Remembering the breath-taking pain of 9-11 as I watch the horror on TV this a.m.
The Londoners seem decidedly calmer and more articulate than we were in NY and DC in their description of the chaos and violence. But the wounded look in their eyes, that loss of a sense of security in our already insecure world.....
I also remember teaching throughout the entire day (9-11), and by edit of the higher ups, we elementary school teachers had to pretend like nothing happened.
At the Blackboard Jungle, the eloquent teacher there updates us on her day with the summer school kids at her school outside of London:
There was an olde worlde, WWII feel to the news at first, as staff huddled in rooms trying to raise news on old fashioned radio sets, or compared notes on how to get through to friends and family working in the affected areas, most of whom had been confined to their offices all morning. We stood in silent circle to hear the prime minister's speech at noon.
Only later do we tell the children that something has happened. The government has advised that parents do not pick up children, that they do not travel, that children stay in schools as long as is practical.
We're safe here, on the south side of the river, but cheap housing and fast transport links into the city mean that many of our 1700 students have parents who work in the affected areas.
I was trying to get LBC radio to route through the electronic whiteboard when a student receptionist wandered in, saw what was on the screen and panicked. His mum works in Trafalgar Square, travels in from London Bridge. It's important to take worries seriously, while still playing down the possibility of disasters. The nearest blast to London Bridge was north of the station, I reassured him, whereas his mum would have to have travelled west. She's probably okay, but best not to ring her yet, while the network is down. Best to wait for her to contact you to tell you she's safe.
State of uncertainty.
None of us quite sure how to teach today, but all of us knowing that we need to keep the safety jacket of routine solid.
Just in case.
Just in case.