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Sharon Gerald and I finished our 24-hour Blogathon for Pearlington! I don't know about Sharon, but I slept all day until my husband woke me up at 4p.m. to get ready for the Van Morrison concert at GMU.
I'm open to being interviewed by any comp-tech theorists who are doing research in blogging in academe. Right now, I'm too wound up and worn out to make any profound observations of a theoretical or pedagogical bent, but just let me say that I would never have the depth of understanding about the effects of Katrina had I not done this event with Sharon. Preparation meant reading the stacks of links that she mailed me--mostly focusing on Pearlington, the citizens and volunteers. Granted, the affective nature of such research sets one up to be moved, but it also delineates the particulars--what the houses look like, how people are surviving day to day, what the media, insurance industry and governmental tape are doing to impede rebuilding, and how the town is creating opportunities for others to help in very specific, concrete (no pun) ways, such as through adopt-a-house or SupPort-A-Pottie.
In terms of putting my energy into reading about and writing about a place in one span of time, I know that I've learned quite a bit--about using a blog for a research project, about time and blogging, about hurricanes and about Pearlington. But blogs are meant to live and keep changing, and while I think that Sharon and I have produced a document that will live on and be read beyond the 24 hours we put into it, I have to wonder what the next steps are. Perhaps linking to other bloggers blogs? You see, we need to get the word out and keep getting it out, so how many ways can Sharon and I share this living document to both bear witness to and raise funds for the people who have suffered so much in Pearlington. And, how to do it in a way that doesn't gradually bore people with its sameness?
But for now, Van Morrison's music's coursing through my veins notwithstanding, I'm worn out. Please do ask questions here, though. I'm excited about what we've begun.
We are keeping the Pearlington Blogathon alive through August 29, the anniversary of the storm. There's still time to donate, so if you feel inclined, please do visit the site.
Sharon Gerald has been up since five this morning posting to the Blog for Pearlington (Miss.), and in a few minutes, I'll begin my five- hour stint (of two). Come on over and read about the work being done to help the townspeople rebuild their homes and their town. You'll be amazed and humbled. Honest.