1. Hurricane Katrina received a lot of media coverage.
What was your experience with and reaction to the disaster?
Does your perspective change by viewing the event through the Zeitoun family's eyes?
If so, how?
I remember when Hurricane Katrina was happening, it was during a major part of my life.
I was in the process of moving from Grand Rapids ,for which I lived my whole life, down to the twin cities. This was pretty heart breaking to me. I was leaving the only people in my life that I knew to go to a place that seemed big, scary, and unwelcoming. Of course, by now i've adjusted and now love it here because I worked hard to become friends with some of the best people I know. I had good times with them, connected with them, and next thing you know, I'm off to college. That is what my focus was for those four years. Not one bit of it was watching the news or learning in depth about current events. I of course knew about Katrina, but only the basic synopsis of what was happening. Everything else I heard about was all the second-hand information from the others around me. "The government didn't react well enough." "Those people in New Orleans are never satisfied. All they want is more.' "George Bush doesn't care about black people. This is why he let it happen." These were all statements i've heard about the scenario from other people. None of it was actual fact-based knowledge that was any use to me. So when I say I knew nothing about Katrina, I mean I knew nothing. I didn't know how to react to it because everyone around me is giving different ideas about what is really happening and why it was happening that it all just became a big blur. I officially just did not care about what was going on down there, all I wanted to do was rebuild my social life that was taken from me. Now that I actually am doing research on the subject, however, everything about my feelings toward it is changing. Especially with the story of Zeitoun, it is opening my eyes to things I didn't know was actually going on down there. All the crimes and the imprisonments. Now that I experienced an actual personal story from one of the people who was in the storm, and didn't just sit and watch it on TV, changing my reactions on some of the things. It actually feels like an impacting event now, instead of something I grew up listening to other people talk about what they saw on TV.