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September 10, 2003

Be careful out there.

Sherm, my friend who wants you to think he's a bad-ass, wrote this essay about coping with 9-11.

"I remember so much of that morning..."

Since I don't watch tv or listen to the radio and no one mentioned it on my bus ride from West Berkeley, I didn't find out until a student called me in my office and told me. I remember not believing him, and humoring him while I pulled up the Boston Globe's website to prove him wrong -- except he was right. The twin towers were gone and the Pentagon was burning. And somewhere in a field in Pennsylvania, we had new heroes to honor.

On that day I remember hugging a lot of people and I remember crying. And later on, after that day, I remember how everyone seemed kinder to each other. I remember how proud I was to work in Social Welfare after getting an email from a student. SW 102 was scheduled to meet on 9/11, and Prof Grossman cancelled the lecture and led a discussion -- letting students pour out the emotions that were overwhelming them. In the email student wrote me about how valuable and precious Prof Grossman's class was to her -- that the rest of her instructors just tried to ignore the horror and the tragedy, while her Social Welfare class addressed it and provided comfort and relief. That email became a way for me to define Social Welfare to those who seem confused about our major. Students and faculty in Social Welfare are the ones who hurt at the sight of the homeless, and the abused child, and lonely elderly -- but they don't turn their eyes away and pretend it isn't there. They focus on that sight and they help. They work to make it better -- both solving the immediate harm and also working to prevent anyone else from suffering from that harm.

Thursday might be tough for some of you. I know it will be tough for me. Remember to love each other, be nice to each other, and hug each other during the day. 

Posted by jghiii at September 10, 2003 12:03 PM
Posted by: beth on September 11, 2003 08:41 AM


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