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Tag: berklee in new orleans (Page 2 of 5)

berklee in new orleans

Berklee NOLA: Day 2 and 3

Lady from Allen Street (sarcastic and with a smile): “What are you going to do when the rivers of the Mississippi floods us again?!”

Michael Heyman: “We’ll come back and build some more!”

This is the spirit that my team has been clenching onto this week. It’s been two days … we’re tired yet jovial, exhausted yet determined. I think it’s safe to say that we are facing one of the biggest challenges in our lives. For me, I’ve done mostly everything in my life for my own survival … for my own pursuit of knowledge, enrichment, and growth. But standing on the grounds where people have died for much less, and driving through the Ninth Ward by the levees, has really made me rethink everything I’ve done for myself up until this week.

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what is knowing?

this morning, our fearless leader mike popped out the side door of the house and told us how psyched he was that he could trust us to handle the concrete on our own. michael, magen, corinto and i looked at each other, like, “is he talking to us?”

he was. apparently, now we know concrete. in the words of magen tracy, “it kind of made my day.”

corinto posing with the rebar for our concrete

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Day 1: Cement, paint, and shovels


It’s day one on the worksite and we managed to finish a cement pad before lunch. I never realized the amount hard labor involved in pouring cement. Now I know. Trust me, my whole body knows.

We continued work on the inside of the house in the afternoon and also did plenty of painting of plywood for the homeowner to use in the event of another storm. Leigh sacrificed herself toward the end of the day to finish up the painting. It was in direct sunlight and must have been brutal. Thanks Leigh!

While Leigh was baking in the sun, I helped dig out holes in the back for the AC support structure. Hard work, but at least it was in the shade! After that, we measured windows and began cutting the trim for the window sills. Tomorrow we’ll finish those up and maybe start on the rest of the trim for the interior. Who knows what else is in store?

So far New Orleans has been incredible! I’m far too tired to get into specifics but I will post more about the food and culture when I get a chance.

Introducing 2011 Gracenotes Sponsorship Recipients

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Berklee’s Gracenotes Sponsorship to New Orleans.   Thanks to the generous support of the college, the Gracenotes Volunteer Committee is able to send a group of staff and faculty members to New Orleans to contribute to the rebuilding efforts, which continue even today–six years after floods resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the city.

I am delighted to join my colleague, Leigh McLaren, in leading this year’s team. We leave Boston on Monday, May 9 and will be on-site with  New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity from Tuesday, May 10 through Saturday, May 14.  Over the course of next week, members of the team will post photos and more about our experience.

Recipients of the 2011 Berklee Gracenotes Sponsorship
Gilly Cantor
Corinto Cevallos
Joe Chinni
Michael Heyman
Magen Tracy
Marian Wilson

New Orleans press

Berklee volunteers’ good deeds in New Orleans didn’t go unnoticed. (I hope they went unpunished!) A number of media outlets covered their work building houses in Habitat for Humanity’s Musicians’ Village.

Read posts from the trip.

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