Ethan and I experienced a few firsts today. He rode a subway (the “R”) for the first time; I learned how to organize my iPad apps by topic; and, while being interviewed on video by Rosa Jurjevics at the Scholastic office in Manhattan, we together experienced the 5.8 scale earthquake that impacted the East Coast. It was quite surreal—as Rosa was interviewing us for the video Storyworks magazine is creating to accompany the article on Ethan, the room around us began to shake. Not having ever experienced an earthquake, I was taken aback. The feeling reminded me of being on a cruise ship the first night out to sea, when you have yet to find your sea legs. “Am I that nervous about this interview?” I thought to myself. “Does the subway run under this building?” As Rosa and the videographer interrupted the taping to see what was going on, I realized this wasn’t just my nerves. Rather, we all felt the room and its contents shake.
No one said aloud what every grown New Yorker was thinking: Was this a result of a terrorist attack nearby? Fortunately we soon learned that we had experienced our first tremor and that although the epicenter was in Richmond, Virginia, no significant damage had occurred and no one was harmed.
Meanwhile, like any other nine-year old, Ethan thought the experience was “really cool,” and wondered whether the folks from Scholastic had caught us experiencing the tremor on film. Overall, the earthquake aside, the taping went off without a hitch. Rosa had a natural ability to interview without making the conversation feel artificial. In response, Ethan and I were put at ease. We readily provided insights into how we’ve learned to cope and thrive, despite the sometimes harsh judgments of others. We focused much of the conversation with Rosa on the strategies we use when we’re met with everything from curiosity to fear to cruelty. The experience also left us with a deep appreciation for Lauren Tarshis, the editor of Scholastic’s Storworks magazine, who really wanted to get our story and who truly believes that how we have managed through our life experiences will have a meaningful impact on students and teachers.
And, naturally, I spent the next hour engrossed in my iPad “news” file to see what was going on post quake.