pacman inkee

Writer's Block: News development

What's the first major news event that you remember hearing about as a child? Where did you learn about it? How did it impact your world view?


the space shuttle challenger disaster. not only did we watch it on tv in my class, but our school was super into that whole flight because one of the most beloved science teachers at our school had been in the running to be the first teacher in space (he was disqualified in the last round because of a history of asthma, but he had been training and was involved in the program up to the end). so to have the explosion happen, and to watch it on tv, we were all so emotionally caught up in the whole thing, and it definitely stuck in my mind. that day had been specifically scheduled so that children's classrooms all over the country could watch live (first teacher in space, remember) so afterwards they called the parents and we were all let out early because everyone was so upset.

rip astronauts and first teacher in space
That is my first new-related memory too. I remember watching it in class with my teachers and the look of horror on their faces. Only one of the teachers thought quickly enough to turn it off. The rest just sat there, mouths agape with disbelief and fear.

That was truly horrifying.
that was pretty much our reaction too. we all watched it in the cafeteria as a big school group, and several teachers were openly sobbing and flipping out. (i think they all were way more emotionally invested than normal because Mr Abaya was in the program. since the previous school year we had all been involved in his application to the program, nasa people came and visited our school, they had special presentations all the time for the student body on the progress of the teachers, etc) it was somewhat how i imagine the reaction in living rooms when jfk was shot, from how my mom describes it.
I feel so sorry for all the kids.

Columbia really fucked me up. But the idea of having all the kids in the country excited about this mission and watching it on tv and then to have the tragedy occur...I mean, that's really sad and difficult. Particularly for schools like yours that were involved in the process.
I was a little too young to remember that (or process it at all, in fact), but apparently I watched it on the news with my mom and she was really upset and called my dad at work.
That was mine too.
I was in first grade. We were also watching on a TV inside the class room.

When they let us out early, I was the last one waiting for my parent to pick me up...and I saw my teacher break down and cry. I didn't really understand at first and I thought about it a long time after.

That same teacher died a year later of breast cancer...she was only 35.
Mine was Mt. St. Helens, though I remember the Challenger thing well (I was in 8th grade, I think).

Also from the 1980 archives: John Lennon's death. I was in 3rd grade and knew who he was, though I didn't become a Beatles nerd until a couple of years on. But my 3rd grade teacher was a massive hippie who went COMPLETELY FUCKING APESHIT and cried all day for WEEKS after he died. WEEKS. 7 year old kids don't forget that shit.