It was my third week of teaching middle school language arts, after a decade working at a newspaper. The eighth-grade clerk told me before first period that something was happening, so I turned on the news and watched it with my class.
We watched the planes hit, over and over again. Saw the first tower collapse right before our eyes. Thirty-five normally wild, rambunctious 13-year-olds were stunned into silence.
Then one of them asked, “Are we at war, Mrs. Brassfield?”
I taught language arts. Commas and verb tenses. Similes and metaphors. Not war.
“I don’t know,” I answered. “I don’t know.”
--from It's Either Sadness or Euphoria