Big Thoughts

Photo by David Barrie

I know. I don’t usually philosophize on this blog.

Just to let you know that I’m okay, on Monday I’ll be back to tell you about the neighbor who has left her “welcome” snow man out all year. I was truly tempted to yank it out of the ground today and drive off. But that would be wrong. Almost as wrong as the fact that the snow man is wearing a straw hat.

Moving along …

Tonight I want to tell you a story.

A few years ago, I was taking a foreign language class taught by a teacher who was particularly popular for yelling at random students or sending timid first-year undergrads flying out of the country to avoid her pre-requisite language boot camp. (At one point I considered a move to the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros Islands.)

So one morning, we were sitting in class when a student received a call on his cell phone. There was a collective gasp that:

1. He would dare to bring his phone to this teacher’s classroom
2. He would actually excuse himself to answer it

When he eventually came back into the room, we all ducked in anticipation of what would happen next. It was like that spot in a movie where you can actually feel the flames or smell the gunsmoke. We were all going to experience what came next.

The teacher turned to him and said, “What was so important that you felt you could leave my classroom to take a call?”

To which he replied, “A plane just crashed into one of the Twin Towers.”

Our teacher was speechless. Our class was stunned. Our school was saddened. And tomorrow, 9 years later, I will marvel once again at the way our country was strong.

Many perspectives were changed that day. A lot of trite things suddenly looked less important.


  1. April Provenzano says:

    I remember feeling so vulnerable. That I could have died in my sleep and not have known there was an attack on the world.

    I had been working the 4pm to 4am shift as a nurse. When I fell asleep that night around 4am I couldn't have imagined what I would wake to.

    I remember waking around 11am. I turned on the TV because I wanted to know what the weather was going to be like that day. There was some "strange" TV show on, something about a plane crashing into one of the twin towers in NY and then another one. I changed the channel and I changed the channel again and I realized the same story was on every channel. I wouldn't find any news about the weather that day because we had been attacked by terrorists. I just remember thinking, what else is seriously going wrong that I don't know about? Are they outside my house? Are they attacking nearby? I'm sleeping through all of this?

    So vulnerable…

  2. I was at the dentist office. I watched the news during my exam. I remember feeling then what I feel now about the out of control wildfires terrorizing my hometown:

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