues before Katrina, most of which I think were masked by the boozy haze of Bourbon Street partying and the humid, languid charm of the live oaks in the Garden District and Uptown. And there are parts of this city that are still not habitable.
But if you find yourself plopped down at Tulane, or over at the Whole Foods Market on Magazine Street on any evening, or on the levee in Audubon Park on a Sunday afternoon (if you don't look at the FEMA trailer camp at the end of Tchoupitoulas Street), or at Cooter Brown's during a football game, or grabbing a cup of coffee at PJ's or CC's or the Starbucks that opened this fall on Maple Street, it feels pretty normal. Here in the law school, we are going to start classes for the fourth time post-Katrina (counting the summer session), and law students look and sound just like law students everywhere.