What I Know Wednesday

What I Know Wednesday is a bi-weekly round-up of thoughts, ideas and recommendations from the desk of Leah Jarvis. The best advice for writing is to write what you know. This is what I know. . .

Blindsided on Some Idle Tuesday

In his graduation-themed “Everybody’s Free” speech, Baz Luhrmann advises the Class of ‘99 to wear sunscreen, floss, and to try to not worry about the future because the “real troubles of life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.”

Around this time of year in my college days and for a few years after I graduated, I would go down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, survivor accounts, and news coverage of September 11, 2001, that had been uploaded to YouTube in the years since the terror attack. I would research and comb through reports of what happened, how our country responded, and how what came before would never be the same in the after. 
I would Google Map places I had been in New York City to see their proximity to the World Trade Center. I would cross-reference episodes of my favorite TV shows from the early 2000s to see what episodes would have had to be reshot or postponed or scrapped altogether because of the attack.

I never knew why I felt compelled to do this. Sometimes it felt wrong — like I was being curious about the pain of others. Sometimes it felt exhausting — like why was I doing this again? Then it made sense for me last week.

The world stopped turning for most Americans that morning as the first plane hit, but for me, I was heading to my sixth-grade math class. Then I went to history, science, and so on and so forth. I didn’t know the future of our country had been irrevocably changed until it was time to go home that afternoon. And really, what else were they supposed to do? Wheel in the cart with a TV strapped to it and let us watch horrified news anchors report on airplanes and buildings and terrorists? 

But for me, I never really got over the fact that I didn’t know what was going on, and I think I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since. The part of my brain that LOVES to know what’s going on and why it’s going on and how to help just wanted to be in the loop even at 11 years old. 

Today marks 18 years since that awful morning. No student under 18 has ever been in a history class where 9/11 wasn’t included in their textbooks. And I think on some level, our country will always wonder what would have happened if we weren’t blindsided on an idle Tuesday in September. 

On a Lighter (But Impressive) Note…

I came across this video of Marvin Gaye performing without music and backup vocals on Twitter last week. I still can’t get over it. 


“I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”

–Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

What I’m. . .

  • Reading: At Briarwood School for Girls by Michael Knight
  • Listening To (book): Burnout by Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski
  • Listening To (podcast): Borrow Prayers on The Next Right Thing
  • Cooking: Mashed Potatoes for Two by America’s Test Kitchen (from this cookbook)
  • Baking: Tiramusi for Two by America’s Test Kitchen (same cookbook as above)
  • Knitting: My No Frills Sweater by Petite Knit. I finished my first sleeve yesterday, and building momentum on the second one. I need to start picking out a project to take to Maine!

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