interviews

This week on the Reading Life: Irvin Mayfield, whose new book is Irvin Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Playhouse, and Charles Brown, executive director of the New Orleans Public Library.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, much has been rebuilt in New Orleans — including the public schools. But the current education system is radically different from the one that people who grew up in New Orleans remember. Virtually all students in the city now attend charter schools. Many of their teachers are both new to New Orleans and new to teaching.

The sciences are tough enough. For students of color, studying science, technology, engineering or math can be particularly daunting.

At LSU over the last decade and then some, Isiah Warner has been leading efforts to help those students make it from high school all the way through graduate school. And it seems to be working.

The graduation rate for African American undergrads who’ve gotten scholarships and mentorship through a program called La-STEM is 86 percent — by comparison, it was just 60 percent for the LSU campus overall among last spring’s cohort.

Warner is now Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives and Boyd Professor of analytical and environmental chemistry.

As an African American growing up in Bunkie, his enthusiasm for science was unusual — to say the least.

Derek Bridges / Flickr

  As noggins in New Orleans go, there is no noggin like that of singer-songwriter Alex McMurray. He’s got more original characters in his head than a Hollywood film library. Why else would McMurray write a song about the man who shot the man who shot Liberty Valance? (Spoiler Alert: John Wayne is in the crosshairs).

Chet Overall / It's New Orleans

A normally functioning human body is something most of us take for granted, until we have personal experience that challenges us. It might be the birth of a child, an accident, or just staying alive long enough to have bits of ourselves wear out.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

 

Michael "Quess?" Moore is an instructional coach at Martin Behrman Charter School. He helps teachers from all grade levels – kindergarten through eighth – develop lesson plans. Sometimes he co-leads the lessons, and sometimes he teaches them on his own. In the classroom, Moore draws on his experience as a spoken word artist.

Support for Voices of Educators and education reporting on WWNO comes from Entergy Corporation.

Babs Evangelista / Music Inside Out

Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns have been playing together as a band since 2009. But their repertoire suggests a much longer, deeper history, dating back to the early part of the last century, when people were buying phonographs and drinking absinthe in its original form.

Rick Lineberger

When you launch a new business, you have no way of knowing whether you're going to make a billion dollars, or make a bunch of decisions that add up to little more than a valuable lesson.

When a small group of New Orleans guys started hosting pop-up foodie dinners in deserted buildings, few could have predicted Dinner Lab would turn out to be a multi-million dollar nationwide business.

Dinner Lab Co-founder Paco Robert joins Peter on this edition of Out to Lunch today, along with Jason Navarro.

NPR

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! will be returning to New Orleans for a show at the Saenger Theatre on March 12.

WWNO General Manager Paul Maassen spoke with WWDTM host Peter Sagal on the history of the show, and why producers just do what they think is funny.

This Thursday’s live show at the Saenger is sold out… but you’ll be able to listen on the air this Saturday, March 14 at 10 a.m., repeating Sunday at 3 p.m.

This week on The Reading Life: Celebrity journalist Kevin Sessums, whose new memoir is I Left It On the Mountain, and LaShonda Katrice Barnett, whose debut novel is Jam on the Vine. She’ll be appearing at this year’s Tennessee Williams/ Literary Festival, as well as the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.

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