Wednesday, April 18, 2007


It was strange walking through the halls at school yesterday. In my mind I kept wondering what it would have been like to be at Virginia Tech. Fortunately for me my imagination is not good enough to conjure up those horrific images.

The closest I have come to a serious crime on campus happened maybe eight years ago. A young woman student was raped in an alley next to one of the buildings on campus. It made the news and there were all sorts of warnings around campus. A sketch of the suspect was posted and everyone was nervous. It was one of those rare semesters where I has about as many women in my class as men and I felt obligated to talk about the events and to see how the students were feeling. The discussion was very somber and everyone spoke in hushed tones. It was a healing session, I thought.

Two days later it came out that the student had made the entire event up. She was freaked out about something in her personal life and she told this tale. To me this was worse than the rape. The entire campus felt betrayed and worse, the imaginary suspect was a person of color. In my class two days later we had a very different sort of discussion. There was a lot of anger. The African-American students were especially upset. It was bad.

But not as bad as what happened the other day in Virginia.

I am going to end on a better note. A student of mine is part of a team of four Columbia students who are in San Diego as part of the National Collegiate Film School Championships. 20 college film school teams were given a five minute script Wednesday night at 9pm. They need to deliver the film by 9am on Saturday. The event is being tapeed for a future TV show. Good luck Andrew and team. I'll report the results next week.



Internet Safety Advisor said...

I wonder how many other educators, and those of us who work in some sort of capacity in a school environment, have wondered the same kinds of things??

I know, I have.

At the very least, this horrific incident, will hopefully, begin a dialog amongst us all...

Anonymous said...

People are strange creatures. The oddest things compel us to do weird stuff. Some people just go over the edge, like making up stuff to cover their asses or injuring others and themselves.

Relatively normal people may not be as relatively normal as you think.

PeterH said...


I know a lot of relatively normal people who are not as normal as I think.

Yes, people are strange creatures.