Of course I remember where I was and what I was doing when I found out. Everyone who lived it remembers. I was walking out of Morgan Hall on the University of Alabama campus. My eight-o’clock class had just ended, where we discussed Act I of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s funny how memory works. I can’t remember the specifics from any other class from that entire semester.
Groups of students were huddled together outside the door and down the steps, whispering to one another, arms around shoulders, heads bowed. I remember thinking that it looked odd. As I passed one group on the way to my car, I distinctly heard the word “attack,” but the word didn’t convey any worry to my mind, and certainly did not convey the true magnitude of that word in that moment. I was still happily living in the pre-9/11 world over one hour in.