Monthly Archives: September 2011

Ten Years Later: September 11, 2001 to September 11, 2011

I was in NYC for three months in my first year in graduate school at NYU summer 2001. It was a tough summer: a family tragedy left me speechless and I had a tough first semester while trying to process what my family was going through. My loan check was mailed to my home address in Atlanta, GA so I ran out of money in NYC since my parents couldn’t find my loan check. They were dealing with the effects of the tragedy with a family member. I will not go into what happened. I’m sure that it’s in the archives and can easily be researched in the newspapers. I will say that I hardly looked at the twin towers that summer since I was going to class everyday, finishing homework in the late hours of the night, and processing what was going on at home. It was a tough. My parents found my loan check stuck in a magazine in my room back home. I had found $60.00 on the street – I just had my head down and kept walking and found the money. It paid for some groceries that I was able to purchase to get me through until my check was mailed to me. I earned a B minus that summer which was the lowest grade that a student in graduate school could earn. A friend from Atlanta called me and it was comforting to know that Melissa had my phone number and remembered my brother and the tragedy that had happened then. Grief was so profound that I couldn’t walk. I had to just sit down where I was until I could move my feet and continue. When I returned from NYC to Atlanta on August 4th, I was driving to work on September 11th, trying to get a band teacher to teach the 5th grade students, since I was a primary music teacher and wanted to get band in our school. Realizing that it was not going to work, I remember teaching and hearing about the twin towers later that morning. I asked the counselor, Mrs. Oberg, “Are we going to war?” The fifth grade students were the kids who eventually fought for America in Afghanistan and Iraq. I thought that I had endured the worst part of the summer in New York in 2001. Apparently, this was the worst part of the summer of 2001. I went back repeatedly to NYC and did well in my classes. I loved my work and enjoyed my classes very much. I was single with no children and I didn’t have anything to concern myself about after that first summer in 2001. I was able to focus and travel to two study abroad programs: Cork, Ireland and London, England for several weeks. It was a fantastic experience. I have never traveled so much by plane between April 2001 through August 2006. That was my time to grow and learn about myself and grow in my work. Reflecting on that time period, I grieve, but I’m able to pray for myself and others. That period was the best and worst times of my life. I’m thankful that I’m alive and well from it.

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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Uncategorized