I debated for a while if I should post anything about this. However there does seem to be a crowd here that this effects or will soon effect as they are in college or will soon be. For that matter, incidents such as those that happened at NIU or VT are not selective to colleges as these events also unfold in high schools, work places or just anywhere.
I don't think anyone can grasp how real this can become until it's -there before you- and students are suddenly in your office covered in blood, fleeing for their life, or fighting to keep it. It's during that time you realize it's here, and that it isn't a news story about somewhere else, it's here -now-. Even then, during that moment your adrenaline takes over and you begin to work off instinct. At that time you react based off your core, and you deal with everything from an immediate level.
It wasn't until later in the evening while cleaning the blood of the injured off the floor in our building, that two ministers came over me and began to pray. That's when the adrenaline vanished, and the emotional sock began to set in, this is the blood of my students, these are the people that I'm here for. Why is this here? Why did this happen? Why would you do this to someone?
Like many others around here I grew up in Cole Hall. It's where I learned from professors that "there's no magic in math," it's where I learned how to program recursive functions in C++, it's where I failed anthropology tests, it's where I would bring in pillows at night and watched movies with my friends for film studies. And this week a dark memory was added to the list of things that I'll remember about Cole Hall.
A quote was made the other night during the vigil...
"We must not let darkness walk the earth at night."
As I walk back to work Tuesday, I will not walk in fear. I will not let a shooter tarnish my memories. When Cole reopens, I will hate Cole Hall for the tests that I took in there, for the painful 60's era desks, for the olive green paint scheme; but I'll look back and still remember the fun I still managed to have with my friends, remembering the mass exam of assembler programming and each section cheering as loud as they could that they were going to get an A. (my section wasn't the loudest, I got a B) A shooter will not alter that list for me.
There's no reason for any of you in college, or soon going to college, to be afraid. While we are helpless to incidents like these, we grow stronger every time. There are those here to protect. Just as I grabbed my keys and had my building locked in a few moments, I'm there at the door as are others of the staff to defend what we can, support those that need it, and prepare for the next day.
While we cannot stop life's dark shadow, I will not let it walk on me at night, and I hope that you will not either.
My thoughts to the victims, our campus, and everyone here,