Monday, April 16, 2007


We've spent all evening watching the terrible news from Virginia Tech.

I certainly can't imagine what the students at VTech went through today.

While I was scanning GoogleNews, I came across this article: major school shootings.

The stress faced by students is well documented. In my almost-six quarters of graduate studies, I've seen two students drop out for various reasons. I've also witnessed countless freak-outs by my friends in grad school, ranging in severity from compulsive M&M eating to excessive partying. And I too have felt the intense pressure of making the grade. (Confession: the compulsive M&M eating was me).

My point isn't necessarily related to today's events. I was just thinking about the kind of pressure students face, whether self-motivated or not.

Today as I was walking to my car after class, I was thinking about what it would be like to have the idyllic spring afternoon broken by gunshots, to have my classroom invaded by an armed man. What would I do? How would I react?

I was hurrying home to see my baby and I didn't even notice that my backpack was unzipped. As I swung my bag off my shoulder, my laptop fell out and clattered to the ground. Any other day, I would have been devasted. I probably would have said words I wouldn't repeat in polite company. I might have hunted down some M&Ms.

Today, however, I just picked up my Dell (which is working fine, by the way) and got into my car. There were more important things going on.

I guess my point is that it comes down to perspective, and your ability to put things into perspective. I'm glad I've been able to do that.

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