I was working with a colleague of mine administering the “Iowa Tests” to seventh graders at Oklahoma Christian Schools. We had already completed our short devotion, read the daily announcements, turned in the lunch counts and absences and briefed the students on instructions for their exams. I hated Iowa Tests; to this day I tend to be a conscientious objector to the whole process. However, my co-teacher Tammy was one of the “radical” teachers at OCS and if there was anyone to be stuck with all day long, coaxing our students through the never-ending task of coloring in circles, it was her.
I was strolling from the front of the class to the back, observing 24 heads bent down tediously over their papers as I passed when a rolling thunder-like roar filled my ears. The ceiling tiles were lifting about six-inches from their positions as the shock wave passed, much like you might observe a crowd at any football game do “the wave.” I immediately turned and caught Tammy’s eyes. “Students,” I said, “please remain in your seats, close your tests, and pass them forward in order,” I said trying to keep my voice calm. We had been experiencing a long-term construction process on the campus grounds and I assumed one of the Bobcats had hit a gas line. The result from any explosion wasn’t going to be good. I began to feel shaky. I couldn’t imagine what my students were feeling at that moment.
Tammy and I conferred. She would go check on the situation while I stayed with the students. I opened the back door to visually check the construction zone while the students buzzed in speculation behind me. All clear. In fact, there weren’t any construction workers on the grounds at all. The equipment was parked. Could it have been a low-flying plane? Continue reading Oklahoma City Bombing Memory and Moment of Pause