Friday, April 20, 2007

Virginia Tech Connection

Ken graduated from Virginia Tech in 1991.

While he doesn’t go back there nearly as much as we go visit WSU, it's still part of him, part of his history. I’ve been keeping an eye on him this week in light of the horrible event on Monday. In the mornings, he’s taken to hitting the snooze button immediately when our “NPR alarm” goes off because the predominant stories are about the massacre. He says “I’m just not ready yet.” In truth, how could anyone be ready for it? This story deserves and is receiving constant media coverage but it’s A LOT to take in, especially if you have a connection to the place. I can only imagine...

I’ve read the profiles of the fallen and seen the repulsive photos of the shooter splashed on the front page of the newspaper. I have also read the Washington Post's comprehensive summary of the details of that day, changing it from a unfathomable spectacle to a waking nightmare. I think the dead deserve our attention, not only to know them as the shining lights they once were, but to know how fragile life is and how the end can come quickly, brutally, undeservedly.

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Hope for the future and realizing one’s potential are a major part of going to college, but now I suspect something persistent and seeded in distrust may creep into the college experience. Like flying on an airplane now, any room for exception or magic has given way to rules and annoyance. And it’s not what you want for the next generation(s). Freedom, spontaneity, openness and making friends is hard to do if you’re wondering whether the quiet kid in the corner is going to snap one day and go big with it. I can't help but wonder where the rage comes from?

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