After 12 years, I have managed to "find" about one-half of the students I had in class at UTC Sept. 11. We watched together as the second plane hit the towers, in silence and shock, knowing that life had forever changed.
I was teaching a media writing class that morning, which began rather unremarkably. About 8:40 a.m., one of my colleagues came running down the hallway, yelling to us to turn on the TV, that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. We watched Matt Lauer in stunned silence for the next hour, until it was time for class to be over. I offered to the 15 or 16 sitting around the table that they could leave if they wished. None did.
I met with some of those students last week. Now in their early 30s, they have collectively accomplished a great deal. One has security clearance in the Air Force. Another is a development director at a nonprofit outreach. Another is a communications director at a major company. We share a connection and one I believe is important. They agreed and we’ve vowed to find others who were in the class (records do not go back that far) and meet up once a year to share memories and life stories.
As I left them, I felt a huge sense of relief. Relief that they were all doing well. Relief that I made it to another school year. Relief that life has gone on, albeit in a very different way. As one of them said, we watched together as the world tried to make sense of an event that made no sense.
I hope next year to reunite with even more of them so they can share that collective sense of relief with us all.
Betsy Alderman, UTC Department of Communication
The opinions expressed in this editorial belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.
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