Tuesday, April 17, 2007


As someone who mostly grew up in Virginia and who once upon a time knew lots of people who went to Virginia Tech, and also as someone who works on a college campus, I'd like to take a moment to express my condolences to the students, faculty, staff, and administration of Virginia Tech, and also to the community of Blacksburg. I hope they will all be able to support each other through the severe and baffling aftermath of yesterday's devastating losses.

I am also saving thoughts for the families of yesterday's victims, and in a distant but important way for everyone who attends a college, or works at one, or in any way supports a student or a university service. We all deserve each other's sympathy, fellowship, and compassionate attention. We can always stand to remind ourselves of the precious value of a campus, and of the depth of our commitment to ideas, to the ideal of improved understanding, and to each other. For some of us, the impact of yesterday's violence was very immediate. For most of us, we shudder to realize the arbitrariness of that violence: how easily our own selves or our own communities could have woken today to the scale of mourning that Virginia Tech is experiencing, and how much we have in common with the mourners. How abruptly and profoundly yesterday's events may have diminished our sense of safety, but hopefully awoke our spirit of camaraderie.

I ask us all, on any campus, to remember to be solicitous of each other, and to be grateful for our various privileges, our protections, and our civility, for the care we extend to others and for that which we receive. From the Gwendolyn Brooks poem on my office door: "We are each other's harvest: / We are each other's business: / We are each other's magnitude and bond."



Post a Comment

<< Home