I was a brand new college freshman getting ready to attend my Political Science class that started at 8:45am on September 11, 2001. I heard the news on the radio when I first woke up and I thought it wasn’t real. I turned on the TV and still couldn’t believe it was real. I didn’t know what else to do except go to class and so I did. My professor came in the room sobbing and she told us all to go home and be with our families. We all walked out of the lecture hall, scattering across the green, going our different directions. I began walking to my car but my mind was focused on one thing, I wanted to go volunteer for military service. My dad had served during Vietnam and I felt like it was my duty. So I called my dad and told him my plan and he said to me (in probably the first adult conversation we would have), “You don’t need to serve in the military because I served for you. If you really want to make a difference in this world, start thinking about how you can give back to your community through your career or volunteer service.” At that point, I was a communications major and I had aspirations of being a sport journalist. I stuck it out for another year in the major, but what my dad had said to me on that day kept coming back around. At the end of my freshman year, I switched my major to history with a secondary education emphasis. I loved history, that I knew, did I love teaching? I did not know, but I knew this would be a chance to service my community and country.
I continued as an education major and eventually graduated in 2007 with my degree. By the time I graduated, I knew that loved teaching. I discovered during my different experiences in the classroom in college that this was my calling. 9/11 taught me that service is important, but it also taught me that knowledge is power and knowing about the world outside of my little bubble is extremely important. I try to do this with my students in my classes everyday. I want them to be educated citizens who can see the many sides of an issue and are curious about the world they live in.