It’s probably been a few years since you last attended recess, but you’ll quickly recall it was a welcomed period to escape the four walls of your classroom and just hang out. So it may surprise you to learn about Playworks: a national non-profit that actually organizes recess for kids.
Their New Orleans branch is the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans.
When I first moved to New Orleans is 2001, I taught in a pretty rough public high school where I had an almost fatally hard time inspiring the kids to write. The traditional writing lessons and other tricks I knew weren’t getting to the students.
At the time I was doing a lot of writing about music for New Orleans magazines, so I devised for my students a sort of… English class, disguised as a music class. We call it music writing class.
Last week a state court of appeals ruled in favor of thousands of teachers who were fired just after Hurricane Katrina.
The court said more than 7,000 teachers were wrongly terminated, denied due legal process, and should have been considered for rehiring as schools reopened. The ruling, if upheld, would award the teachers years in back pay and benefits, though it’s not clear who would pay. The Orleans Parish School Board and the state have the option to appeal.
Panya the elephant celebrated her 50th birthday at the Audubon Zoo last week, and scores of people came out to celebrate.
Panya, a 9,500-pound female Asian elephant, was presented with a birthday cake and presents, as well as a special AARP card. A gaggle of children in party hats serenaded her with toy horns, signed a giant birthday card, and shared in some cake of their own.
She was joined by 7,500-pound Jean, a 41-year-old female Asian elephant who has been Panya's sidekick at the zoo for over 30 years.
It's been 50 years since The Beatles appeared in New Orleans. On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks about the contagion that is Beatlemania with some folks who plan to celebrate this still-remembered musical event.
The New Orleans Saints finished their season with a 12-6 record, including their first playoff win in the cold, on the road. WWNO’s Jason Saul sat down with Ramon Antonio Vargas, Saints beat writer for the New Orleans Advocate, for a recap of the season, and for a look at what’s next.
So Ramon, as someone who is on the Saints beat you spend a lot of time with the team, both at home and on the road. Now that the season is over, what’s your take on how it went?
Actress Francine Segal played prison guard Georgia Ann Payne in 2001’s Monster’s Ball, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry and the late Heath Ledger. “I had a gun. It was a lot of fun,” said Segal.
There was some trouble on the set, however, as Ledger was not getting along with the dialect coach that had been brought in from L.A. to help him learn the thick Georgia accent his role called for.