16 April 2007

Oh, Virginia.....

Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I am completely riveted to the news about Va. Tech. Maybe it's because I'm a teacher, and I've had to spend the last few days reviewing lock-down and emergency procedures with my students (coincidentally, we had a sloppy lockdown drill last Friday where one of my students "got killed" -- and let me tell you how much I loved hearing that the principal had told her "you're dead, Reina"). Maybe it's because I lived in Norris at Grinnell, and even though I know their Norris is a classroom building, I can't help but imagine some mutant cross between our Norris and ARH. Maybe it's because of what happened at Grinnell in the fall of 1998, when we spent a few dazed weeks wondering why Carl would do that to himself, trying to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.... or Grinnell in the spring of 2003, when we all sat inside a bubble of tragedy and sadness that seemed inescapable.... The analogies of tragedy, I guess, and I suppose it's normal to try to put a face on such loss, to try to comprehend it..... I don't know. All I know is that I'm so heartbroken over it all, and the closer-to-home Grinnell story, as it unfolds, somehow ties VA with Grinnell, and all we lived through there.

God. I have nothing profound or illuminating to say. I keep coming back to something Vonnegut said, in advice to new babies on this planet. "God damn it," he said, "you've got to be kind."

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