Last night in my Young Adult Literature class we were talking about Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson and the topic of the killings at Virginia Tech came up. I haven't said anything about that here, because I've been trying to sort out my own perspective on it. Initially, I was horrified and kept imagining it happening here, which caused me to burst into tears at odd times imagining my students and colleagues being attacked by someone who had come unhinged. I have a friend who teaches at Virginia Tech, and she talked about being locked down in her building (right across from Norris Hall) and watching as police and medical personnel swarmed the building.
I was especially touched by the groups of Virginia Tech students who focus on the campus as a family and support each other through their sorrow. What a sad and sobering commentary this event is on our world today. But along with the horror, there is much that is good about the human spirit being exhibited in Blacksburg.
And can I just take a moment to go on a tangent? Kudos to my Young Adult Literature class members this semester. They are a great group of students who participate in class with a serious but communal kind of demeanor. I tend to teach in ways that some students don't appreciate -- big focus on "how are we making sense of this together" -- and they always go with me. Last night I asked them to role play a character from one of the novels that we have read this semester and they all participated very well. I can't say enough about how much I appreciate these great students.