September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:I had just finished teaching my 7:30 a.m. English 302
(Advanced Composition) class and was at my desk for Tuesday
office hours. Colleagues at NCC came into 416 Enterprise
(we academic advisors call our office space the "bull pen"
because 7 of us have office cubicles crammed into this room),
announcing that the first World Trade tower had been struck
by a plane. Very soon most of the NCC office staff/faculty
were gathered around the TV in the computer lab on this
floor. We watched, stunned, while a plane hit the second
tower. Then more news about the Pentagon, possible strikes
on other buildings in D.C. Faculty/staff came and went,
returning to their desks to call spouses, friends, relatives
who might have been involved. I remember thinking "Is this
the beginning of the end?" I wanted to see my two daughters,
both in high school at Woodson, in Fairfax, VA, just 5
minutes from my office, but I was scheduled to teach a class
for NCC at noon. Still in a state of shock, my team-teacher
and I walked over to our classroom to announce that class
was cancelled. In subsequent days, I feared coming to my
desk, thinking that universities would be a target for
follow-up terrorist attacks. I still live with a fear, kept
just below the surface, of living so close to the nation's

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