Math Class

I was a senior in high school on September 11th. I lived in Ninety Six, South Carolina at the time, which is named after a colonial mile marker. That morning, I was in Mr. Pileggi's math class. Another teacher, Mr. Rotella, showed up to tell Mr. Pileggi and the rest of us what had happened in New York. But because Mr. Rotella was kind of a character, I initially thought he was exaggerating. I don't think I was the only person who had that reaction at first. Shortly after that though, math class ended. There were a few TVs in the hallway and school administrators had put the news on. Footage of the attacks was playing and students gathered around as they walked between classes. I think shock was overall feeling. The rest of the school day is a bit of a blur now and I can't remember if I left early because they let us all go home or because I was a senior with a lighter schedule in the afternoon. Either way, the immediate aftermath for me can best be described as watching the news non-stop, seeing American flags go up everywhere around town, and a lot of community vigils and prayers as the scale of the attacks and the loss of life became clear. In the weeks and months that followed, a few of us on the football team would do our homework in Mr. Pileggi's classroom after school and that ended up being a good opportunity to talk about what had happened on September 11th and what was going on in the country. Every now and then I still get to talk to Mr. Pileggi about what's going on in the country.

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