September 11, 2011 at 6:58 am (Uncategorized)

On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was fervently wishing that something would preempt the pre-calculus quiz that was scheduled for third period.  I’d been in this situation many times before and my wishes were never answered, but that day would be different.  I got to my pre-calculus class and our teacher shared the news of the attacks with our class.  Nobody knew quite what was going on, and our teacher took the time to try to answer our questions.  I remember him being condescending and not particularly sympathetic, but in retrospect I imagine it’s got to be a pretty tough feat trying to make sense of a situation like that in front of a group of 16 and 17 year-olds.  The quiz was postponed, which given the circumstances, made me feel like crap.  The one time I’m let off the hook for lack of preparedness and it’s because of the deadliest attack on American soil.  I don’t remember if I ended up studying for the postponed quiz.



  1. Ellen Wohlberg said,

    I was in calculus class when my teacher told us. I remember that my first reaction was, ‘This has to be some kind of joke,’ although I have no idea why I thought a teacher would joke about terrorists flying a plane into a building.

    • dyan f. said,

      Can I interview you for my forthcoming book, “How One Day Ruined Calculus For a Generation”?

  2. Ellen Wohlberg said,

    Haha yes! I think the thesis of it should be, “So I know you all think 9/11 was bad for you, but I’m going to shed some light on how horrible it was for a number of once-calculus-loving students.”

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