San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Students Get No Slack After 9-11 Trauma

There were a lot of amazing headlines on Sept. 12, but there wasonly one newspaper that got it exactly right — The Onion.

Theirheadline read: “Holy F**king S**t.”

The Onion is a satirical paper. But after Sept. 11, our “great”nation did resemble something of a satire — a really sick joke.

But I don’t think everyone noticed. After a day of mourning,everything on campus was back to the way it was before the attacks.

Professors assumed an ability in the student body to ignore theworld around it and focus on the classroom.

It was as if the quintessential high school bully, the villain,tripped us as we were leaving the proverbial lunch line and we fellflat on our collective faces, and the food on our tray scatteredacross the lunch room floor.

It was as if the whole school noticed and laughed — and we got upand pretended nothing happened.

In real life, you don’t just get up from being ostracized in thelunchroom. You don’t just return the next day and become incognizantof what happened.

But that is exactly what happened in our classrooms. Professorspretended the classroom was a sovereign entity, removed from terror.

Students were expected to adjust seamlessly to a new America. Someschedules were pushed back one day — maybe.

One day.

My prediction: Grades will go down this semester. Grades will godown because we’ve been terrorized.

Professors are often accused of being oblivious to what happensoutside the walls of academia. But they need not look farther thanthe desks in front of them to see the new world that terror created.

Students are usually under stress when finals appear on thehorizon — college is not easy. This much we understand.

But the psyche of the American college student is in seriousjeopardy.

College prepares students for the future — the “real world.” Buthow can we be taught to function in a world that is changing so fast,so unpredictably and so much for the worse?

How can we be taught by a generation that handed us this world?

A generation whose cold warriors abandoned Afghanistan when theycould have created legitimate governance in the region.

A generation that so greatly narrowed its vision that it sawnothing but red. And when the Soviet Union fell, Afghanistan vanishedfrom their map of consciousness.

They looked the other way when Pakistani fundamentalists usedAfghanistan as a base from which to spread extreme Islam. And as longas it was only Afghans that suffered from the Taliban, no oneprotested.

They used our resources to “protect” us from drugs when theyshould have been vigilant in regard to terrorist threats. They weredropping herbicides on coca fields in Colombia — destroying thelivelihoods of hard-working farmers — when they knew that hatred forAmerica and the West was increasingly becoming a threat.

And they are supposed to teach us?

Is my generation expected to enter the classroom, free of Sept. 11baggage? Is my generation supposed to concentrate on the classroomwhen it watched 5,000 people die in one morning?

If professors are asking my generation to perform at the samelevel it has in the past, they are asking too much.

We are tired. Our energy is low. We are all suffering.

A university classroom must reflect society — the world. Itshould incorporate the pulse of the surrounding sentiment. Lecturetopics should bend to fit a new reality — a new student psyche.

And our psyche says, “Cut us some slack. Understand that the worldwe knew during our short lives vanished on Sept. 11. We’re doing ourbest to cope.”

But we could use some help from those who help us learn – and fromthe generation that handed us a raft full of holes and left usstranded in the middle of the ocean.

–Reed Albergotti is a journalism senior and the opinion editorfor The Daily Aztec.

–This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of TheDaily Aztec. Send e-mail to Anonymousletters will not be printed — include your full name, major and yearin school.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Students Get No Slack After 9-11 Trauma