Monday, September 10, 2012

Who's Michael Jordan?

Tomorrow is the anniversary of 9/11.  Most of us probably don't remember that at the time Michael Jordan was considering coming out of retirement.  In fact, that was the news of the morning. 

I asked my students today how many of them knew who Michael Jordan is.  Almost all of them raised their hands.  They said things like, "Who doesn't know who Michael Jordan is?!?!" with something like contempt in their voices.

"It's crazy," I said, egging them on, "Seriously, I have students who don't know who Michael Jordan is."

Guffaws from the class.  "You can't really blame them, because most of them were barely alive in 2001.  This is after his prime, when he came back out of retirement.  Isn't it weird though," I continued, "that I have students who don't know who he was?"
Resounding consent from the classroom.

"So, you can imagine how I feel when I tell you that the majority of my students have no recollection of 9/11.  I'm neither shocked nor saddened - they were barely alive at the time.  But it is a strange feeling.  How can they not have heard about the single most important historical event of my lifetime?"

That may be extreme.  The majority of my students have heard about 9/11, but they know very little about it.  I don't blame them, but it is a surreal feeling.  I feel like I'm on the HMS Firebrand. I see the rocks ahead - I know that the students are going to know less and less about this event - but I can't turn the ship around.

Maybe this is even worse, but I think it's the last year I'll teach the lesson.  It's not in our standards, and there is such a push to teach to the test.  But I still feel like it's important.  It's worth it.

At any rate, if you read and discussed the blog and want the extra credit, discuss 9/11 with the adult you read the blog with.  See what they remember about it.  Then write down some of their thoughts (at least three sentences) and have them sign the paper.


  1. I just read this and asked some of my students what they remembered. One of them said "it was eleven years ago - who cares?"


  2. Yikes. How dystopic - that societies never remember the way they used to be...

    Unless your student was talking about Michael.

    Either way, it saddens me.