Terrorism Coverage Takes Toll on Teaching

By Birge, Elizabeth | The Quill, November 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Terrorism Coverage Takes Toll on Teaching


Birge, Elizabeth, The Quill


It was the silence that drew her attention.

As Leslie-Jean Thornton showed her class an example of an interactive infographic - a map indicating terrorist training camps in the Middle East - she glanced to the side and saw a student falling apart.

"She had her head down on her arms; her shoulders were shaking, but she made no sound," said Thornton, a lecturer at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Seeing other students growing concerned, Thornton quickly pitched her next scheduled assignment - an AP style and grammar exercise - in favor of pairing the students off to interview each other about their most memorable moment. The diversion gave her a chance to speak with the crying student, help her leave the classroom, and talk with her outside for 15 minutes.

"She was confused, scared, feeling betrayed by others' reactions to her Middle East background," said Thornton, whose student has not returned to class. "Mostly I felt like sobbing with her."

On Sept. 11, journalism professors across the country began reworking their assignments and policies to reflect a world suddenly full of the unexpected and unthinkable. From midterms that deal exclusively with the attacks, to the suspension of deadlines, to counseling and trauma management, many found their greatest classroom tools were flexibility and grace. And what they found in their students besides bewilderment was a real appetite for news.

"The news hasn't seemed to matter to them in recent years," said Glynn R. Wilson, who teaches in the Communication Department at Loyola University in New Orleans. "It obviously matters to them now; they're paying attention now."

Wilson, who will defend his dissertation this fall at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, changed the content of every assignment, including the midterm.

"Our midterm exam story focused on local threats from potential terrorism on the Port of New Orleans and the Chemical Corridor in Louisiana," he said. "Scary stuff, but it worked."

Scary stuff is what classrooms are made of these days as the impact ripples through the seats. In many classes, students have either known people who were killed or injured in the attacks, or were related to them, coincidences and tragedies that professors -- with the students' consent - have used as teaching tools.

"Take as much time as you need" and "Whatever I can do to help" were the first words out of Dan Fost's mouth when a student e-mailed him with the news that her cousin had been killed on one of the planes that hit the towers. When she returned to San Francisco State University from Massachusetts two weeks later, she spoke to the class about how the media covered her cousin's death when the family chose not to comment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Terrorism Coverage Takes Toll on Teaching
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.