OK, we’ve got less than three weeks to go and I’m going to set a good example and start my own New Orleans journal. I have often intended to do this, but I never seem to be able to bring it off. I have a dozen notebooks and journals with a couple of paragraphs here, a page and a half there; the problem is, I suspect I always set my heights too high.

This time, I’m going to back off of grandiose plans. This is not going to be some grand literary work. I’m aiming to record my thoughts on a fairly regular basis in short, hopefully thoughtful, postings to this blog. You can follow along if you like and since it is a blog, you can comment or respond to my postings.

As for you guys, I’ve rethought this assignment a bit. I’ve decided that content is more important than form. I’m more interested in your thoughts, your expectations, your fears and your hopes, than whether you write a blog, a wiki, a Word document, or a collection of hand-written 3×5 cards tied together with Christmas ribbon. So long as it’s in English and written so that these aging eyes can make it out. I just want to make sure you do it and get something out of it. And yes, it would be great to see examples of where course content and the trip to the Gulf intersect. That is part of the exercise. And, like much of this course, it is something of an experiment or work in progress.

As stated in the syllabus, each student should begin writing at least a week before you leave for Waveland, MS and continue writing until at least a week after his or her return. You can turn it in to me anytime after that for me to read and grade. I will need it by the last day of class; needless to say, I’d appreciate seeing it sooner. Whether you make make it available to anyone else — class, individual, or otherwise — is entirely up to you.