(we will address my 1 month absence later)
10 years ago I was sitting in my 7th grade math class. We were taking our state standardized test, ISTEP. My teacher had on a radio station that only played comercials at 10 after (it was all classical music to help us think). In the middle of our test, words came over the radio. She quickly turned it off. We knew something was up. At our scheduled break we were all asked to leave the classroom, and the teachers closed the door behind them as we gathered confused in the hallway. Other students came down the hall saying buildings in New York were on fire.
Our break ended and with questions running through our head, we had to get back to our high stakes test. The minute we had finished our last test of the day, we turned on the TV. I think our teacher, Ms. Flowers, told us what was going on. However, none of us were listening- we were watching the replay of the 2nd plane crashing. We didn't move on that day, we didn't learn anything new in class, we didn't speak.
In November my family took our scheduled trip to NYC. I will never forget the smell of the buring flesh a month and a half later. Or the dust still covering the burnt buildings. Or the people weeping at the fences covered with missing persons posters.
I was 13 years old. My world changed forever. My town (one of the targets) changed forever. Life goes on each day. We went back to normal over time. Normal will never be the same. We cannot forget the people and the families, and the people who rushed to help.
My students are 6 and 7 years old. Out of 23, 2 students knew something about 9/11. It was challenging to put into words what today was for.