Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

You know how the blogosphere feels like a small world? You surf around and find a brand new, very engaging blog, only to find that the blogger is blogrolling some of your blogging friends? Well, academia is a lot like that, too. It's a small world. And the longer you work in academia, the smaller the world gets.

I have friends who graduated from Virginia Tech. I know people who've worked there. I am probably one degree of separation away from many people who are working there right now. I've probably sat next to some of them at conferences.

So as the reality of the tragedy there has been unfolding in the press today, I have felt it on a very personal level. I hear about their students, but I see my students. I read about their campus, but I think about my campus. They are different, of course. But, really, they are the same.

My heart and mind are with everyone at Virginia Tech tonight. They are us. We are them.


mysamiam said...

Thank you for posting this. I just sat down to cruise a little on the net, and honestly, didn't think I could look at a blog about other peoples lives right now, as the priorities are with those families at Virginia Tech. I couldn't even think about bringing myself to blog today about my world and Sam's, as it would seem so selfish after hearing the news. Ironically I posted this morning before I heard about it all. I understand your connections. Having a school counselor background and after dealing with the Red Lake Indian Reservations murders a couple years ago in our state, and having two students connected with that, it all brings back too many awful feelings. A sick and bottomless pit in my stomach. God bless them.

Maddy said...

Likewise. I've not posted myself, too grim to contemplate. I just cannot imagine. I don't think I can.
best wishes [to you and them]

kristina said...

I'm trying to think about how to talk about this---is it possible?---with my students tomorrow.

Just feeling, and feeling.

MOM-NOS said...

I know what you mean, Sam I Am. I thought twice before posting my previous post earlier today. It seemed awfully frivolous in light of what had happened.

But, you know - Paul McCartney is my rock, after all. And I was trying to maintain a calm veneer.

Christine said...

For me, this tragedy hits really close to home. It feels a bit like the aftermath of 9/11 honestly. You just can't quite believe that it really happened and that the sun is still shining today.

kristen spina said...

We always ask ourselves how something like this could happen, but I find myself wondering why this has—more and more—become a choice anyone would want to make. So much violence for so very little reason. And nothing but sadness, anger and fear in its wake. Thanks for the posting.

Health Watch Center said...

Latest update about this tragedy...

Police identified the shooter as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior from South Korea who was in the English department at Virginia Tech and lived on campus.

"It's certainly reasonable to assume that Cho was the shooter in both cases," but authorities haven't made the link for sure, said Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police.

A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information had not been announced, said Cho was carrying a backpack that contained receipts for a March purchase of a Glock 9 mm pistol.

Self Help Zone

MOM-NOS said...

Another update indicated that one of the first two students killed was a Resident Advisor who was responding to the situation because one of his residents needed help.

This afternoon I am participating in a training session for the staff of Resident Advisors that we've hired for next year. Like Kristina, I don't know what to say to them.

Wendy said...

It is a tragedy. I just keep thinking about the parents of those kids and how that college isn't going to be the same for a long, long time.

Here in Virginia, the flags are at half-mast for a day. Many of the students killed or wounded were graduates of my county's school system.

May all of those students rest in peace.

gretchen said...

Amen from another college campus.

I pretty much feel like an a$$ for complaining about my teenager yesterday, that's for sure.

My husband works with a woman whose daughter is in her freshman year at Va. Tech. She is fine, but what a scare.

I hope something can be learned from this. I hope. But what?

MOM-NOS said...

Gretchen, I think that's the scariest part for me. I keep thinking "What would we do if that happened here?" and as much as I'd like to think that we would be able to snap into action and prevent a tragedy of that magnitude, I have a hard time coming up with just exactly how we'd make that happen.

Mamaroo said...

I have just been sitting here watching CNN and I don't know what to think or feel. I just can not comprehend what was going through this boys mind to do something like this. I just can not imagine what the families of the victims are going through.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow student affairs professional helping students make their way through Chickering's Vector's, your post today struck a chord with me and described very well how I'm feeling. I've just been dumbfounded. I have had this sick feeling in my stomach since I heard the news, and I've been thinking about the RAs I was responsible for training during the 10 years I worked in Res. Life. You never think when you take the job that you might have to deal with something like this.

My heart goes out to all those who lost family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues because of this tragedy. My thoughts are also with the college administrators, faculty and students who are out there in the trenches helping their students to cope with this.

Mom-NOS and Kristina - You both do such a nice job of expressing yourselves so eloquently in writing. I'm sure you have found the right words in processing this with your students. Just letting them know that you care enough to bring it up most likely made a big difference. It says a lot about you as people. God bless all affected by this.

Anonymous said...

We live a thousand miles away, yet this might as well have been right in my city. Quark works at our University. My sister teaches at our College, my brother teaches at our technical institute. Most of Daughter's friends are in one of the three. How easily this horrific incident could happen here is anyone's guess. My heart aches for all involved- including the police who are facing scrutiny. Nobody asked for this.My prayers are out to all who have been affected.

deb said...

Well, you will be not so happy to know that aside from your VT connection... Cho's grandmother in South Korea is stating that he had autism diagnosed as a child.

It makes me a little nuts that yet another school shooter is having a spectrum disorder pinned to him, as if people with autism are running around society unchecked and armed. Clearly he doesn't have "classic autism" but this community doesn't need this type of stigma attached to it. Autism is hard enough without this misleading idea that people who suffer from it wind up commiting mass murder.

Zaecus Celestis said...

"Autism is hard enough without this misleading idea that people who suffer from it wind up commiting mass murder."

Unfortunately, there are far too many of us who fit what is now being called 'the profile'. I did.

And it doesn't look as though a lot of effort is being put into stopping the bullying and ostracism that is a huge part of that profile.

I keep reading things where people say 'everybody' gets teased and bullied, and all I can think is that they have no idea. I had two attempts on my life in as many years, in addition to everything else.