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Thread: A few thought about NIU

  1. #1
    OMG h8 pings MrFlyTrap2's Avatar
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    A few thoughts about NIU

    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,
    Nathan

  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    That was really sweet, dude. I dunno whats up with all of the shooting lately. This stuff used to not happen.

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    Capslock's Avatar
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    That was a fantastic post, Nathan. I admire and try to share your attitude about these events. Life goes on, and you cannot live in fear. We cannot stop the unpredictable from happening, but can control our reaction and grow stronger from our experiences. I just wish our whole nation had followed this advice following 9/11.

    Capslock
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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    That's a tragedy, but many more students will die because of car accidents than from shootings, but no one pays attention. Even focusing on shootings, of which there is no shortage in the US, every year there are something in the neighborhood of 30,000 shooting deaths in the US. Darn few happen at colleges. A little more than half are suicide, a little more than 1/3 are homicide and the remainder are accidents, self-defense, police, etc. More than 200,000 people are injured in US shootings each year too. My neighboring city of Hartford, CT, pop. 120,000, had ~30 murders last year, a rate that would equal 6 per year at NIU. All in all, colleges are pretty safe places to be, at least from the perspective of murder rates.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    The media can't show what its like to be in a situation like this. Seeing it on tv never comes close to seeing something like this. We can never understand the things you saw or went through. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and making this more personal and more real.

    If there is anything we can do, please let us know.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I've been thinking all afternoon about what Nathan wrote and it's too bad he wasn't in charge of our country in 2001.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    OMG h8 pings MrFlyTrap2's Avatar
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    Oh dear, Bruce, I by no means would ever want to run this country. Maybe a small island, but not a country. 8)

    I agree with you on quite a few levels. But there's a few things to think about when comparing numbers of deaths. When I get into my car to goto McDonald's, the first thing that I do is put on my seatbelt. Why? In the waaay back of my head, it's an accepted risk, driving to McDonald's could be a danger to my life. (eating McDonald's could be too) I slow down when it snows out, why? People die while driving during snow. When I do keg stands at parties, I think to myself, oooh I shouldn't fall asleep on my back tonight. When I walk through a bad part of town at night, I'm 'ready' to deal with something bad. If one feels any of those risks are too great, he or she tries to avoid it.

    The difference comes when you are in your safe zone, a zone almost sacred in a way. The only thing I should fear about in Cole Hall is not knowing how to multiply matrices correctly, or tripping down the stairs and making a fool of myself. When you suddenly become hunted like an animal... That's a risk you were not ready for, nor is it a risk you want to be ready for. I feel that's why people have a hard time grasping these shootings, how on earth are you suppose to avoid this risk at high school, at college, or at work? That seems to be the trouble people are asking themselves; and there doesn't seem to be an answer. Without turning math into an armed camp, what can be done? Even then I'm very doubtful to any solution proposed.

    Our headline vanished from the front page of MSNBC due to a drag racing accident that killed 8 bystanders. They too were not ready for the risk, they were there to see someone else take the risk, not them personally. Again an incident like that strikes our attention.

    But until a real solution comes, if it every does, I hope people understand the need to pick themselves up and march back into the place that they were, and for parents to let them go. Those that do will undoubtedly have a different feeling about being in the same spot, but he or she that does is refusing to let the darkness walk on them at night. I hope to see more standing along side.

    Nathan
    My Grow List

    "It is only by studying nature that can we ever hope to defeat it."

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    Illinois droseraguy's Avatar
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    That was alot of well put thoughts Nathan, thanks. My son being a freshman in high school makes me keenly aware of this kind of thing. We ususally talk about the issues of the day. Neither of us is too fearful of this kind of seemingly recurring event.

    It's sad and tragic. Ultimately we take a higher risk in everyday life by just driving to or from somewhere after 10 pm. Accepted risk like you said is one thing but being surprised by a situation in a "safe" place is not acceptable. I don't see any real answers to this issue. Being aware is sometimes the best answer.
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and The American G. I. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
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