I really enjoyed the exercise we did today in class. It was interesting hearing what stood out to classmates the most about where they live. It’s fascinating how memories can shape the way we see a situation and how they influence the way we interpret and explain to others. I began to think about how everyone explained their route home, and concluded it is almost as if someone else were to drive to my house, using the same roads, they would not notice the things I do. While thinking about explaining directions to my house I recalled landmarks that I didn’t even realize I remembered – like the corner house with a white fence or the hotdog cart parked near the gas station in the summer time.
From this weeks readings, I found Gerards essay very different – it is almost as if he is informing the reader on how to go about preparing for a hurricane because he has been through the “routine” one too many times. The way he described the scenario was horrific – nothing compared to what I have ever experienced.
I can understand Gerards frustration when he claims, “the worst is not captured by the awesome helicopter videotape of destruction” (229). It seems like the news stations and the rest of the world is only concerned of time prior to the hurricane and it’s immediate damage – less attention is given to the emotional effects, the long-term devastation that comes along with the damage. After hurricane Sandy, some neighbors on my block assessed the damage saying that it wasn’t that bad. However, as soon as they left our development – they gained a whole new outlook. Houses and roads were destroyed – trees that once stood secure were dismantled across lawns.
No one can ever properly plan for a hurricane. You may be able to heed the warnings and do as advised, but that does not guarantee any sort of closure. The pain and detachment from the repeated destruction of hurricanes can be felt throughout Gerards piece. The uncertainty and uneasiness that comes with not knowing, never gets simpler to bear. And although the devastation can be felt throughout this essay, you can find simple acts of hope and sincerity. In times like this Gerard describes that “we all help each other. Nobody has to ask” (225). While going through hurricane Sandy, I came to a similar realization. Although the hurricane caused so much destruction – I felt that it brought people closer together. Local stores that had power offered warmth and food; families that had generators offered whatever they had for neighbors, whether it was a home cooked meal or place to do laundry – it was almost pleasant interacting with people in such a way.