Monday, September 11, 2006

Memories from 5 years ago

I got up early this morning to walk, and since it was pouring - I opted for my treadmill. I turned on the TV and decided I wanted to watch some of the Sept. 11th memorial coverage. One of the news channels was playing the Today show coverage from that day. Since I wasn't able to watch TV until the evening of 9/11/01, it was eerie to me to hear them talk about it, not knowing what was coming - speculating after the 1st plane hit, and then watch things go from bad to worse (as they see the 2nd plane hit, find out about the attack on the Pentagon, and then watch the towers fall). It reminded me of how unfathomable it all was at the time.

And then on my drive into work, a couple radio stations played some of those songs where they dub audio clips of people talking over the music. Usually I think those are borderline cheese, but today not so much.

I started to remember that day...and I wanted to put a little bit of it down here while I was thinking about it. I know everyone has their stories of where they were and how it affected them. This is mine.

I was teaching horn lessons at a private school in Champaign from 7:30am til almost 9:30am. I got in the car to drive back to campus; the radio was on the local Christian station, and they were playing some super peppy Point of Grace song. When the song was over, the DJs just started re-capping all the morning's events - and I was just shocked. I remember driving onto campus and thinking how weird it was that everything that I could see looked the same, but everything I was hearing was utterly foreign.

I'm still amazed they didn't cancel classes that day. They cancelled them on Wednesday, but not on September 11th itself. I had orchestral conducting at 10am. No one was paying any attention. Then master class at 11am. Kaz explained that people could reschedule their lessons for the afternoon, but since I was actually prepared I decided to go ahead. We ended up spending a lot of it talking about New York (since he had lived there for several years). He gave me a Manhattan geography lesson using his shoe.

I hadn't reflected on it in a while, but this morning - and really throughout the day I started to remember the rest of that week - and really the rest of that month. The many many emotions - and the feeling of uncertainty. It's one of the only times in life when I've experienced an event that was so communal - everyone was dealing with it. For the rest of the month (at least), every event was in light of that day. Even television stations played alternate programming (it's a funny example, but I remember MTV only showed a handful of videos over and over. That Incubus one where the guy does the pencil drawing was one of them...). Things eventually got more "normal" - but then again - not completely...

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