People's Choice: Sept. 11 reflections

As the University prepares to commemorate the events of Sept. 11, we asked Penn staffers how the attacks have changed their lives. Here’s what’s dwelling on their hearts and minds.

STEPHEN McCANN
Administrative Assistant, Office of Student Life

“I see it as an event because we’ve been planning the Sept. 11 memorial thing for the past two months. There will be everything from watching TVs and the different media to seeing how the rest of the world is commemorating this day to some silent reflection time. …A lot of stuff affects you everyday but to see something affect the entire world is kind of neat—to see that everybody is doing the same thing at the same time.”

FRAN WALKER
Director of Student Life, Office of Student Life
“It hasn’t changed [my life] in dramatic, obvious ways but I think it’s created a low-grade sense of concern that the world is far less certain and less secure. I’m talking about psychological and emotional safety.”

SHARON KLINGSBERG
Administrative Assistant, Office of Student Life

“Sept. 11 has changed my life in so many ways. It has made me aware of [every] minute little thing. It has made me much more aware of my surroundings, my priorities and people around me in general. Just waking up every morning, it makes all of my little aches and pains—it doesn’t make it stop hurting—but it makes me less aware of them. ...I have a cousin involved in the World Trade Center; he made it out. Even listening to him talk about it, it just gives you chills. I’m not living in fear and I’m not that apprehensive about it, but I am kind of nervous about what’s going to happen there.”

JAN KEE-SCOTT
Financial Advisor, Office of Student Life
“I’m more aware of people and things—things that are just important. Caring about people and saying I’m sorry and not holding things in. ”

GAIL OBERTON
Administrative Assistant, University Life
“It’s changed my life because it’s [given me] more awareness of my country and who I am as an American.”

MAX KING
Associate Vice Provost, University Life
“It has made me aware of how vulnerable we are as a society.”

CERIE O’TOOLE
Executive Assistant, University Life
“There’s not one major thing [change]. It’s kind of like when people talk about Kennedy. You know, where were you that day? You do have that flashback where you remember watching it and thinking about it. “

—Trinh Tran

Talk to us: Where are the good short-term parking spots on campus, now that the students are back? Got an answer? E-mail us at current@pobox.upenn.edu or call 215-898-1426.

Originally published on September 5, 2002