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Thursday, February 14, 2008

NIU Tragedy

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the shooting at Northern Illinois University- a scant 2 hours from my home. We stop in DeKalb every time we drive in to Chicago. Kids in our town go to this school. I'm wracking my brain to think of former students who have chosen NIU, hoping they are ok. Our local news has on its crawler that all classes have been canceled for the day and weekend sporting events on the campus have been canceled as well. So far they report 6 deaths and 16 more injured.
What is wrong with people? What would ever possess anyone to do something so completely heinous?

It's a bit close to home and it makes me recall that horrible day in November of 1991 when angry grad student, Gang Lu opened fire at the University of Iowa. I was a student at the University of Northern Iowa at the time and it was crazy- all the phone lines were tied up for hours, because of course, people across the country just heard "university" and "Iowa" and freaked out. If you get the chance, read the book The Boys of My Youth, by Joanne Beard. It's a collection of essays- some of which are hilarious, but also includes the author's account of her memories of that day- she worked in that office- I think she even copied Gang Lu's dissertation. Her essay brings some reality to that day- shows us how "normal" a day it started out to be.

Remember these kids in your prayers, and the survivors, too. They will need some special strength in the coming days.

3 Comments:

Blogger Sunshine said...

We were at UNI at the same time. In one of those bizarre cosmic mysteries, I wonder how many times I walked past you on campus. Don't imagine you walked from the Old Aud across all along that long sidewalk past the Business building at 10 AM Monday, Wednesday, Friday, did ya?

2/14/2008 9:40 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

Oh my god, I did, I did! ALL my classes were in the Old Aud! I had several classes in the Ed. Center, too. I lived on Olive, right by the Old Aud., a couple of blocks from University Ave. I worked at Walgreens in College Square mall...yeah, I probably saw you quite a bit. What was your major?

2/14/2008 11:13 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

I wish I had something helpful to add; an answer or a suggestion or a reason or SOMETHING that could make sense of this sort of thing. The truth is that I don't, though, and neither does anyone else I know.

I've been preoccupied with this story all week:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-oxnard15feb15,1,6115941,full.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

My husband is worried about my safety in my community college classrooms. It all makes me so sad.

2/15/2008 6:20 AM  

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