Monday, April 16, 2007

A sad day......

I was going to write a post tonight about Lasik eye surgery and polyethylene glycol. With every sentence I wrote, my mind kept drifting to what happened at Virginia Tech today.

I am feeling some serious end-of-school-year stress right now, but nothing I have to deal with can compare to what those people have to endure.

I don't feel angry or upset. I feel sad. I think the fact that this happened at a school and I teach at a school makes it seem too real and too close to home. Most of our students come here to learn and make the transition to independence. In many ways, they are vulnerable: mentally and physically. That's not a criticism. It's part of life and a right of passage. Some students that get to college are well on their way, if not fully arrived, to independence. Some have a long way to go. It is our job to help them become independent young adults and, at times, protect them when they are not ready. I truly care for the well being of my students on many different levels. Seeing what happened at Virginia Tech today, makes it much more apparent than normal that we cannot protect our students from everything. A mad man hell bent on murder is the absolute extreme.

what the fuck is going on? I'm typically a jovial fella who likes to throw a bit of humor around, but right now it isn't right.

The blame is already happening. The VT administration and police are already under fire. That response is normal and understandable, but try to give them a break. Now is not the time to second guess and blame the people in charge. What do we expect? Marital law to be declared whenever a murder takes place? Someone will have to answer for what happened, but that can wait.

I'm sad.

Sorry for the downer.

Even the arrival of my ChemBark magnets couldn't keep me happy.


A-non-y-mous said...

It is indeed a very sad day.

I only watched CNN last night for a few minutes, watching the Chief of Police and President(?) of VT getting grilled by the media. I really don't know what they could have done to prevent this. People need to realize that a large university is like a small city (~30,000 people). You can't just evacuate, or lock down and search, a small city at the drop of a hat.

What is sad is knowing that this can happen anywhere. There is a certain amount of trust in society, and this can be violated by anyone, anywhere, anytime. This tradgedy could just as easily happened at a supermarket, restaurant, or church.

A sad day indeed, for society.

Liberal Arts Chemist said...

As a Canadian I can only offer a sympathetic hope for recovery. I agree that it is too early for blame but to my eyes and ears from "outside" the US it appears that the urgency is largely media driven. People take longer to process and cope than the typical media newscycle allow.

I agree with you that there is something special about some of our public spaces such as universities (and schools), places of worship and hospitals that just make these events seem to be so much worse than if the shooter had randomly shot up a shopping mall or a bank.

I also agree with the previous post that a society that cannot trust its citizens to abide by unwritten codes of conduct will not be able to function as a free society. Does that now mean that in order to have the freedom that we experience in our university campus's we have to expect a certain number of Virginia Tech's as some kind of expected consequence? I would hate to see our universities become gated and isolated communities.

On the other hand, if it does turn out that the shooter was a student it will certainly put a chill on end of semester marking. With the recent changes in public education, quite often, we university professors are the first people in our students lives to hold them to a standard and actually fail them as a consequence of their lack of discipline of knowledge. Some students are just not ready to hear that message.'

Too little information.
Too tragic.

Take care.