Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco died August 18; she had been suffering from ocular melanoma. Whether or not one agrees with her politics, pretty much everyone will concede that Governor Blanco was a class act. She was always gracious and kind, and her love for the state of Louisiana was never questioned. She caught a … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Medical Marijuana Eases Blanco’s Last Days
The new school year is now underway and with it come all of the typical classroom management issues that frustrate many teachers, especially at the middle and high school level. One of those problems is cell phones. Since the cell phone has become as common as the Number 2 pencil teachers have been struggling to … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Locking Up Cell Phones
By: Pat Austin ARNAUDVILLE, LA – I’m not Catholic by faith, but this is the coolest thing I’ve seen lately. Just beautiful. Each year on August 15, Acadians participate in Fete-Dieu du Teche, which is “a 38-mile, all-day boat procession down the Bayou Teche that celebrates the arrival of the Acadians more than 250 years … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Fete Dieu du Teche
Hold a kind thought for teachers in the next few weeks as we head back to school. In our district, we start tomorrow – two days of motivational and procedural in-service training (again) and then kids mid-week. This will be year 24 for me and I’m pretty in-serviced out, if you know what I mean, … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Back to School
By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – I’ve often said that I don’t think Louisiana’s incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards faces much of a challenge his upcoming bid for re-election, but I may have been wrong. I’ve spent the past few days in south Louisiana talking to people who think Edwards may not be on as solid … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Trial lawyers make for campaign issues
By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – I was on the road last week and unable to post; we had a “hurricane” headed our way at the time, and even though I’m in northwest Louisiana and fairly unaffected, they were predicting torrential rains here, then they quickly backed of to oh, say maybe an inch or two. … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: The Next Big One
By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT -- Are y’all on Goodreads? I am, but I’m not sure why. I think I signed up so I could get reading suggestions from my friends, but I suppose I don’t need Goodreads to do that. This year everyone was signing up for the 2019 Reading Challenge. For some reason I … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Need Book Recommendations
By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – It has been a fairly quiet campaign season in Louisiana with regard to the October gubernatorial election, but pundits expect that to change in the next week or so. Word is that the campaigns of all three candidates will kick into high gear after July 4. Securely out in front … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: On Nonsense Polls and the Governor’s Race
By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT -- Is it just the 24/7 news cycle or has the world gone crazy? It seems like every news source I look at lately is filled with reports of violence and people getting shot. Here in Shreveport, every single day (and NO! I’m not exaggerating!), someone gets shot. My husband now … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Is Violence the New Norm?
By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT -- The floodwaters along the Arkansas River, the Missouri, and the Mississippi, are receding but the damage is done. We have just returned from a two-week trek through the Midwest that took us through Fort Smith, Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa, and what we saw along the rivers and in the heartland … Continue reading Report from the Midwest: Flooding, Farming, and Famine
By: Pat Austin ARNAUDVILLE LA -- As preparations are made to open the Morganza Spillway this week to relieve flooding on the Mississippi River, residents on Henderson Lake in the Atchafalaya Basin were cautiously optimistic that inundation would not be as catastrophic as first feared. “The water level here on the lake has actually gone … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Opening the Morganza Spillway
By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – Today is Memorial Day: the day we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service for our freedom. Certainly there are many local activities, ceremonies, and remembrances around the country, and while many see the day is the official kickoff to summer, it is important to take time … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Memorial Day 2019
By: Pat Austin Kaalas Roots after graduating with honors, May 18, 2019. (Photo used with permission from Rashad Johnson/KSLA News). BOSSIER CITY – This is what a miracle looks like. I’m a pretty private person with regard to religion – it’s just how I was raised, but I know what a miracle looks like when … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: I Believe in Miracles
By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – It’s been a rough couple of weeks here in Louisiana – at least for me. Nothing insurmountable, but it seems that it doesn’t take much these days, at this time of year, to throw me off my game. Two weeks ago, after a book signing event, I pulled some papers … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Teacher Blues
By: Pat Austin BATON ROUGE – There’s a case out of Baton Rouge that might be interesting to watch: a former LSU professor has asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to review her case. Teresa Buchanan taught elementary education students with a specialization in early childhood education. She was terminated in 2015 for “using … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Free Speech or Sexual Harassment?