Cal did a beautiful 9/11 header on the tenth anniversary, I think, the Ls in College were the towers. Gorgeous.I admit I always feel uncomfortable in class on the anniversary. As an "adult," I feel like I should say something, but since my field feels unattached to geopolitical concerns, and my campus lies in a part of the country rather distant, I usually don't.My freshmen this year, though, and yours, were in Grade 1 in 2001. That's something to ponder, I think.
Oh, and there are scores of absolutely insane 9/11 posts from college students today, but I didn't have the heart to share the worst of them. This is merely a representative sample of what I've seen. I am the Tweetie-Domo after all, and oh, the pleasure it brings me.
I must be Satan, because I didn't talk about it today. I did talk about it last week,,though, because it's part of my lecture on the stepped-up pace of life (using Don DeLillo's essay on 9/11 "In the Ruins of the Future"). It didn't fit with today's discussion of Frankenstein. Though I guess I could have spent time in my other class today, but I didn't (and ran out of time anyway).I refuse to take part in the massive grief exhibition. The students in our classrooms now have almost no memory of what happened, while for us, the grown- ups, it remains painful. And it's worse if you have a personal connection to it. I don't think I need to cancel class, though.Thanks for being the Tweetie-Domo, as I'd imagine that some of the stuff you see is just too depressing for words.
I mentioned 9/11 today to my students in the context of talking about Syria. I wound up getting to a downer note about Syria, which prompted me to sarcastically wish my students a "Happy 9/11. Or sad one. Yeah."By the way, they've given me students.
Professors take the day off because they want students to get their bearings on campus or to commemorate the September 11 attacks. The common thread among the reasons is the decline of civilization.
It's been over a decade now. It's not a holiday. It's like Pearl Harbor Day or the Kennedy assassination--something no one who lived through it will forget, not something to minimize or qualify with "it was a tragedy, but"--but I don't think we need to interrupt class for it any more than we do for those other days when something terrible was perpetrated by evil people. I don't think continuing to wallow in it is healthy.
You must not be a "modern American"; every horrible thing has to be milked to death, especially if it happened in front of TV cameras. Terry P. was just touching the tip of the mawkish iceberg....if the US were like Russia, there would be a state parade in honor of the victims, and people would inwardly grumble, but let's not forget that patriotism in America is a private thing so people can "out-patriot" each other. So it's a perfect patrio-televisual shitstorm.
No, I'm not a modern American, more of a pre-Jacksonian.I don't agree that patriotism is the dominant emotion. It's more of a mawkish sentimentality, like when Princess Diana died.
I'm with @Flamen on this one. The idea of saying anything in class (let alone canceling it) did not cross my mind, and it's surprising to hear there are students who take a negative view of that. And I agree: the apparent need in young people for public, demonstrative patrio-sentimentality is a little shocking; maybe a millennial thing. It was a tragedy, sure, but it's history, and it's wrong to continue to use it for political purposes (which is part of what the "demonstrativeness" is about).
Who cancels class in honor of 9/11? I didn't cancel class ON 9/11. And I've got family there.
I have yet to start school so didn't cancel class, but I can't imagine canceling class for something like that. On the day of the event, we watched the footage in the student center and didn't have class, but now???
I didn't say anything, and I certainly didn't cancel class. Then again, I taught classes the day after 9/11/01, in the further reaches of a metropolitan area that was directly affected, and was the one explaining to students why I thought the school's decision to be open was perfectly appropriate (we were probably safer from terrorists -- certainly terrorists in planes, since the only ones flying overhead were US fighter planes -- than we'd ever been; we were far enough away from the devastation not to experience logistical difficulties; and students and faculty who were experiencing direct personal losses were, of course, free to take the time they needed before returning, as would be the case after any loss. Besides, if we all hide inside and refuse to get on with the important business of life, the terrorists win, because they've terrorized us, right?). 12 years on, I, too, am leery of overly dramatic/wallowing/sentimentalizing commemorations of the event (while entirely respectful of the quiet grief of those who experienced a direct loss, whether of an individual person or of their sense of safety and security, and/or of those who choose to volunteer in honor of those who died -- though I'd prefer they give up leisure hours rather than class time to do it). There's a lot to be said for stiff upper lips, carrying on, etc.**Hmm. . .it's interesting that "keep calm and carry on" is such a popular slogan right now, given that the culture generally tends in the direction of smothering tragedies/disaster/atrocities in piles of teddy bears and long-stemmed roses wrapped in plastic (cf. Newtown, where authorities finally had to ask people to stop sending stuff, lest they overwhelm paid staff and volunteers with better things to do than sort it and figure out what to do with it). I understand the desire to do something, anything, but the cultural forms we've evolved to assuage that impulse -- the teddy-bear memorials, the sports fundraisers -- have a tendency to take on a life of their own, only hazily connected to the original impulse.
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