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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Looking back, looking back, looking back

Although I was raised in Freeport, I never felt I belonged during High School. Having moved away and then back again, I was an outsider. My nickname for about a year was "Utah." Awesome.

In retrospect, I could have tried harder. It's not like I didn't do anything, though. I got involved in photography. I was a cheerleader, for crying out loud. Probably the most unpopular cheerleader in the history of the universe, but at least I had something to keep me busy every afternoon and on game nights.

In most classes, I felt like a total loser. I usually didn't have anyone to sit with, and I wasn't a great student. I think it's hard to care when you're so miserable. One class I did feel good in was art. That wing of the school was a little sanctuary- art room, dark room and the shop. We almost always had music playing during art. I always had someone to sit and talk with while working on projects.

My senior year, I had art first period. As class wrapped up, I heard the teacher exclaim something about a crash. An airplane crash.

The rest of the day is a complete blur. Students weren't allowed to leave school unless parents checked them out. We watched the news unfold on TVs in the library. In such a small school (about 400 students) the grades were pretty close. A number of seniors who'd just graduated had headed to NY for college or other endeavors. It seemed like everyone knew someone who was directly affected by the attack on the Twin Towers.

I vaguely remember my step dad picking me up from school. I worried about our family friend who was at NYU. We basically watched the news the entire day. It was so unbelievable. It's still impossible to imagine the hijackers walking through MY airport in Portland as part of their plan. All I can picture are the white-washed rocking chairs at the gates, and how ridiculous it is that one of them may have nervously sat in one before boarding a plane that eventually crashed into a building in NYC.

I'm glad that I initially heard the news in a classroom where I felt comfortable. There's no easy way to hear bad news, but at least I heard it in my little safe haven. Part of me wishes I could recall more details about the day, but another part of me is glad I don't. It's probably better this way.

Do you remember where you were, or what you initially felt?


  1. I was just thinking about this with someones post I read on FB. I was in Jr. High outside for PE which was my first period. I just remember watching it on TV in some of my classes & getting out early. When I got home my parents were both home from work watching the news. My uncle worked in the trade towers but was on a lower floor so was able to get out safely. I saw on the cover of a magazine I cant remember what one but some story of those kids whose parents died when they were babies & now they are 10 or older just made me so sad for them

  2. I was in my Literature Class at WSU, with a professor that I loved. He walked into class and told us what had happened and then advised us to go home and watch the news. I remember finding Matt and going to his parent's house since we didn't have a tv, and that's what we did for the rest of the night.

  3. I remember everything about where I was when I found out.

    But I wanted to let you know that I was at a school that I was brand new to when I heard the news as well. My nickname? Missouri. Luckily, it did bond me with my classmates a bit more that day. Just because we all had the same emotions for once.

    And on another note--if I went to a "new school" now, what would my nickname be? "Michigan"? "Missouri"? "Utah"? "All over Timbuktu"?? The hardest, loneliest lesson I have learned the past few months is that home is truly where the Lord brings me (and my husband! ...And Reese?) for the day.

  4. Bryan and I were just talking about where we were. He doesn't remember, but what I remember most was that a DJ on the radio on the way to school that morning was joking about how some idiot pilot had run into the twin towers... Later that week after understanding the severity of the event and mourning the loss of all those lives, I felt really bad for that poor DJ.


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