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Sep 11, 2011

I know the future

Like everyone else, I remember the morning of 9/11/01 very well. I was teaching two Foundations classes back to back; it was at BGSU in Ohio. The second plane hit the building at the end of the first class, and during the break, the scale of the event has began to sink in. I told students that if they want they can stay in class and watch the news with me, or go home. I remember telling the students that many people died today, and please think about them and their families.

Two recessions and two wars later, I keep thinking about both fragility and resilience of the human civilization, and this fine country in particular. That nine guys with box cutters can rattle it to this degree is scary and disconcerting. The fact that that the Lower Manhattan now has more businesses - small and large - than before is also quite astonishing. I just came back from the PARCC institute, where people from 24 states enthusiastically and systematically work on new common curriculum standards for children. This somehow impresses me even more, maybe because it was going on exactly ten years after 9/11.

Educators are optimistic not just by inclination, but also by job description. We do things that usually take years and decades to materialize, and we never quite know how exactly our work is going to turn out. We cannot believe that the world is about to end – according to Mayans, or if the Rapture is just around the corner. No one knows the future, except for us. The future has many names and faces; it brings us homework and asks us questions. It wants a better grade, and it cannot quite get things right away, but we can help. But it is quite real; you can look it in the eye.

1 comment:

  1. I like this post a lot, and I love the final paragraph in particular. Thank you for this, Sasha. "No one knows the future, except for us."