Remembering September 11

Eleven years ago today I was a college student, renting a two bedroom on the North side of Chicago. I was sleeping when my roommate, a New Yorker, ventured into my room and shook me awake, crying, “World War III!! It’s World War III!” Confused by the flickering lights on the television, still half-asleep, that “bullet-proof, untouchable Americanism” I was brought up with (unknowingly) suddenly became quite known to me. The L-train wouldn’t venture downtown. Classes were cancelled. Everyone waited and watched, wondering if their city was next.

Having traveled through Israel last month, meeting renowned journalists like Aluf Benn and Khaled Abu Toameh, I was constantly aware of how much historical and political knowledge (globally speaking) I lack and the luxury and challenge I have, as an American, to overcome that ignorance. Upon returning, I’ve registered for a free, 12-week course offered through Coursera by Princeton University, History of the World Since 1300. This online class has over 30,000 registrants from around the world, gathering and communicating online twice a week. Fascinating to me is how digital technology is continuing to evolve, allowing us to connect and learn globally from top universities and each other through start ups like Coursera and Audacity in ways few of us ever could before.

What is your memory of September 11?

What are you doing this year to continue your learning and professional development?


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