April 16, 2007

In case you hadn't heard

The fatality count is up over 2o now. The latest reports say that number includes the shooter, so hopefully the numbers won't go any higher. [ed. note: total up to 32. Just boggles the mind.]

It's all so sad and disturbing, and more than a little surreal. I went to Virginia Tech. I was an RA in West AJ, and spent the bulk of my time at college right across from Norris Hall (the Mechanical Engineering classes were primarily in Randolph); Norris was where the Engineering Science and Mechanics kids had most of their classes, and where, at the time, the Dean of the School of Engineering's office was (and probably still is).

I don't really know what to say about it. It's hard to get your head around the idea that something like this could happen much of anywhere, but especially in a place like Blacksburg.

Blacksburg is the picture of a nice, small college town; which is to say, it was almost mind-numbingly boring a lot of the time. Most people who went there will tell you, "Nothing ever happens in Blacksburg." Sure, the occasional incident downtown, some trouble with varsity atheletes, but nothing any different from or worse than a school of its size anywhere else. It's a beautiful place to be, absolutely picturesque on a sunny day.

Sadly, not anymore. Blacksburg is, from now on, going to be That Place. What was once described as a quiet, borderline-idyllic campus settled in the mountains of southwest Virginia will forever be referred to as the site of one of the worst disasters a college campus has ever seen. Virginia Tech is now inextricably linked to Columbine and every other school tragedy you can think of.

Fortunately for me, I don't know anyone still at school there, nor can I think of anyone I know whose kids are down there. I hope you don't either. But if you do, I hope that they're safe and unharmed.


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