Sunday, September 11, 2011

In English Class

I wasn't going to write about September 11th today.

I actually was going to prattle on about dinning with zebra butts, but that post can wait for another day.

See, I don't like getting carried away with media hype, and considering I'm part of the media (a teeny, tiny part) I was actually dreading this weekend and all the memorials and specials.

Then on Friday we had a moment of silence at the school where I teach, and all the administration took turns reading a passage about what happened on 9/11/01.

And it all came rushing back. When the announcements had finished, all 20 of my freshman students looked at me expectantly, as I usually say something after the announcements have completed.

I was in 10th grade English, which was held in a tiny classroom in the library.  The librarian came down to our classroom to tell us that "something was happening" at the World Trade Center in NYC. Our teacher wouldn't let us put the TV on, even though we begged. So, one at a time we took turns sneaking out of the room (our teacher was older and not always wise to our shenanigans) to watch the TV in the library. It was "my turn" when the first tower collapsed. I will never forget that moment, just as my Mom will never forget where she was when JFK was assassinated.

At this point I got choked up, which I think shocked myself more than my students.

The rest of the day we didn't actually have classes, we just watched CNN on all the classroom TVs. I remember being scared, which I scolded myself as being dumb, since no one was going to bomb or crash a plane into our tiny, rural school. I was scared because none of my teachers could tell us what was going on. The holders of all the answers didn't know what to tell us, because they were just as rattled and frightened too.

When I asked my class how old they were on 9/11/01, they replied they were 6 years old. Most of them said they didn't even remember what had happened that day. I told them they were lucky.

But I think I am the lucky one, because I still understand why we are/were at war with Iraq and why we are in such a huge financial mess as a country. I might not like the actions our government leaders have always chosen, but I will never forget the moment that started it all.

Love to all,
~the thoughtful gal, Jess


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