Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
User Journal

Journal Ethelred Unraed's Journal: Mass death in my hometown 10

(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.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mass death in my hometown

Comments Filter:
  • I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA and I feel that surreality whenever it is in the news, regardless of how small or, as is often the case, bizarre. It's difficult to imagine having it make the news for such a tragedy as this.
  • I've just spent the afternoon watching TV coverage and find that it makes my skin crawl to see that many police and ambulances mobilized on what I know to be a quiet and peaceful campus. I probably won't visit Blacksburg until late this year or maybe even next year, but I know that when I do, it will feel different.

    • by dave-tx ( 684169 ) *

      As a followup, the sadness of this thing really struck me when I realized that Blacksburg was never supposed to be mentioned on the evening network news. This just isn't supposed to happen.

      I had to finally turn off the TV. I don't think I can take hearing the phrase "Massacre at Virginia Tech" any more today.

  • I think I spent the last hour at work today just staring at the tv screen in my office seriously stunned at what was going on in Blacksburg. I was getting some updates via IM from a fellow Hokie I went to school with that works from home through the day, and it was just unbelievable to hear the reports come in. My department (civil engineering) taught most of their classes in Norris Hall, and I thought alot of mechanical and civil engineering classes are still taught in there.

    Very sad for a nice little mo
    • Yeah, I think it's hard for most people to imagine what an innocent place it is (or was).



      • Never been there myself but I really don't look forward to the collective naval gazing that is going to ensue after this one.

        There'll be the round of "why wasn't this prevented?" and then the "how do we stop it in the future?" and we'll wind up with more locks maybe some metal detectors and some improved lock-down procedures that will only really serve as a constant reminder of what happened rather than actually provide any security.

        The thing is that you can't secure a large open space with multiple buildin
        • Ya. Like I noted over on Multiply, I find it faintly disturbing how schools in America increasingly resemble prisons each time I visit there, right down to the barbed wire and lack of windows.

          I can actually easily understand the slow reaction to the second round of shootings, though, having lived there. Any shooting is hard to imagine in Blacksburg, so once a shooting takes place you're already in a bit of a state of shock and confusion dealing with it. The idea that another shooting will soon take place

  • Seriously, Blacksburg is the last place I where I would have thought something like this would happen. I haven't been back there in well over a year, but I have fond memories of the time I spent in that town.

    My thoughts go out to everyone there. They just had their "safety" rug pulled right out from under them.
  • As much as I have been close to tears these last few days seeing the community come together, seeing students stand together at the rememberance this afternoon, seeing the alumni and Virginia college community reach out to the campus, I can't imagine what I will feel next time I am back on campus and see that building where I spent many many classes while at Virginia Tech.

    And seeing the list of victims this morning, it really struck a bit close to home for me. One of the professors killed, I knew. He was
    • Same here. It's been some years since I've even been on the campus, and I only actually studied there a year myself, but it hurts badly to watch what's going on and not being able to be there.

      Been wearing my Hokies stuff the past few days as sort of a token replacement.

      Blacksburg was always my childhood home, my idealized sort of place that I looked back on fondly. Hard to say what I think about it now.



"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"