(The following is reposted from my blog on Multiply.)
I practically grew up on the campus of Virginia Tech. My dad was a cadet there for a year; both parents were grad students there (as a result I spent much of my early childhood in the university library); my mom worked there for several years; I studied there a year myself. Of all the places where I have lived, Blacksburg is the one I consider to be "home", even though I haven't really lived there since I was small (though I lived in the vicinity until I was 12 and was in a dorm when 18).
When I went to Tech, I went to classes in Norris; I had friends who lived in West AJ.
Blacksburg is an idyllic place. It is quiet, up in the mountains, with a couple nice lakes and lots of hiking trails nearby. Nice people, too. Great place to raise your kids. I'll always fondly remember it.
That something as monstrous as the outright cold-blooded murder of (as of now, according to CNN) over 30 people could happen in a place like Blacksburg is almost unimaginable to me. Seeing the campus I know like the back of my hand even now on German TV with policemen carrying around bloodied bodies is surreal to the point of making me nauseated.
Needless to say, my mom called earlier and is in tears. Just total shock and disbelief. The worst school shooting in US history, possibly the worst mass shooting in US history, period. In Blacksburg, of all places.