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22 March 2010 @ 02:37 pm
Writer's Block: News development  
What's the first major news event that you remember hearing about as a child? Where did you learn about it? How did it impact your world view?

I can't lie, at first when I saw this question I thought, 'Bah, I wouldn't remember anything important' because I was a pretty oblivious child. Intelligent, but free-spirited and oblivious by choice.

Then I did recall what my first news event was - the one that I really understood (at least partially) by my own rite, and one that I heard about not just from my parents (which I wouldn't have paid attention to or remembered). What you have to understand is that I was the go-outside-and-climb-a-tree girl more interested in chasing butterflies than hearing what the boring adults had to tell me.

But then there was news so unavoidable that even I, sitting in my Elementary School chair drawing wolves and thinking about being bullied, couldn't miss.

We were told about 9-11. Not much, not enough to understand, but the faces of our teachers told us more than the news stations would have anyway.

What the news gave: the facts, the numbers, the story.
What we understood through our teachers' faces: adults are scared, this is bad, we have to go home, our parents are worried.

It was a blow to us. We were the oldest kids in the school, at 11 and 12. We were expected to be responsible and helpful with the younger kids in the building (4th and 5th grade to our 6th). We were shocked out of our usual thoughts (boys, girls, wondering if maths would ever really get us anywhere, wondering what the point of history was, what was for lunch, what to do for recess, being bullied and bullying) into fear and the knowledge that something was Wrong, even if we didn't know what.

I understood later that day, when I was finally off the school bus, that the adults had every reason to fear.

It struck me. I played basketball in 5th grade with another short girl, Julia. We were around the same height. She always struggled since she was never very aggressive, but I was usually the most aggressive player on the team despite my short stature. People chuckled at the two shortest girls being on the same team, working side by side.

Our coach called us the Twin Towers.

I couldn't exactly be a Twin Tower any more. I could never go back to chasing the butterflies and falling from trees precisely as I had before, either. After that day, I glanced at the television screen once in a while to know what was going on in the elusive 'adult world' because I understood that it affected me too. (And sometimes, when the adults chatted, I lent an ear and some of my attention their way.)
Current Mood: indescribableIndescribable.
CaroRulescarorules on March 22nd, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
I was in University when it happened.. I'm so older than you lol
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on March 28th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Mmm, age is funny that way. Age differences certainly seem to lessen as time goes on. :)
CaroRulescarorules on March 29th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
I agree with that.
therealsnapetherealsnape on March 22nd, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
Such fun to see the different answers, and the different areas they evoke.
I found your story very interesting, both because it showed the effect on a very young person, and because of the impact it so clearly had in the USA. Which was different from Europe, although it was very important there, too.
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on March 28th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughts!
Sunsets4mySoul: Arizona Screencapsunsets4mysoul on March 22nd, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure my first news memory was before this (not sure though)...But this was a HUGE day for me too. My mom was actually on a plane out of Boston that morning...thank the stars and moon she never left the ground. I got the announcement in school over a loudspeaker that something was going on with planes from Boston and terrorists...it was scary. Then of course we all got sent home. But I definitely remember the day...
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on March 28th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
Thank goodness your mother was alright!

I'm sure I heard other news beforehand, but it was the first piece of news that I really paid attention to and thought about. As a child I felt I had more important things to contemplate. :P

It was definitely scary.
(Deleted comment)
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on March 28th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
Laughter. Well, I don't feel terribly young, but I am considerably younger than some out there, yes. :) I'm entertained that you're just realising I'm young now! But I suppose hearing these sorts of things is more telling of age than just a number - the timing of shared events in the time lines of peoples' lives illustrates age gaps more.
Leilevelcro_panda on March 23rd, 2010 10:31 am (UTC)
Yea. Same here. I remember sitting in class in middle school & hearing the news. Everyone was grim & everything was just filled with worry...
Kiwi Crocus: HP || Luna || Daydreaming.cranky__crocus on March 28th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
That pretty much covers the memory in hindsight. When I was in the moment it felt a little different. I suppose that's the youth of it. But generally what one has to remember is that as a girl I was a bit of a Luna Lovegood...
101mutts: puppy mix101mutts on March 23rd, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
Giggles, reading the other responses I feel young and closer to you in age. I was in third grade, that would probably be my first news event. Though I did follow the Gore/Bush election the year before a little, partially because my parents were paying attention and partially because it was a school assignment to figure out who you'd vote for.

I remember being at school and my teacher got a call on her cell phone. Then there was a very cryptic message about praying for people and I went home and Michael was there, home from work.
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on March 28th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
My school was never big on current events. Nor was I, really. Nor AM I, although I should be. I don't know how the teachers got the news. We never really found that out.
101mutts: brown dog101mutts on March 28th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
Steele's class probably made up for the current events you missed in elementary school. It was more my teacher being big on current events or just that one time since I don't remember much other current event stuff.