Monday, April 16, 2007

World, changed

At first it just seemed like a sensational thing. I was hungry to hear more about it, sickly almost hoping that there was more than just the one person who was killed.

Then I got weirded out. No one seemed to understand the way I felt - surely I didn't actually fear for my own safety. No, I'd try to explain, I'm not afraid for myself, it's just really surreal that this happened in a place where I spent four years.

Emails flew between friends, including messages from professors talking about how our beloved Performing Arts Building is within sight of Norris Hall and describing seeing bodies being carried out, as well as beautiful sentiments from each other about our time there.

Then I started to get really sad. Both of my parents called me within ten minutes of each other, not long after it came out that there were over thirty dead, to see what I thought and to each in their own way tell me how they were near tears at just the thought of how horrible it would be for them, and for me, if I was still there.

Southern Boy watched CNN for hours with me, and I poured over the details as he stroked my hair. I'm sorry to keep harping on this, I kept saying, it's just so weird that this happened there. He nodded.

As I sit now at my desk, some disgusting Hollywood Access-ish show plays in the other room, getting Hollywood's reaction to the tragedy. To hear the name of the institution being said over and over again in the cheesy announcer's voice sickens me a bit. I've never been one of those people who goes crazy over my Alma Mater, but hearing about it with all of these negative associations saddens me.

I guess it's really sinking in now. The whole world, especially to those who have some personal connection, I suppose has changed. Will we ever be able to remember this place again without a cloud?

I loved my four years at Virginia Tech, and hope that soon all of us, and the whole country, will be able to remember, untainted, all of the wonderful things about this university and our time there.

- Rees
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Class of 2001, BA in Theatre Arts, Minor in Music


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