Jeffrey Condran on The Next Big Thing

by Salvatore Pane

In September of 2001, I was teaching at La Roche College. They sponsored a scholarship program called Pacem in Terris that brought students from ‘conflict and post-conflict nations’ to study in the United States. The very first course I taught there had roughly 20 students. Only one was American. The rest of the class came from Rwanda or Kosovo or from nations all over the Middle East. Going into the classroom to teach on September 12th and in the days and months that followed –years, really – was a life changing experience. My students’ shock and fear, the way they suddenly had to reassess their feelings about America and Americans, and they way their lives and characters would be tested during the rest of their time here – to suddenly be thought of as the enemy in a country for which most had developed true affection – were experiences about which I felt compelled to write.

–Jeffrey Condran on The Next Big Thing