education · elementary education · school · teacher

Nine, Ten; A September 11 Story

As the summer goes on and nears its end for us teachers, I’ve been thinking about books to read to my students. I wanted to try to do at least one chapter book per month or perhaps two depending upon the length and time that we have.

I read a book, recently, that I’m thinking about reading to them. It’s called Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story. Now this book mainly talks about the lives of some children who were all affected in one way or the other by the attacks, but it talks mostly about the days leading up to the attacks. As an adult reading their individual stories, and the days and minutes got closer to the actual  event, I could feel my heart beating faster and the tension building because I knew what was coming.

I wanted to find a book for my students so that they could learn more of what it was like when these attacks happened. Everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when it happened, but we, as teachers, now live in a time where most of our students weren’t even alive when it happened. Most of my kids this past year were born in 2008 or 2009.

I think that this cotghereuld be a wonderful book to read in the days before September 11th, and then I’ll find another to read after because it’s mostly days that are all leading up to the attacks. Then it does a short chapter about one year after.nineten

This book could be great for teaching perspective and point of view as it follows four very different young adolescences days before the attack. One is a young Muslim girl in Ohio who struggles with fitting in, another is a young black boy who lives in Brooklyn whose absentee father angers him to no end, still another is a young white boy in Shanksville, Pennsyvania who recently lost his father and is struggling to come to terms with that, and the last is a young Jewish girl who just recently moved to California because of her mom’s job and her mom is on a last minute business trip to New York. As you read through each of their stories, there are moments in the timeline that definitely make your heart jump a bit because you know what will happen.

It is emotional and there will be tears, well, for you at least. The kids might not have that type of connection with the story because they weren’t born yet, but who knows.

Either way, I do recommend this story as perhaps an introduction to learning about September 11th.



The other day, as I was waiting for the train, I met a very interesting person. I was walking up the stairs to Track A on at the station, waiting for my train to the city, when I heard this old man laughing and telling some sort of story to this younger couple. I could that something was at least a little off with him though. The couple walked away and the old man, probably around sixty-five, kept talking. His speech was anything but clear and sentences would just drop. I think the only he knew for sure was that he had to get off at a particular station. He made his way over to where I was standing and asked me what time it was. This was his response after that, “8:04? Ok. Woah! Your eyes. You have my sister’s eyes! Those eyes… lemme see again!” So, I looked up again; this crazy old man was completely fixated with my eyes. “Again!” I went to go sit down on one of the benches, and he followed me. The other guy that was sitting on the bench got up and moved after he saw the old man sitting next to him. The old man waved his hand and, “Bah.” He continued to talk to me and was still extremely mesmerized by my eyes. “Those are my sister’s eyes. You’re my sister. I’m your brother. You don’t have to worry; I’ll protect you.” He said this all very quietly. He kept whispering.  “My name’s Ronnie. I gotta be quiet cause they’ll hear me. They’re always listening. What’s your name?” Not wanting to give out my actual name, I sputtered out the first name that came to mind, “Kat.” 
“Kat? Katherine? Katerina? Katerina. You’re nice. I like you.” He seemed pleased. “Alright, you’re my sister. We’re gonna get on the train and everything will be ok because you’ll be my sister. We’re awesome. We’ll be badasses!” Mind you, I’m twenty-two and this man is probably in his mid sixties, there’s no way anyone would believe him. Although, the badass comment intrigued me. He seemed to have been a “badass” in his time from what he was wearing. He had on a white and black flat brimmed hat that someone in my generation can typically be seen wearing, cargo shorts, a tan, gold studded vest, a pink plastic stethoscope, and black flip flops. Along with this man’s interesting dress, he was quite interesting looking himself. He had very old, blue eyes, with a yellow rings around the pupils, a hole on the right side of his nose, was about my height or shorter (which is about 5′ 5″), and surprising, he smelled pretty clean and was in decent shape for a man his age. There must be a place that he lives or someone that takes care of him. He told me that he always hangs out by White Castle and that I should come see him so he could give me a souvenir. Before he got off the train, he made sure to tell me that he loved me, but not the touchy kind of love. He just wants to protect me and be friends. When he saw a picture of my boyfriend, he was like, “Oh, he’s pretty. Is he nice? He is? He’s a good man? Oh, I can speak Turkish too: Merhaba.”
Now, this man did not necessarily seem dangerous, but I do not plan on visiting him by White Castle in the future. Although, I am very curious about him and his back story. I’d like to know what his life was like and how he wound up in this place physically and mentally. Ronnie’s definitely an oddball, but he must’ve had some interesting things happen to him in his lifetime. I’m also curious as to how he knows or if he really does know Turkish.


Following in the family’s footsteps…

I’m starting to sell Avon. My grandmother, my two aunts, my two uncles, and my mother have all sold and still sell Avon products. As a strapped for cash college student, I figured, “Why not?” I have nothing to lose and it could be a good opportunity for me to make some extra cash. So, anyone (in the United States that is) want to help me get started? Everything is online (make sure you see my name up there), ordering, the products; it’s pretty simple to navigate.There are really great sales going on right now because of the New Year and the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Looking through the things that they have, mostly cosmetics and perfumes  and colognes (I’m currently in love with Bon Jovi’s new perfume Unplugged which is also available as a cologne for men, Mark’s Celebrate, and Derek Jeter’s Driven is a great classic men’s cologne smells amazing), but also other interesting knick-knacks like jewelry and children’s products, the prices are pretty amazing, especially when you compare them to drug store prices such as CVS (I previously worked at CVS as a Beauty Associate so I can personally attest to the price differences). Growing up in an Avon household, I can also assure you that the products are of top quality, and I use many of them myself. The Mark products on the website are geared more towards our age group if that interests you more. Anyway, take a look and let me know what you guys think! Thank you all so much! Also, if you have any questions, let me know!
Please and thank you!