Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago

I remember that I wore a bright yellow polo to school that day. Yellow is my favorite color so it made me happy to be wearing that polo. I remember parking in Klein's parking lot and getting to school at the same time as my best friend Jenny. I remember looking up and noticing how beautiful the sunrise was.

I was a junior in high school. In my 1st period class, I remember hearing some boys talking about World War III but I thought maybe something terrible was happening in another country that I didn't know about. There seem to be wars all the time in other countries that I don't always know about.

In 2nd period, World History with Mr. Cullen, they came over the loudspeakers and said that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I had no clue what they were talking about or what the World Trade Center was. I knew something had happened and it was significant, but it still didn't resonate.

In 3rd period physics and 4th period pre-cal, it was business as usual. There were some murmurings here and there but I still didn't know what was happening. At lunch, I remember some people in the drama hallway trying to call parents who were working in NYC.

5th period choir was the first time I saw footage. I couldn't believe what had happened and that I had been ignorant all day of how severe this all was. I remember someone in choir had a sister that worked at the Pentagon so he was worried about her. At the end of the period, our chaplain prayed and we stood in a circle and sang patriotic songs. That was when I finally cried.

6th period was theater production. The lights were off except for the makeup lights and we again just watched the news. By this point, I was personally overwhelmed so I remember laying my head down for most of the period.

At the time, my brother was in 2nd grade. I don't remember who told him but I do remember talked to him about it and wanting him to understand what happened in a way that wouldn't unnecessarily scare him. I had a half whiteboard/half cork-board in my room. I believe it was a few days later when he came into my room when I wasn't home and drew a picture of the towers, the date, and a message about what happened. I remember how much that touched my heart and that I never erased it. It stayed in my closet but since I moved to college, into an apartment, and now into a house, I'm not sure if it is still there.

Looking back, I do wish my other teachers would have talked about it, but I know that they were doing what they thought was right. I was asked in one of my education classes what I would have done if I was teaching that day and I'm really not sure. When it comes to smaller kids, would it have been right to show them the footage? I don't think there is a right or wrong answer.

I don't really remember much about the next day. I do remember my AP English teacher let us have the period to talk about what happened. I'm really glad she let us do that and I always enjoyed the discussions in that class. I also remember that later in choir, they posted a list of everyone that died.

Whether we like to believe it or not, we have little control over when our life ends. What we DO have control over is how we act while we are still here. I personally try to follow the example of Jesus. While I do not always succeed (and MANY times fail), I try to see others through God's eyes and remember that they are his children and treat them accordingly. Imagine if everyone in the world did that......