Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When bubbles burst

When I, along with several other Link222 members, roamed local college campuses yesterday to get reactions to the deadly massacre at Virginia Tech and I saw the shock and questions in those students’ eyes that I interviewed, I saw something else.

I instantly saw myself and what I probably would have looked like had this happened when I was in college.

It’s something about college life, especially when you go away to school, that makes you feel like you’re in some kind of bubble. Your college campus becomes something of a home away from home. Friends and professors become your extended family.

It’s almost as if college is your safe haven from all of the craziness going on in the real world because, despite the partying, despite the fun and everything else, mostly everybody there, from the faculty to the students, has one ultimate goal in mind: ensuring your future success.

So what happens when a madman or madwoman suddenly storms in and bursts that bubble?

I’m sure that will be revealed in the coming days, weeks, months and maybe even years following this tragedy.

When I finally had a chance to actually sit down and watch recap of the shooting on NBC’s Dateline last night, I was struck by something else.

Maybe it was just me, but it seemed as though the students interviewed hadn’t really emotionally absorbed what had happened yet either.

I mean several times Brian Williams and Matt Lauer said how they noticed that students were so shocked to even see them on their campus. Asked them why they were there. They had to inform several students that this was the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

The people they interviewed were not just random students, but folks who were actually in the classroom or nearby where at least 20 people were killed. They each had miraculous stories of survival and yet, as they told their stories, they kind of appeared as though the reporters were asking them questions about a sports’ team loss or something.

I’m more worried that it could be a sign that society has gotten to a point to where young people have become numb to massive violence like this. It’s barely more than 24 hours since the shooting, so it’s extremely too early to hypothesize on something like that.

I just hope my assumption is wrong.


Janelle Rucker said...

You know what, I agree Donecia. I watched Nightline last night and they went to the dorms and interviewed some students and one guy was playing a video game. Granted, he said it was to take his mind off of everything that happened, but it was weird. Some students gathered in the hall and were talking about what happened, but really weren't too emotional about it. I guess everybody has their own way to deal with tragedy. Of the many students they talked to there was one that had to jump out of a window to escape and he talked about how he couldn't eat or sleep.
Either those students are extra brave or the reality of what happened hasn't yet hit them.
I know I'd be a mess...

Donecia Pea said...

Exactly! I mean I don't even think I would be coherent to talk about it.

I did seem to see more emotions in today's photos. (Check Yahoo!'s pics) It seems as though the horror of what happened is actually soaking in.

Wow, this is just so incredibly heartbreaking, for real.