Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where Were You When The Lights Went Out?

                   Delores Fisher MA Lecturer SDSU Africana Studies Dept.

Last year I offered students in my Africana Studies Afras 120 class  at San Diego State University    an opportunity to share their initial reaction to the power grid fiasco that put most San Diegans without emergency backup generators in darkness.

It is more than timely to post now, in the middle of heat waves that continue to plague our nation and cause forced, as well as voluntary, power black outs. One student edited and revised her response essay with the option of additional editing if necessary. She accepted my offer to share her comments for Carpe Noctum viewers with the byline posting of her name. This is Angela's response to the question: "Where were You When the Lights Went Out?"


Angela Evers

AFRA 120
September 28, 2011

Where I Was When The Lights Went Out

I was at San Diego State University heading towards the trolley station after a long day of classes when the lights went out. Right as the trolley was suppose to come at its usual time, I enjoyed the police officers cluelessly circling around me trying to figure out why the elevators were not working until an MTS worker announced that the power was out. I didn't have to worry about parking permit but I had unfortunately dropped my car off at the trolley before the SDSU stop. Getting my car was the only thing I needed to go home. The trolley not running was my kryptonite. 

To get to my car, I needed another option. I decided to walk about three miles down Montezuma road because my friends were also in my position. Getting a ride did not seem to be a reality. Adding to my frustration, due to the blackout, was a sense of disappointment. I was looking forward to performing my last night as the lead character Tracy Turnblad in the musical "Hairspray." There was no make up show. Trying to make the best of the situation, I realized that being stuck at SDSU with other theatre majors would make situations like a blackout a great experience to joke around and have a good time instead of worrying.

Happily, an acquaintance who decided to try to drive home came to my rescue and  took me to my car. The freeway was not as bad as everyone made it out to be; however, I came across three car accidents on my way home.  I decided to spend the rest of the evening with friends instead of sitting in candle light feeling sorry for myself. One friend's mother works at Target in Mira Mesa. It was open until 11:00 that evening. Water and batteries were the only things sold out. Despite sadness over not getting to do the last show and curtain call, as a theatre major still in school, right at the end of a show run, it was nice to just take a break and relax .

With the moon as our light, catching up on our lives, it was nice to find time to see my friends. That night there were more stars than usual. 

People that evening seemed to worry about if they were going to work the next day, if, when, and how they would be able to use the internet again, or if they would be able to call as many people as they wanted when they wanted. Many did not seem to stop to just simply be thankful that it wasn't worse, to just . . . .breathe. 

They say that life doesn't stop for anyone and nowadays, even when we want to take a break, we often can't or don't.  It was nice to have all of San Diego take a break for once. I went home to a nice bed and was awakened at two in the morning with the electricity coming back on.

Thank you Angela,
Delores Fisher (If you have an energy grid collapse story to share, leave a comment.)

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