Life Returns to Normal

August is one of the hottest months of the year in most US locations.  Summer fun is winding down as people start looking forward to a new school year.  Soon the sweltering days will give in to the crisp air of fall.  It is always somewhat nostalgic to commence another school year.  One can remember walking into a classroom with the smell of crayons and freshly sharpened pencils.   The autumn breeze ushers in an expectancy of what the school year holds for returning students.

With so much unrest taking place in the world, it is comforting to know that something familiar is going to take place soon.  Parents are taking their children shopping for new clothes, shoes, supplies, lunchboxes and backpacks.  Some children have grown bored with the long summer days and cannot wait for school to start again.  There are others who are sadly counting down the hours until their relative freedom ends and they must return to the confines of the classroom.

A year ago in August, our nation was confronted with a major natural disaster.  Katrina made landfall for the first time in Southern Florida as a category 1 hurricane.  On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall the second time as a category 3 hurricane.  The storm surge that resulted from this calamity devastated the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.  Damages have been estimated at 81.2 billion dollars and the death toll currently stands at 1,836 people.  Many federal, state, local, individual, faith-based and corporate efforts have been made to help these areas.  But a lot still needs to be accomplished before people from these areas are able to carry on again with life as usual.

The 126 public schools in New Orleans were all closed due to this catastrophe.  A few schools in the district came through the storm relatively unscathed, but others were awash in five feet of flood water.   Three months later, the first schools began to re-open.  Starting September 7, 2006, 56 schools will be re-opened in New Orleans.  Parents were able to begin registration on Monday, July 10th in person, over the phone or using the Internet.  However, parents must be able to show up in person by August 12, to sign the necessary papers and have everything in order for their child to attend when school starts.  Nine more schools are currently under construction and should be opening later in the fall.

On a lighter note, John Mayer and Sheryl Crow are among the top "must-see" performances for this summer's Concert Tour venue.  Among other performers, one can also be entertained by Bob Dylan, Rascal FlattsKenny Chesney or Jimmy Buffett.  Basically, there is something for all music lovers, no matter what one's preferred genre.

Pre-season pro football begins with Cleveland at Philadelphia on August 11, 2006.  NFL fans will be ecstatic with a lot of sneak previews this year because there will be 52 pre-season games in 24 days.  This will lead up to the regular season, which starts Thursday, Sept 7th with Miami at Pittsburgh.

Even though vacation season is about to wind down, people will still find themselves very busy with back to school activities, sports and entertainment venues.   For those who've endured the crisis of Katrina, the recovery of schools and business has certainly helped to lift spirits.  Each passing day brings with it fresh hope and the promise of life returning to normal.

More Resources for August:

  • Office Depot - Online resource for school supplies and office products.  Find notebooks, glue, calculators, filler paper, crayons, pencils, highlighters, folders and much more.
  • Ticketmaster - Purchase tickets and view schedules for upcoming events.
  • NFL - Get all the latest news, television schedules, game stats and player information from the official site of the National Football League.
  • PBS Online NewsHour - Offering an article, video and audio feed about New Orleans schools before and after Katrina.
  • Louisiana Department of Education - Find all the details about the registration process for the recovery school district.