By the time many of you read this, I will have opened the regular season with my Monday meeting of WRT 105, the first in our 2-course writing sequence here at Syracuse. To mark the start of the new school year, I invited everyone, a couple of weeks ago, to submit "lists of 5," partly in honor of Merlin Mann's often hilarious (and recently revived) 5ives. I have a couple of regular items as well, whose timing recommends them for this issue of Rhetsy, but following those, you'll find all sorts of interesting contributions from some of your fellow subscribers. Thanks to everyone who participated, and a happy new school year to all...
Oliver Sacks passed away this weekend, and there are several lovely tributes to him to mark his passing. The link above will take you to the Atlantic, where they've included a number of his recent pieces from the last few years, a selected reading list.
This week also marked the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and a few of my FB friends shared personal memories and reflections on that time and their direct experiences of it. John McQuaid's essay for Medium is a stark reminder of the fact that, as a country, we owed (and still owe) them better. "As a nation, we moved on — as is our wont — without any serious accounting of what happened, or accountability for it. Just as our pre-Katrina investigation pointed to some serious problems, but only scratched the surface of something rottener, the post-Katrina “process” (or whatever you want to call it) got nowhere near the knotty dysfunction that set us up for disaster."
There's no easy transition to make here, so I'll just introduce these by thanking everyone who participated in my little crowdsourcing experiment. I'm sure that I'll do something like this again, so don't feel bad if you missed this go-round. Also, I tried to be good about adding 5s as I saw them, but if for any reason I've missed yours, please just let me know, and I'll add it as a bonus track to a future issue. It wasn't intentional!
Before I plunge in, I want to highlight Jon Stone's list of 5 songs from The Cure's Disintegration, because it's in honor of Jenny Andrus, whose story many of us have followed this week. If you haven't heard about it, please follow the link to the page that her friends have set up on YouCaring, and please consider a small donation.