My day: 9/11 & Becky

I can’t help but wonder if Themis Chronopoulis, professor of the rise and decline of urban cities, decided to show the film on the construction of NYC intentionally today. With several shots of the lower Manhattan skyline, coupled with higher-than-the-rest-of-the-month estrogen, I found myself misty eyed more than once at from 9:50 to 11:10 this morning.

NPR was discussing if we talk too much or too little about the occurrence seven years ago today. I was on a ten minute ride to work from campus, or I would have found out peoples’ opinions on the subject, but it made me wonder what my own opinion was. At first thought, “just enough” came to mind. But I’m not sure. And I still don’t know. Who’s to judge what’s enough or what’s too much? For me? I don’t think I hear about 9/11 all that often. However, I don’t know that if I did, I wouldn’t think it was being harped upon.

On my ride back to school from work, I caught a bit on school segregation. Popular theory of [the caller] was that high schools and colleges had racially segregated cliques. I immediately called my own high school days to mind, in an attempt to recall what it was like at good ol’ LHS. But I don’t actually recall what life was like then; I spent a lot of time avoiding that place. So I thought about the campus I was on my way to, and I came to the conclusion that segregation isn’t really an issue at SBU. Most people are pretty friendly with one another, regardless of ethnicity or nationality. I think, as the host of NPR commented, colleges have been working at creating environments that encourage mingling.

What I had to say about it (out loud, to the car stereo) was that we’ve had this problem since Brown vs. the Board of Education and the military had to be called to assist in desegregation. Today’s parents aren’t used to it and therefore don’t encourage their children to have friends of all nationalities. And it won’t be easy for them to either, unless they are made comfortable with the concept. Is it possible? Probably. But I don’t think it can be accomplished in the next few years, or even decade.

In other news, Becky, a former waitress co-worker of mine, came into my office today. At first glance I thought maybe she had a speech problem I never noticed. Or maybe a child (it’s entirely plausible from what I recall of her personality from back in the Bennigan’s days) with a tongue thrust…who knows? Instead, in making my way around the office wall to give her an “OMG! I haven’t seen you in forever!” hug, I noticed the pamphlets in her hand, and her male companion. Wishing she had noticed the “No Soliciting” sign (in hot pink) on the door, I asked what she was doing there. “Uh, we have spa packages, actually,” she replied. Through an obviously forced smile I reminded her of the notice on the door and told her she couldn’t be there. I noticed a self-righteous switch in her attitude. I asked a few questions about the biz and she felt the need to toss in how much “more money” she makes than the cranky people that throw her out of their offices. She also showed me all of the sign-ups they had accrued during the course of their beg-selling, and explained that it had nothing to do with begging and that they were quite educated, and then I think something about having her own business. Understanding her need to feel bigger, I marveled at her accomplishments and told her how great it was to see her. She did the usual: asked what I had been up to these days and such. She brought up that Kristy had gotten married. Realizing it as the words were flying out of my mouth, “I know. I was there,” was probably the most pretentious thing I could have said. I was met with a high-pitched, “oh,” and decided Becky hadn’t changed, and I had. And even though it was this vain, superficial comparison, I felt a little bit better about me, and the person I had become.

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