Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I was flattered immensely by my Intro to Louisiana Folklore class today. They want me to pitch a foodways course next semester. I keep trying to explain that I can't just pitch a course because I am a grad student and I'd have to get my department to apprve of the course. Fat chance of that happening. But it's nice that they like me so much. This semester has been rough in a lot of ways, but I can honestly say that both my classes are great. My 101 was ennui-ridden today. none of us really wanted to be there. But as this is our ethnography unit, I ditched my book lecture and just led a discussion of what ethnography really is and what you're looking for. Some students are still confused about it. Fortunately the otherwise useless book includes really effective readings and questions for each reading. This chapter has several good ethnographies that will give the students a better idea what I want. And, I will post my Endymion paper to the Moodle site as an example.

I picked up the accident report yesterday. Last Wednesday I was the lead car in a five car pileup. I was waiting behind a gray truck that just stopped? in the middle of Congress Street. Just as I was contemplating driving around it, I was slammed from behind by a small Toyota Corolla. Then another concussive shove. That second impact was three other cars A Camry, A Cr7, and a Lincoln, slamming into us as pushed by a car going 50 mph. My back is hurt, my neck is worse. I'm going to the chiropractor to get straightened out. I'm not at fault and somebody else is going to pay. Because the girl behind me hit me, she is the most liable for the accident. Seemed straightforward enough, right? Wrong. According to the police report, the kid in the Lincoln at the end of the pileup who caused the second concussive wave was actually the cause of the whole accident. There is no mention of the Corolla rear-ending me, Myself, the Corolla girl behind me, and the Camry granny behind her all concur that the Corolla rear-ended me, and the Camry didn't hit anyone until she was shoved into the Corolla because of the force with which the Lincoln hit. These accounts are in the witness statements. So, the Officer's assessment of the accident in no way bears relation to what actually happened. When I picked up the report, I pointed out the discrepancy to the policeman on duty. He said that the officer's assessment is conclusive and the findings are accurate. He went on to say that if there was contention about the matter, that the insurance companies would hold a deposition to determine what actually happened, and the the matter would probably go to court. Rather than pursue the argument, I thanked the officer for his time and left the station, quietly cursing under my breath. The upshot is that because the witness statements contradict the officer's findings, the FIVE (5) insurance companies all have room to play fast and loose with settlement and there is a fair chance this will all end up in court. All because the officer didn't bother to look at the witness statements or take accurate notes about what happened. How can I prove she didn't look at the statements? The officer totally misspelled the 18-year old African American Lincoln driver's name- she left out two letters! If she'd looked over his statement, there wouldn't have been this problem. And the girlie behind me should have gotten a citation but managed to get off scot free. The point here is that though I am not at fault, I was injured and deserve to be reimbursed for my damages, but will likely have to duke it out in court to make sure this happens because the officer at the scene was too lazy (and probably prejudiced) to correctly assess the situation. Not fair. Situations like this are why hoodoo is still around here in Louisiana. If the law don't work, rootwork will fix it.
Maybe I should go buy some High John...

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