Sunday, April 22, 2007

That Was My Dorm, Too

This is not what I intended to write this week. I went to Virginia Beach with my son during the Massachusetts spring break to visit my parents and brother. I haven't been back in a few years. This post was supposed to be about how the weather wasn't great, but it was nice to see my family (close and extended, plus friends), eat cheap clams on the halfshell, fly kites on the beach, and finally get a good day on our last full day there (yesterday). That was all true.

But this wasn't a normal week of any kind. Many of you know that I attended Virginia Tech--a proud Hokie who still wears her college ring, more than two decades later. I met my husband there. I love the beautiful campus, love the school, loved my four years. What happened this week touched me very deeply--not just because of the sheer horror of it, but also because of the weird closeness to my own life. I lived for three years in West Ambler Johnston (first the third floor, then the fourth, where the first killings occurred). Norris Hall is where my husband--an engineering science and mechanics major--took many of his classes.

The terrible events that happened this week caused immense shock and grief for many more than just those with a direct connection to the school. The outpouring of support from across the country has been heartening. Thanks to all of you who paused a moment--or many moments--to remember the students and teachers who thought they were facing just another morning in class that day.

Soon, we'll get on with the business of debating gun control and dealing with mentally ill students and deciding whether or not the school administration handled the situation correctly and on and on.

But for now, I'll just remember--that was my dorm, too. That was my school, too. And it still is.

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