September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:I had just gotten out of bed for my 9:45 class at Penn State, setting my alarm at 8:45. I was in the bathroom putting in my contact lenses and started hearing voiced. I'd apparently only hit the Snooze button and not turned off the alarm. I heard the voices talking about a plane hitting a tower, and the first thought through my mind was that a local plane had hit a local cell phone tower. Then I heard the words "World Trade Center" and flew into a controlled frenzy. The nearest TV was in my living room, and I couldn't get to it quickly enough. I turned it on and could not believe my eyes. I ran up to my roommate's room and we watched for a couple minutes before walking to class. At that stage, we knew that it was a terrorist act, but didn't quite understand the breadth of the act. All the way to campus we talked about how bad it might be, and he didn't seem to think that it would be very bad, since it was early in the morning. This made sense and turned out to be partly true.

Once reluctantly arriving at class, it soon became apparent that the instructor didn't realize what had happened. He'd likely been in his office and come direcly to class. As he taught, we were lucky to have laptops but couldn't surf very easily because all the news servers were getting slammed by millions of others doing the same. We didn't even know that the towers were down until after class, at which point one of my fellow students told the instructor what happened..he couldn't believe it.

We walked over to the HUB and watched the two big-screen TVs amidst much crying and confusion. The visuals and inner emotions of the day are forever etched in me.


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