Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts on 9/11

I remember that on 9/11, I was just starting grad school. I had breakfast with the guy running the labs I would be TA-ing.

After that, I went to the computer lab and checked out my political sites - at the time I was checking Jewish World Review. As I only checked the editorials, which were usually refreshed around 4 am, I didn't read anything as the planes were crashing.

Whatever else I was doing, I didn't hear or see anything about the attacks. I then went to freshman biology, which I was shadowing to help me be a TA. I saw someone listening to the radio on headphones outside the classroom. I heard someone talking (rather than singing) in their headphones, and assumed that they were listening to a sports game (this was about 11 am, I think). Someone asked him what was going on, and they said that planes had crashed into the World Trade Centers and the buildings had collapsed. My first question was "are you serious?" or something like that. They either mentioned the Pentagon and the plane in Pennsylvania, or I heard about them later when the class was over (I stayed in the class and went through the whole class as if nothing were different - I think I was sort of shocked and decided to go through the class and the nsort out what had happened).

As I recall, we had a cookout day that day (we were still were doing the "initiation" events for new students) and I walked around eating some burgers that had been grilled. I emailed some friends about remaining calm and not assuming anything. The rest of the day I think I watched news reports, etc.

I recall hearing someone blaring "Born in the USA" from another dorm that evening (I lived in the graduate/non-trad dorm).

The most interesting thing about my experience, now that I think about it, is that I was spared a lot of the early confusion because all of the planes had crashed and the towers had collapsed by the time I knew of anything, so there were no more surprises.

More on this later.

That is all - for now.

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