The Autumn of My Discontent
2001-09-12 02:31:04 (UTC)

9/11: Terrorist Attacks on US

Today was completely surreal. When I woke up I felt
different even before I'd been informed of what happened.
There was a strange energy in the air. The sky was
overcast; maybe that had something to do with it. Maybe
not. I arrived at my Forensics class at about 7 AM to find
everyone huddled around a blaring radio. I put my bag down
and asked someone what was going on. They told me an
airplane had crashed into the world trade center in New
York, and one of the towers had been completely destroyed.
One of the coaches came into the class and said the
classroom next door had a television set if anyone wanted
to watch. Most of the class left to go watch the TV,
including myself. What we arrived to see was the one
remaining tower still standing but on fire. People
whispered a little but mainly kept quiet. Within a few
minutes everyone quickly got silent as on live television
all of us witnessed the second tower crumble and fall to
the ground. A few people gasped, a few asked if it had
actually happened, most just sat and stared. Even the man
who had been narrating the news story fell quiet for a few
moments. At that point I decided I'd had quite enough of
all of it, and went back to my Forensics class. The radio
was still on, but at least there was no television. I
called my house because I figured my dad and stepmom hadn't
heard yet. My stepmom answered the phone and I told her in
the most believable voice as possible what had happened.
When she finally figured out I was joking she sounded very
sad and I could hear her yelling in the background for my
dad to turn on the TV, then she hung up. I sort of just
stood there for the rest of the period. My friend asked me
if I needed a hug, I said sure. The bell rang and I went to
my first period class, expecting the scheduled test to have
been cancelled or at least postponed. It wasn't. The class
went on as if nothing had occured. The instructor didn't
say anything. I told him as I walked in that D.B.Q.'s
(Document Based Questions) felt pretty trivial right now.
He said yes and then gave me the test. I tried to
concentrate on it, but it wasn't easy with a newschannel
blaring out the latest tragedies in the next room. The bell
rang and I hoped second period would be better. My English
teacher at least acknowledged the occurence. She said after
we were done reading we could write down whatever we
thought at the moment, and then we'd have an open
discussion on what had happened. The discussion (which was
more of a debate, really) was pretty much what I expected
out of the people in the class. Some blamed the Middle
East, some thought it was some anti-government nut in the
US, some went as far as to blame Clinton, I kept quiet. I
did venture to point out that it was somewhat ironic that
all of this occured right after that big tax rebate. Oh
well. Then a boy sitting a few seats behind me yelled out
that he hoped Bush would bomb whoever was responsible (I
think he mentioned Iraq or Iran.) A few boys in the class
hollared at this remark; I thought it was quite macrabe. I
then went to my Algebra class, wondering what
interpretation would take place here. We did talk about it
a little, although it wasn't in the context I would have
expected. Most of it was speculation on how many people had
died and how many planes had gone down and how the West
Coast had better watch out. Some people mentioned that they
weren't at all concerned because the United States could
kick anybody's ass. I didn't think ass-kicking was at all
relevent to the people who had died earlier. P.E. was
surprising. They made us dress out, but instead of running
the whole period (as I would have expected from our Nazi-
esque teacher) we went into the wrestling room and watched
a small television with a national station on that was
covering the story. They told us not to make any noise
because this was something we would remember forever, but
most people were pretty loud anyway. Lunch came and went, I
spent it in my Forensics class listening to the radio with
a couple coaches and some students. Everyone was in shock.
Some people shared stories about how they had premonitions
about all of it and how they felt different this morning
before they found out and how they had dreams predicting
what happened. I guess that's sort of relevant, although I
didn't think it helped the people in the World Trade Center
or the Pentagon. My French class was horrific. It was like
everyone was in denial and didn't want to think about it,
because we spent the whole period learning different ways
of telling the time in French. The bell rang. I left.
Chemistry was pretty much the same. I couldn't at all
concentrate because everything seemed so trivial. How will
my knowing how to carbon-date elements help those people in
New York and Washingtion? The bell rang, I left and met a
friend near her class. We hugged and exchanged a few words
about how terrible it all was, but throughout the whole day
I had the feeling that no one really understood how serious
it all was. I didn't want to hear people laughing today.
OH - and the biggie - the date. September 11, 2001.
9/11/2001. 911. Get it?