I was in the 10th grade in the Fall of 2001; naturally, my pre-occupations were girls, basketball, video games, and (occasionally) schoolwork. We had played an exhibition basketball game the night before, and I was frustrated by a poor performance, so I was hoping to redeem myself at practice Tuesday night. I was probably worried about a World History test that morning, too. I was in Spanish class when the planes hit; we only knew because our principal, Mr. Cleveland, came over the intercom with a special announcement. He said something akin to “two planes collided with one another outside the WTC, and they hit the buildings,” or the like; we didn’t know for a while that these details were pretty sketchy. Nobody said anything except the occasional “wow” or “geez”; like I said, we weren’t too clear on what was happening. My teacher was in her early 20’s; she said, “You guys will always remember this day, being in this class, with your teacher who everybody thinks looks like a student,” which sort of broke the ice. I’ll never forget, a girl named Mallory in my class, her mother worked at the WTC. She was very scared, and she went to the office for more details. We prayed. It turns out her mom didn’t come in to work until after 9 a.m., so once she saw the attacks, she didn’t go in.
After class, some friends and I headed across the street to where our Biology class was; exiting the main building, I half expected the sky to be on fire or something. It was wild the rest of the day, as details started coming in. I didn’t see any footage until lunch, until well after the towers actually collapsed. I don’t really remember my reaction, outside of just disbelief. We prayed a lot that day. In Bible class, my teacher was really shook up. We had a new High School building that year, it had only been operational for a few weeks at that point, so the TV’s in each room were not up and running yet. We listened on the radio to President Bush’s statements from the Florida school. The radio was all that we had; the reception was awful in the building, so I held the antenna the whole class, adjusting when the reception got bad. My Mom picked me up at 3:00, and we headed home. Every channel had the coverage going; I couldn’t take it anymore after a while, so I played a Spider-Man video game in my room for an hour. We took back the game and got a few groceries later that night. I remember the stores being so quiet. No one would make eye contact with you. I wasn’t sure if they actually knew about it or not, but nobody said anything. That day shook me up pretty bad. It took a few months to get over the way I felt, though I’m not really sure what that feeling was.