There’s just one problem with academia. Sometimes it can be so … academic.
In the interest of getting out into the world, I’m writing this post from Nawlins (nee New Orleans), where 16 other Penn planners and I are spending our weeklong spring break doffing our tops for beads and booze doing pro bono city planning work. For most of us, it’s been nothing short of a paradigm shift—and the week ain’t over yet.
New Orleans is still struggling, especially its hard-hit Lower Ninth Ward. The economic recession has been bad news for development all over the world, and it's really not helping things down in New Orleans. The federal government's broke, states are cutting costs, and local government is practically bankrupt. But even in tough times, there is one place where business always seems to be good and money's always flowing: the movie industry. Maybe New Orleans should look to Hollywood as a means to recovery. It has the money, it has the incentive, and it's proven that it actually has the power to make it happen.
I am enjoying the last day of my Independent Activities Period (IAP) – the period after winter break in which all students at MIT can take one of many non-credit or for-credit course offerings at MIT, set up a winter externship, or just do nothing. This amounts to six weeks of bliss!