Tuesday, April 17

And Yet Still Another Reason to Worry for my Daughter

I opened up Bloglines this morning interested to see what all of the clever and intelligent bloggers I subscribe to had to say about the massacre at Virginia Tech only to find that most of them did not mention it at all. Hmm. Maybe they just haven't had time to put their thoughts into words. Maybe mommy bloggers don't want to think about a time when they have to send their babies to college where they could be shot. Maybe teacher bloggers don't want to think about the possibility of their students going on a murderous rampage. I'm not sure that I have any more coherent thoughts than that, but I do know that I can't just go on with the blog I had planned today in the wake of such a tragedy, so here goes--some random and jumbled thoughts about this horrible event:

  • I hate the media. Fucking vultures. I hate cell phones with video cameras. I do not want to hear the shots, the screams of terror. Nobody should be allowed to profit from such vile circumstances. I tried to watch the news last night to get a better grasp of what had happened, and I could only stomach it for 5 minutes before I turned it off. NBC aired a warning to parents--childcare experts advise parents to limit their children's viewing of the coverage of this event, lest it cause them too much trauma. Here's an idea, assholes...don't air footage that causes anybody too much trauma. Nobody needs to be bombarded with horrific images, ridiculous speculations, and interviews with the victims. Give us the facts, when you have them, and let the rest lie.
  • Now for the hypocrisy. Even though I can't handle the televised coverage, I have been reading news articles all morning. Here's one of those victim interviews I just admonished: in one of the classrooms, two young men had the presence of mind to barricade their classroom door with tables. While others were jumping out second story windows in a panic, these boys simply prevented the shooter from getting in at all. He gave the door a good shove, fired into it, and moved on. I mention this only because I truly hope that if something like this ever happened to me, I would manage to be that calm and wise. I mention this because as a teacher, I would hope that at the first sound of shots I would calmly put down my dry erase marker and instruct my students to start piling their desks up against the door and to stay away from the windows. I mention this because it is so sad that we live in a time where people have to come up with an in-case-of-massacre plan. The media-whores keep pushing the question of whether or not the campus police were prepared for this to happen, but really, isn't this the kind of event that we should, ideally, be completely unprepared for? Or are we really meant to live our lives thinking, "Okay, if we have a massacre today, here's what we need to do..."
  • Teachers just aren't paid enough.
  • Stop playing the blame game. I've read quotes from so many people who were "outraged" that the school wasn't closed down after the first two killings. Do these people realize how difficult it is to close an entire university campus? That would be equivalent to closing down an entire town because of one murder. With a campus police squad. What do you think would have happened if the campus police called the National Guard and said, we had a student shoot two other students in the dorm, will you come right over? If I were teaching in the English building at my school, I'm sure I could have gone on about the importance of thesis statements for hours before I had realized there had been a shooting in the Engineering building. Those campus cops did their best. Nobody could have prevented such a horrible thing from happening--there is only one person to blame, and he is dead.
  • Although, this generation is coming of age in a time when the government consistently tries to solve its problems with violence, so maybe a teeny bit of blame can go there, too.
  • I cannot live in fear. I cannot live in fear. Despite the title of this entry, I cannot allow myself to become so wrapped up in worry and doubt that I try to "save" M. from all the nasty things that could possibly happen to her. Bad things happen. Horrible, tragic things happen. But living life as if they are always about to happen? That, too, is tragic. As a mother, I have to let my daughter live her life as best she can with the tools I provide her. As a teacher, I cannot be suspicious of every student who seems stressed out or angry--hell, I'm stressed out and angry most of the time! As a thinking person, I cannot allow the media to dictate my perception of the world around me...just because they always focus on the negative doesn't mean I have to! Whenever something like this happens, I have to remind myself that there are good things in this world, as well. There are glorious, giving people doing good work every day. We just rarely hear about them.


Oh, The Joys said...

I am so sad today. So sad.

The Giant said...

Amen sister! You echoed most of my thoughts exactly.

Doug said...

Arm the teachers!

(Leg them as well.)