Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wake up call

  So I'm sitting in the living room, I've just finished watching Doctor Who, I've checked emails and replied to the important work-related ones, checked and updated my lesson plans for the week. My head is killing me due to a combination of a lack of sleep, the start of a cold, not taking a break all day and a re-emergence of my motion sickness. By this point I've been home for ages, had dinner and I'm absolutely ready for bed, I look at the clock and's 8:20!!

   What??? How can it possibly still only be 8 o'clock? Why is it still too early to go to bed? And that is when I realised, I need something to do in the evenings. I'm spending all my free periods at work planning and grading and such so that I don't have to bring anything home but I'm not taking advantage of the free time I have in the evenings. So I'm making a resolution; I'm going to have productive evenings (I admit it won't be every night, I still need my lazy days). No real idea what I'll do exactly, but I'm determined to do something dammit! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011


    On this day 10 years ago, I was on my way to an O-level Maths class on a Tuesday afternoon . When I left the house, everything was as it ever was, by the time I'd got to school (about 15 minutes away) the first tower of the World Trade Center had been hit. We were herded up to class, not thinking too much about it, it was a tragic accident after all, what else could it be?

    After setting us problems on the board, our teacher stepped out of the class and went downstairs to check the news on the television the school gatekeeper had been watching when we arrived. I remember the stunned look on his face when he came back, 'Remember that plane in New York? It seems it wasn't an accident, another plane hit the second tower and one hit the Pentagon.' I remember how quiet we all went until one girl said that her brother was in Washington and another remembered that one of the biology teachers had mentioned her brother was travelling to New York at some point.

    As Arab teenagers that day, we knew things were never going to be the same again. If we had faced problems getting visas or when travelling before, we knew it would be 10 times as bad now. And it was. It still is sometimes. We still find ourselves apologizing for the actions of 19 men to whom we never gave the right to speak in our names. We explain that no, not all Arabs and Muslims want to kill Americans and bring down Western civilization.

   3000+ people died senselessly  that day, tens of thousands of other in the wars and attacks on civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq and a whole faith and it's followers have become hated (by some) and feared. Al-Qaeda claimed to have carried out these attacks in the name of Islam and God and yet it made life for Muslims (and people who look 'Middle Eastern') difficult and downright dangerous.

   So who gained anything that day?

PS: I have absolutely no recollection of what we were doing in Maths class that day!