I teach now…
Since the 5AM hour (Pacific Time), of September 11, 2001, my life has changed. Having recently moved from Manhattan to Los Angeles, I felt my whole world was lost in that hour. I was at the gym, when news reported a plane hitting the first tower. Having been a citizen of New York, I remembered the World Trade Center had already fallen victim to explosives and terrorist threats; I knew this had to be an accident, as lightning doesn’t strike twice…or does it?!
After the second plane hit, my body catapulted off that recumbent bike, to call home. All signals were busy. All friends were unreachable. Most importantly, my mom was inaccessible. Fortunately, my friends in the towers made it out alive (but not unscathed); my mom was still in midtown Manhattan, but “safe,” as far as she knew. It was almost a day before I reached her. It was days before I reached the others, as getting through by phone was next to impossible, and email wasn’t providing any solace. My mom was safe though, and that mattered most to me.
After September 11th, things came into perspective. I changed careers, by going back to school and getting a teaching credential, as the BS in management wasn’t providing the personal fulfillment I had envisioned. I decided to simplify my life. I quit my job. I moved to a small, rural area in Northern California. I spent exactly 10 months there. I completed my teaching credential, but realized this change-the rural lifestyle-wasn’t for me! Despite my efforts to adapt to my new environs, there was no changing the fact that I was getting the hell out of Humboldt County! But I had changed.
I moved. I am still a city person, but I am different. One event, even though survived, changed how I felt about family, friends, and my mission in life. Compassion and consideration towards others became stronger. A drive to make a change in the world, became so forceful that it couldn’t be stopped…so, I teach now.
Even though I am not in the trenches, fighting the actual wars, in which our country has been engaged for many years, I change lives in the classroom. I teach; therefore, I fight for education, equality, the end of racism, discrimination, and hatred. My goal for my students, their parents, and myself is not to judge anyone, based on their color, citizenship, religious bent, etc….as it is imperative to judge people on their individual character. The terrorists are to blame for that horrendous act of violence-not strictly a religious or ethnic group. Accountability for actions is paramount. I teach accountability. I teach now.
This is my 9th year teaching…I plan to retire from this profession. Because of the life-changing events of September 11, 2001, I teach. For those who say, “Those who can’t do, teach,” I counter with, “Those who can teach, do more.”
I teach now.