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Sunday, September 11, 2011


Me:  What a perfect morning, huh?  Gorgeous!
Co-worker:  I know...doesn't get much better than this.

Principal:  Whatever you do, don't turn the television on.
Me:  Okay, but I teach math...that won't happen.
Principal (uncharacteristically solemn):  Just don't turn it on.

Students:  What's going on?
Me:  I have no idea, but let's get back to this equation.  They'll tell us if there's anything we need to know...what should I do next with this variable?

Co-worker:  Planes have hit the Twin Towers...everyone is evacuating NYC.
Me:  Holy shit...small planes?
Co-worker:  No...jets.
Me:  This doesn't happen here.  Sounds like war.  This doesn't happen here.

Me:  I can't get through to my family.  The cell phones aren't working.
Co-worker:  They've shut them down in case the people who did this are trying to communicate with each other.
Me:  I know, but I need to know...they're in New York and Boston...I need to know.
Co-worker:  Keep trying.

Student:  I heard the World Trade Center was attacked.  Are they going to bomb the school?
Me:  I'm not clear on the details, but I don't think it was a bomb.  You're safe.
Student:  I'm Aunt works there.
Me (fighting tears):  I'm nervous too.

Secretary:  Tons of parents are coming to get their kids...let them go immediately when I call them down.  We have a lot of parents who work in the Twin Towers.
Me:  No problem, but don't they know their kids are safe here?  (that question definitely shows my naivety at the time...people want to be with their families in a time of extreme crisis...not their teachers)

Principal:  We're closing early...go home and be with your family.
Me:  I don't even know where my family is.

Boyfriend:  This is crazy.
Me:  I know.
Boyfriend:  My Mom has meetings there twice a week.
Me:  Was today one of those days?
Boyfriend (scanning TV for a familiar face):  I don't know.

I spent the rest of the day like most Americans...trying to find my loved ones and crying at what I was watching on TV.  I couldn't believe it.  It just couldn't happen to us.  It was all too much.

That day changed me, the way I did my job, my relationship, my view of what "safety" really definition of a perfect morning.

Never forget...9-11-2001.