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I Thought the World was Ending — Sept. 11, 2001

 

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A model of the New York City skyline — including the Twin Towers. (Photo by: Mike Mills/TU Student)
           BALTIMOREBernadette Goodfellow stood at the entrance of the galley welcoming each passenger into first class. A flight attendant since July 1991 – first class was a rank Bernadette had worked hard to attain. With the ice already crushed, Goodfellow offered each first class passenger a pre-flight drink. Customer service was of the utmost importance. Reading the passenger list, Bernadette played word association games to remember the last names of the people she’d be serving throughout the flight.

“The one I’ll never forget,” Goodfellow said. “They were dressed very nice – nice dress pants, dress shirt. The one had such a complicated foreign name that there was no trying to even call him by name. I referred to him as sir, but the one across him had an easy name. He was Mr. Atta. Mohamed Atta. I would think of the expression ‘Atta boy’ to remember his name.”

Mr. Atta sat in first class with a couple of men who Bernadette presumed were business associates. Terrorism never crossed the mind of anyone during that period in time. Goodfellow looked on as the men took notes on a yellow notepad. The men spoke to each other in their native tongue.

“He was very pleasant,” Goodfellow said. “I can still see his face. Dark eyes – very striking appearance. You were drawn to him. A cross between attractive and scary at the same time. Very dark wavy hair. It’s a face I’ll never forget.”

OMAHA, Neb. – The alarm on the wooden nightstand rang incessantly until Bernadette extended her hand over the top of the clock and ended the thunderous ringing. It was around 8 a.m. She was on a layover and was due to fly out in a few hours. Goodfellow was unaware that she was waking up to the most horrific day in the history of the United States – Sept. 11, 2001.

 

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Bernadette Goodfellow sits 16 years later with “SkyWord Magazine” and a “Flight Attendants coping with trauma” pamphlet. (Photo by: Mike Mills/TU Student)
            After a quick shower, Bernadette laid out her neatly pressed flight attendant uniform across the bed. Like any other morning, she picked up the remote and turned to the “Today Show”. Goodfellow tuned in just in time to see her world crumble around her.

“I was shocked and horrified,” Goodfellow said. “I thought that the world was coming to an end. I knew this was something of a huge magnitude.”

A plane pummeled into the second tower of the World Trade Center. An orange ball of fire illuminated the bright morning sky. As pedestrians watched in horror, debris rained down on the New York City streets.  All flights were grounded indefinitely. Like many others, Goodfellow would have to find another way home. Thousands of others would never have the chance to find a way home.

“I called the union hotline that all flight attendants were a part of,” Goodfellow said. “A prerecorded message told all crew members that we weren’t going anywhere anytime soon on planes. We should try and find a way home anyway we could – by rental car, bus, cab, or train.”

Rental cars sold out quick, and Bernadette was stranded over 1,000 miles away from home. Fortunately, her brother-in-law had gotten a rental car and was in route from a business trip in Denver. Bernadette left Omaha on a road of uncertainty. Her head pounded relentlessly and tears filled her eyes. Every now and then the tears would gain enough weight to stream down Bernadette’s face. The days were long and silence filled the rental car. The peacefulness of the Midwestern roads was eerie in the wake of the day’s events. Over the course of the drive, Goodfellow would learn more details about the flights that went down that day.

“I heard about one flight that originated from Washington Dulles, which I flew out of many times,” Bernadette said. “I heard that a plane went into the Pentagon, and they said it was flight 77 out of Washington Dulles. That was very upsetting considering I had worked that flight many times. I had yet to find out what crew was working that flight.”

In her rental car, Bernadette continued the long lonely road for home. It’s not until she was on the Pennsylvania turnpike that Bernadette pulled out her ancient emergency cellphone to dial the union hotline one more time. Tears stream down her face and her voice gets choked up as she recounts what she heard on the phone 16 years ago.

“I found out one flight attendant on flight 77 was a girl I knew very well – Renee May,” Bernadette said. “We flew together a lot because she was near my same seniority, so we had similar schedules. She’d been over my house. I took her to karaoke for the first time… She apparently was the first class flight attendant that had to deal with the hijackers.”

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The pamphlet from Renee May’s funeral service. (Photo by: Mike Mills/TU Student)

Tears poured out endlessly from the corner of Bernadette’s eyes as she made her way back to Baltimore. She recalls the now deceased crew that she had flown with on multiple occasions – the gay pilot who was the nicest guy in the world, the married flight attendant couple that went by the pet name ‘Kennifer’, and her dear friend Renee May who was an independent free spirit that spent her free time giving tours at the Walter’s Art Gallery. The terror flight 77 faced haunted Bernadette for years.

“I put myself in her position being in that jump seat and having two hijackers attack her and the horror she [Renee May] must’ve faced,” Bernadette said. “This is still very raw for me. This is called PTSD.”

Bernadette sits vividly shaken and choked up. She reaches for the tissues before she can continue. After making it back to a somber BWI Airport, Goodfellow makes the emotional ride home.

“When I pulled up in front of my townhouse with my uniform on and my packed flight attendant bags, it was very emotional,” Bernadette said. “Some of the neighbors came over and hugged me. There were a lot of tears shed.”

Although safe in her own home, the images from Sept. 11, 2001 haunted Bernadette. Survivor’s guilt plagued her for years. Renee May’s memory stuck with Bernadette but so did the fear she must have faced in her final moments. It would be months before Bernadette returned to the air. Even with heightened airport security, fear took the fun out of flying.

“I still didn’t feel safe,” Bernadette said. “I still think there were many lapses in security.” “When I went back to work a couple months later, I was so paranoid of everybody who looked the way they looked – with the dark skin and dark eyes and Muslim appearance. I knew flight attendants who got off flights and refused to work them because they were suspicious of people. You walked up and down the aisle like a policewoman just watching out for people. It really wasn’t fun anymore.

Bernadette would finally resign from her flight attendant duties in 2004. She would go on to work as a secretary, realtor, and a pet sitter. No matter how many times the calendar changes, Sept. 11, 2001 will always feel like yesterday for Bernadette Goodfellow.

Steve Vickers lives out his childhood dream

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Steve plays the drums in a show with one of his side projects — Samurai Tiger (Photo by: Mike Mills/TU Student)

Steve Vickers is a percussionist from Fallston, Maryland. He is the drummer in the two-piece band, Morning Dew. He plays alongside guitarist and friend, Devon Ray. Together Steve and Devon bring controlled chaos to every venue they play. Morning Dew describes their sound as ‘skramz’ — which is an off branch of the punk/emo genre.

Steve and Devon took the time to sit-down with us and talk about their music experiences and the roots of Morning Dew.

Grateful Acres — Respect the Space

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Just 30 minutes northeast of Towson University lies the rural town of Fallston, MD. Although Fallston seems quaint and quiet, a lot of noise can be heard coming from one garage on Reckord Road.

What started as an after school hangout spot has become a destination for many musicians to share their music. Grateful Acres has hosted bands from Canada, Sweden, Venezuela, and the United States.

The following audio clip discusses the origins of Grateful Acres with two of its founders, Zack Kaliush and Devon Ray.

Towson Overmatched in Rematch against Loyola (MD)

Towson came into Wednesday night’s showdown with a steely focus and revenge in their eyes as they looked to takedown the same Loyola (MD) team that knocked them out in the quarterfinals of last year’s NCAA Tournament.

As 1,366 fans settled into their seats, ominous dark clouds narrowly avoided Johnny Unitas Stadium. Although the thunderstorms passed, the wind blew in another familiar foe. The Loyola Greyhounds made the short trip down the Charles Street corridor in hopes of spoiling Towson’s home-opener. Loyola (MD) crushed Towson’s National Championship hopes in a tightly contested bout last May. Expectations remain high for both teams this season.

Towson set the tone early when senior midfielder Mike Lynch scored an unassisted goal less than two minutes into the game. After a quick start, the Tigers looked to take control of the game. Towson’s inability to hold onto possession against Loyola (MD) last year cost them their season.

“When the two teams met in the quarterfinals last year, Loyola dominated the face-offs,” Towson play-by-play announcer Spiro Morekas said.

However, with the help of Alex Woodall – a transfer face-off specialist from Highpoint University – Towson looked to control the tempo of the game.

“In the Tigers opener against Mount St. Mary’s, they had a transfer face-off man in Alex Woodall,” Morekas said.  Woodall won 13 out of 25 face-offs which allowed Towson to dominate time of possession.”

Woodall won six out of ten face-offs in the first half, but that did little to stop the Loyola (MD) offense. After Towson’s initial goal, Loyola (MD) rattled off four quick strikes before Lynch could halt their run with his second goal of the night. Two more Loyola shots found the back of the net before the first half ended. The Greyhounds’ accuracy contributed to their four-goal lead at half time. Of the Greyhounds’ nine first half shots, six found the back of the net.

The Greyhounds drained what little energy was left in the stadium after halftime. Alex McGovern took advantage of a Towson penalty to score his sixth goal of the season – making the score 7-2.

“This is not what I expected,” Towson student Sierra Egan said. “It’s pretty disappointing. I thought we would play better.”

Halfway through the third period, Towson senior attackman Ryan Drenner kick started the Towson offense. Drenner scored two goals in less than three minutes.

“I think in that second half we were a little hungrier,” Drenner said. “Being held to two goals in a whole half with the talent we have on offense isn’t acceptable by our standards.”

However, Loyola (MD) immediately answered Drenner’s goals with two goals of their own. Towson added one more goal by Zach Goodrich before the third period concluded with a score of 9-5.

The fourth period started with a flurry of goals from Towson’s Tyler Konen. The chance for a comeback win and vengeance sat right in front of the Tigers. With three and a half minutes on the clock, Towson found themselves only down two goals. However, by committing crucial turnovers, the Tigers squandered away their scoring opportunities. Towson committed a game-high six turnovers in the fourth period, and once again Loyola responded. Jordan Germershausen of the Greyhounds put Towson to bed in the final two minutes with two quick goals of his own.

Loyola (MD) handed Towson their first loss of the season with a final score of 11-7. Although Towson came up short on Wednesday night, expectations remain high for the rest of the season. Towson’s next home game is against Johns Hopkins – another local rival – on March 11.

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Mike Mills captures the view from the press box before Towson and Loyola (MD) take the field (Photo by: Mike Mills/TU Student).

Formal Sorority Recruitment takes over Towson University

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Sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon perform their cheer for potential new members. (Photo by: Suzanne Peters Burton/TU Alum)

Hundreds of girls completed the final step of the recruitment process on Sunday by committing to one of Towson University’s 11 on-campus sororities.

The conclusion of formal sorority recruitment marks the end of a frenetic nine days for Towson girls. According to Carly Heasley, the director of Greek life at Towson University, 395 girls accepted bids to join a sorority. From Feb. 10 – 19, potential new members (PNMs) put on their best faces and dresses in hopes of impressing their dream sorority.

“There’s a lot of emotions, and there’s just a lot going on for PNMs and sororities,” Delta Phi Epsilon sister, Sheila Wenzler said. “PNMs are super emotional, and they just want to get bids from their top sororities. On the other hand, sororities are nervous to see who comes back and wants to join them.”

The Panhellenic Association, the body in-charge of Towson’s sororities, is left to manage the inevitable disappointment that ensues after girls do not get invited to join their top sorority. Recruitment counselors are appointed to help girls manage the stress and anxiety that the arduous recruitment process elicits. However, according to Heasley, the majority of girls that completed recruitment accepted invitations to sororities.

“We had a very high retention rate of women going through the process which we are very proud of,” Heasley said. “This has a lot to do with the hard work of the recruitment counselors and the Panhellenic executive board. It takes a lot of people and a lot of hard work to make it a smooth process.”

Next Spring the emotional roller coaster that is formal recruitment will take place again. Until then, however, new members will look to discover and develop the sisterhood that unifies a sorority.

Journalistic Objectivity in the Age of Trump

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Torres, Robinson, Ruben, and Stelter discuss what it means to be objective. (Photo by: Mike Mills/TU student)

The presidential election is must watch reality television, and on a brisk fall evening Towson students and faculty received a behind the scenes look into one of the most controversial presidential elections in recent memory.

“Trump brings the biggest challenge of the decade to journalism,” CNN host Brian Stelter said.

On October 20 about 200 people filled the Potomac Room at Towson University. With the 2016 presidential election leading to more media scrutiny than ever before, a panel was held to discuss objectivity in the age of Donald Trump. Towson welcomed CNN host Brian Stelter, Maryland Public Television reporter Charles Robinson, Washington Post writer Jennifer Ruben, and Senior External Affairs Director for Free Press Joseph Torres to discuss the issue of objectivity.

The panel started off slow as the panelists defined what objectivity meant to them. The flash of the photographers’ cameras illuminated the room. It was clear early on that the panelists were trying to find their footing and avoid stepping on each others toes. Once the panelists settled in however, the intensity of the conversation picked up. Continue reading “Journalistic Objectivity in the Age of Trump”

Young Voters stuck between Rock and a Hard Place on Election Day

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Towson students wait patiently for their chance to vote outside of the Loch Raven room in the University Union. (Photo by: Mike Mills/TU Student)

Towson University students stood anxiously in line waiting for their chance to decide the fate of the United States’ presidential election.

Some students did not hold back when asked about how they felt about this year’s election. Continue reading “Young Voters stuck between Rock and a Hard Place on Election Day”