Birthdays, Logistics, and Deathdays

I had my birthday on Thursday, another one, for which I’m thankful. (Thanks for the messages.) If I hadn’t, this piece wouldn’t be written. I’m not yet ready for death. Someone found it strange that one of my common morning prayers is Thank You for the day, even the ones with a futile meeting and two classes and homework to grade. Yes, even the mediocre hand scribbled, copied, piles of homework.

As I woke up for my birthday, people were dying. They always are. Sometimes it’s massive and sudden. For instance, did the people of Port-au-Prince think about an earthquake two weeks ago? Likely not. There is no possible way to bring relief quickly enough. PAP airport has one runway, space for about a dozen planes, and no normal tower. From less than 20 daily planes, it now handles 140.

It doesn’t surprise me that people have complained from afar. It’s the French way. Occupation? Why would the US want to invade Haiti? Seriously? What would we want? I’m also angry with people like this
Huffington Post idiot who somehow imagines that logistics happen. Looking at his biography explains things. He’s worked as a policy analyst, not on the ground!
He has a degree in Economics, where people believe that men are rational and the market is efficient! We’d be better off listening to George Clooney, who has shown how to organize something. And we’d be better off reducing the number of reporters and government leaders. Quit talking and transport water filters and Plumpy’nut!

Haiti is an example of terror and death. Maybe it will improve American preparation. I’m checking my supplies. Today I recharged my powerpack. I have a water filter– do you? – but my stock of prepared liquids are a little low right now, so I’ll add another case of water. Stuff like that.

At the same time as the large events, I don’t want to neglect simpler deathdays. Again, as I awoke Thursday, one of my former students was on the road. Maybe she was in a hurry to get to a 9:25 class. Noel crashed, and as this short Courier-Journal article notes, she died.

I had Noel in the fall for Math 200. Though she and her buddies were not particularly enthusiastic about statistics, she was pleasant in our interactions. And I know she was happy with the grade she earned. I remember her jeans. Apparently, now ripping the knees out of jeans is somewhat fashionable. I never understood why people would want to look sloppy and poor, but some do, like Noel did. I wouldn’t call Noel the most memorable student I had. She wasn’t. She was one of many stories. Now, on this earth, she’s no more.

There will be some memorial at Bellarmine, which I’ll likely attend. As with Haiti, maybe this will spur people to individual action. We’ll appreciate our birthday mornings, and all the other mornings, a little bit more. Maybe my Thank You prayers will be a little longer. Eventually, they’ll run out, just I hope not yet.

About Adam

My quest is a world where calling someone "virtuous like a fairy tale hero" is routine, not fantastic or ironic. My vocation is the teaching and learning of statistics. My dream is a long happy life with a wonderful wife and kids. Who knows if any will become true? More information is at my homepage on the twelvefruits network:
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